A Brilliant Experiment in Reading: But Will New Schools Chancellor Fund Revolutionary Program?

Sol Stern, NY Daily News, July 14, 2011

The best predictor of future academic achievement for American students about to enter high school is the eighth-grade reading test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, widely considered the gold standard in testing. If children don’t reach reading proficiency by the eighth grade, they’ll almost always hit a wall in other subjects, and they’re unlikely to catch up in the next four years.

By that standard, the educational prospects for most of New York City’s 1 million public school students are dismal: Only 21% of the city’s eighth-graders reached the proficiency level on the 2009 NAEP reading test. Even more ominously, no more than 12% of the city’s black eighth-graders achieved proficiency.

Over the past decade, Gotham’s education department has tried several initiatives to fix this, including giving cash bonuses to teachers and principals and paying minority children to show up in class and behave. These financial incentives had no discernible effect on eighth-graders’ reading performance. Yet there is a ray of reading hope in the city: the Core Knowledge Language Arts Program, a new reading program being piloted in 10 elementary schools in the Bronx and Queens.

The program derives from the research of E. D. Hirsch Jr., author of “Cultural Literacy” and other seminal books. Among Hirsch’s insights is that disadvantaged kids quickly fall behind in reading because of inadequate background knowledge; therefore, imparting such knowledge in the early grades is even more important than conveying basic reading skills.

{snip}

So Hirsch and his foundation created a reading program for the early grades that contained the necessary phonics drills as well as the background knowledge that students need to improve their reading comprehension.

Joel Klein, at the time the city’s schools chancellor, became a late admirer of Hirsch’s ideas–and, starting in September 2008, introduced the Core Knowledge reading program in a handful of schools as a three-year experiment. To monitor the experiment, Klein matched these schools with a demographically similar group of schools that used the dominant “balanced literacy” program; city-commissioned studies would compare the two student cohorts’ reading results.

After the first year, Klein announced the early results: On a battery of reading tests, the kindergartners in the Core Knowledge program had achieved gains five times greater than those of students in the control group. The second-year study showed that the Core Knowledge kids made reading gains twice as great as those of students in the control group.

The results of the third-year study, now that the children have completed second grade, won’t be announced until sometime this autumn, probably at about the same time as the 2011 NAEP reading results are made public. It is probable that the Core Knowledge program will continue to show promising results, while scores on the NAEP eighth-grade reading test will be as stagnant as ever.

If that’s the case, the rational course of action would be to keep funding the pilot until its cohort of students reaches the eighth grade and aces the NAEP test, showing the education authorities that the solution to the city’s reading problem is in plain sight. Unfortunately, rationality is usually in short supply at the Department of Education; Klein has moved on, and it’s not clear whether Hirsch’s reading program remains on the department’s agenda. {snip}

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    Ah yes. Once again the educrats have discovered the magic bullet that will finally once and for all eliminate the persistent racial gap. All we have to do is spend just a few billions of Dollars and wait just a little bit more and we will finally solve this never-ending problem. No, honestly! Really. I’m not kidding this time. It’s really going to work. No, we didn’t cook the books or alter the scores this time. Really, just give us more money. We are absolutely sure that we can change genes this time.

  • OBSERVER

    Really want to do the best you can?

    1) Uniforms. All ages. All years. All classes

    2) Spend ALL day learning reading and simple math, over and over and over and over and over. No PE, No “music”, no “art” and other USELESS topics. From age 5 you learn to add, over and over and over and over. You learn “see Jane (LaTrina) run” over and over and over and over.

    3) Any student who doesn’t OBEY sits in a room like a total PRISON. Maybe put a one-on-one older kid with him in the room to talk to him and go over with him his adding and reading. In other words, ISOLATE him so he has no audience and doesn’t get ANY positive feedback for acting badly.

    Now, such ideas as above WILL NEVER bring the black student body up to the level of Jewish and Asian kids, but it WILL have an major impact on the Black students. Far more will “get with the program” than now.

    Blacks are children (as Albert Schweitzer said). They must be treated as children. Constant discipline. Constant “force”.

    But, alas, none of this will be done since it is racist.

    Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer: “I have given my life to try to alleviate the sufferings of Africa. There is something that all white men who have lived here like I must learn and know: that these individuals are a sub-race. They have neither the intellectual, mental, or emotional abilities to equate or to share equally with white men in any function of our civilization. I have given my life to try to bring them the advantages which our civilization must offer, but I have become well aware that we must retain this status: the superior and they the inferior. For whenever a white man seeks to live among them as their equals they will either destroy him or devour him. And they will destroy all of his work. Let white men from anywhere in the world, who would come to Africa, remember that you must continually retain this status; you the master and they the inferior like children that you would help or teach. Never fraternize with them as equals. Never accept them as your social equals or they will devour you. They will destroy you.”

  • sbuffalonative

    As I’ve said previously, when a program purports to show dramatic improvements in black achievement, cheating is likely involved.

    I won’t make that charge here just yet because I can believe that abandoning “balanced literacy” programs and returning to phonics are likely to produce improvements.

    How dramatic they are is the question.

    I won’t be surprised to read another article in a couple years that shows the gains were more modest than had been reported.

    Another question that need to be answered is does this actually close the gap or does it simply raise everyone’s proficiency across the board. Black children may benefit by returning to phonics but white children may benefit more.

    If it can be independently verified that ‘The Gap’ has shrunk, I will believe the results. However, I suspect everyone’s reading proficiency will rise and ‘the gap’ will remain.

  • Gerald Martin

    The basic premise of the Core Knowledge Language Arts Program is sound. Phonics plus immersion in real, substantive, books, stories, essays and poems (written almost entirely by Dead White Males), can boost the achievement of any student. This was, in its essentials, the program under which the better black schools during the segregation era produced the leaders of the black middle class: Ralph Bunche, Charles Drew, Thurgood Marshall and others.

    But any idea that it will significantly narrow, much less close, the achievement gap between white and black in schools is unrealistic. The vast majority of blacks are simply too much lower in IQ compared to whites to be able to match them in scholastic performance, no matter how enriched a program they receive. And enriched programs alone do not address the behavior problems of blacks in schools which further degrade their achievement level.

    And what about WHITE students? Something that never gets talked about in these discussions is the fact that the teaching of whites these days is less than ideal – to put it mildly. Most whites are subjected to noisy, integrated classrooms. Even a couple of blacks in an otherwise white class has a negative effect. (Having taught in them, I know this for a fact.) Also, the curriculum most whites are taught is far from enriched, or anything E.D. Hirsch would endorse – a mishmash of dumbed-down, politically correct, multicultural indoctrination, for the most part, which is often a thinly veiled attack on whites themselves.

    I think the nation would benefit the most by demanding higher reading standards – an E.D. Hirsch type program – for white students of all income levels. Among other benefits, it would re-connect today’s de-racinated, atomized and demonized white children with their own unique, rich, and glorious culture and heritage.

  • Sureesh

    I have the solution to reversing the achievement gap between “whites” and “nonwhites.”

    Here it is- http://goo.gl/kLu5D

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    E. D. Hirsch, Jr. wrote the 1987 best seller CULTURAL LITERACY: What Every American Needs to Know. His essential insight is that reading is not isolated, formal skill. It is an ability which is heavily dependent on the gradual accumulation of crucual “background knowledge” which, over time, makes more advanced reading understandable.

    One cannot understand much of western literature without a basic knowledge of the Greek Myths, for example.

    Hirsh’s “Core Knowledge” curriculum concept, which assumes young children can absort information like sponges, introduces very young children to wide rage of fundamental cultural information. For example, first graders study “Early Civilizations (Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, History of World Religions)”:

    http://tinyurl.com/62agap4

    Hirsch’s idea was and is doomed to never catch on to any degree in public education because public education, especially in the K-8 grades, where all this “background information” needs to be absorbed, is anti-intellectual in the extreme. That’s because its teachers and administrators are trained in intellectually barren, progressive “colleges of education.”

    Hirsch, like another famed education reformer, research professor Diane Ravitch, wants government monopoly schooling to succeed. Both have both pointed out ways for the government systems to improve their offerings. But that cause is hopeless.

    Would a “Core Knowledge” curriculum improve the prospects for non-Asian minorities? Yes. “Unfortunately, rationality is usually in short supply at the Department of Education,” says article author Sol Stern. Count on that limited supply of “rationality” to continue its downward decline.

    Would a “Core Knowldge” curriculum close the “achievement gap”? No, not if Hirsch’s valid insights were to be applied with the same diligence to the white population.

  • Sissy White

    Yet another screwball idea to waste the tax payers ’money by falsifying the results.

    The only way to raise black test scores is to lock White kids in a closet all day and teach only the blacks.

    Only by dumbing down the White kids can the achievement gap be eliminated-everyone dumb!

  • olewhitelady

    Of course, this is just more smoke and mirrors to delay the day when liberal assertions of equality will finally be utterly and completely dismissed as hogwash. And just what is this “core knowledge” that’s being taught? Are children being told that tigers come from India and then being instructed to read material that states the same?

    Anytime liberals claim that some “achievement gap” is being closed by blacks, one can assume we’re talking voodoo. IMO, blacks are being greatly harmed by the relentless push to get them to perform at white standards. They’re becoming more frustrated and angry every day. It’s like demanding that female sports competitors meet the same standards as males.

    Even the most naive and committed lefty must secretly know that this endless series of tried-and-failed programs is like a futile search for Excalibur.

  • Anonymous

    It might be successful. In fact, I can give an example of a successful black reading program. In the 1940’s and 50’s, black elementary schools* in my city were staffed with dedicated black female teachers. I don’t know what educational techniques they used, but after the 6th grade all their black students could read as well or better than whites with the same I.Q. In the case of blacks with less than 90 I.Q. this seemed to be better. Even blacks with room temperature I.Q.’s had fair reading (and writing) skills.

    *The schools’ demographics reflected the neighborhoods’ demographics; at that time, race had no affect on a student’s school assignment.

  • Question Diversity

    As luck would have it, I read Hirsch’s Cultural Literacy quite some time ago, before I was even really political, much less heard about AR. We’re talking circa 1992, and the book is copyright 1988. My impression now is that if the ideas spelled out in the book are successful, it is mainly in the context of teaching those “endangered demographics” material that is the most complex that they can absorb, and in a KIPP-style manner of repetitive drill learning. Even though it seems to work, it hardly proves racial equality. If whites take up the same canon, they will similarly improve.

    BTW, that canon of Hirsch’s is virtually all white. That will go over as well with a black student body as broccoli on the McDonalds menu.

    The notion that programs like Hirsch’s are good isn’t that insightful, in fact, it’s like saying that all physically capable children should play sports, for the health benefits, the physical and social development benefits, and because it’s fun. That doesn’t automatically make your seven-year old son the next Peyton Manning.

    If children don’t reach reading proficiency by the eighth grade, they’ll almost always hit a wall in other subjects, and they’re unlikely to catch up in the next four years.

    Phyllis Schlafly always said that if the child isn’t reading proficiently by the first grade, it’s pretty much all over.

  • WASP

    I have a masters in teaching and this is a crock. It is yet another miracle cure that will not cure a thing.

    Remember Michelle Rhee, she was going to change education Washington DC schools. Well, nothing changed and they got rid of her. All Rhee did was make the union mad by offering incentive pay for good teachers. Of course, the union was against it and it did not pass a vote by the union membership.

    Every couple of years some do-gooder shows up with a miracle cure and cures nothing and walks away with a pocket full of money. More often than not, the miracle cure is simply a re-hash of some ancient new age concept. And unfortunately, administrators and parents put their hope into it.

    1. Years ago, blacks and hispanics were supposed to do better in school because the put black and brown faces in the text books. Didn’t happen.

    2. They put the white kids in the back of the room and minorities in the front….didn’t change anything.

    3. More black and brown teacher….no change.

    I always thought how dumb everyone must be for falling for the snake oil. But that is called “negative thinking” so most teachers do not speak up.

    I don’t believe any of the test results the schools publish. There is so much cheating the numbers are meaningless.

  • OBSERVER

    Uh, I hate to ask, but………who taught white people to do what they do?

    It seems Blacks constantly need some type of help, special attention, special focus. Great. But why don’t Whites?

    Do any of you do-good liberals have an answer?

    If it is “racism” from whites that is damaging to Blacks, then why not isolate the problem? Get Whites as far away from Blacks as possible. Keep Whites OUT of the schools where Blacks are so the Whites won’t contaminate the Black students.

    Hey, why not try segregation? That would eliminate racism in the school system and free young Black students from the horrible influence of Whites?

    Ah, but then they would have no “excuse”.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been teaching in NYC for some time now. Every other year there’s a new ‘reform’ or magical solution. Nothing works. Millions down the drain. Many more ‘reforms’ yet to come. It’ll never change. Anyone who had a pre 1990 American education knows that what passes for ‘education’ these days is a watered-down, indoctrinationist waste of time.

  • Anonymous

    In Baltimore County, there was a pretty good reading program introduced for high and middle schoolers about 5 years ago, called Language. The kids who were significantly behind in reading were using this with (anecdotal and actual) good results. Students said they were “getting it”, teachers thought that student comprehension was higher, and skills were able to be transferred into other classes. So, what do you think Balto. County did? They figured that all the high school students could finally read, and the program is no longer taught at the high school level. Now, it’s just the middle schoolers who can’t read.

    We’re still getting 9th graders who are reading at the 5th and 6th grade level. Sigh. In the meantime, I see unopened boxes of those Language books sitting in the book room.

    Same old, same old.

  • WR the elder

    It may well do some good. The current results are so disastrous that almost any real attempt at academic education is likely to be an improvement. It won’t close the famous gap, but it might narrow it.

    I suspect though that the rationality short Department of Education will not even try to implement it on a large scale. After all, cultural literacy is largely a matter of white history, literature, and culture so will not fit in with the political requirements of the apparatchiks of the DOE.

  • Anonymous

    “Even more ominously, no more than 12% of the city’s black eighth-graders achieved proficiency”.

    Why is it ‘more ominous’ that only 12% of black children are proficient in reading as opposed to another/other groups? If black children can’t read well, surely this spells doom? But if it’s any other group that can’t read well, that’s just fine, apparently.

    This article could also translate into: study more, do better in school. These extra programs are not unfair to white students? Apparently whatever befalls them is of no concern.

  • Bon, Stuck in Carmageddon

    If children don’t reach reading proficiency by the eighth grade, they’ll almost always hit a wall in other subjects, and they’re unlikely to catch up in the next four years.

    This is not true. Children who have not mastered reading by 3rd grade will never catch up — this is when education flips from learning to read to reading to learn. At that point, if the student isn’t reading proficiently, he falls further and further behind with no hope of catching up.

    Inadequate reading skills are a reflection of low academic ability, not poor teachers, schools or poverty (although these things are blamed).

    Reading is far more than decoding a bunch of symbols strung together across a page; it also involves extracting meaning from those strings of words — a process that involves cognition, memory, inference, deduction and it is with these things that those in the lower-half of the IQ distribution struggle.

    Prof. Jensen writes in The g Factor that the problem is not the decoding of written language but rather comprehending it. Most illiterates do no better on reading tests when the selections are read to them than when they do the reading themselves. Prof. Jensen explains that illiteracy is much more a problem of low g than of somehow not learning how to read.

    Or as Charles Murray bluntly puts it:

    How does one teach a child to make inferential leaps. Drilling in vocabulary does not help. Diagramming sentences will not help. The skills that the child must master do not involve learning words or the mechanics of reading but putting two and two together in novel settings.

    Once again the educational establishment refuses to acknowledge that student abilities vary, especially between races.

    Core Knowledge Language Arts Program is simply one more in a long line of billion dollar programs doomed to fail.

    Bon

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    Our contemporary alchemists continue to try to turn lead into gold.

  • Anonymous

    In the 1940’s and 50’s, black elementary schools* in my city were staffed with dedicated black female teachers. I don’t know what educational techniques they used, but after the 6th grade all their black students could read as well or better than whites with the same I.Q. In the case of blacks with less than 90 I.Q. this seemed to be better. Even blacks with room temperature I.Q.’s had fair reading (and writing) skills.

    I have no argument with this poster, but what was written is counter to my personal experience as the only white pupil in a later 1940s early 1950s Northeastern elementary school. I had extensive opportunity to observe “colored” kids (as they were then called, being taught by white (mostly Irish as I recall) teachers. We used the “Dick and Jane” books. I personally picked up reading by myself and always was/am a proficient reader. My classmates struggled so much that the school put me, from fourth grade, into the sixth grade for reading; even in sixth grade, the pupils struggled to read the same “Dick and Jane”. There were no classroom disruptions by unruly pupils. There were a (very) few fellow students who were smarter than the others. I can count them on the fingers of one hand. My wife was a school administrator for many years; she always tell me how the system had to struggle with unrealistic demands such as No Child Left Behind.

  • Sid Sarcastic

    I have an idea that just might work?

    Lets print all the books in that ebo-jive talk to a hip hop rhythm, now our lowest scorers will be able to read it and possibly understand it? Of course there will have to be a few references to doing away with the police and whitey, but isn’t that the PC cost of progress today?

  • olewhitelady

    #9 Anonymous:

    I’m guessing that, in the successful black schools of your city’s past, only those students who could actually learn the 3R’s continued past the first or second grade level. In the 40’s and 50’s, a lot of WHITE students dropped out in elementary school if they failed to read and write. As Question Diversity #10 mentioned, Phyllis Schalfly contended that if proficiency isn’t shown in the first grade, it never will. I agree. There’s no magic formula. Smart people learn to read easily. Students who are not very bright will only succeed in becoming marginally good readers. Pupils who are not bright at all will never be even marginally good.

    Before integration, most of the good black students went to schools that were either de jure or de facto segregated. We can assume that their parents were, in most cases, the cream of the crop, since intelligence is inheritable. These people moved out of the ghetto ASAP. Those left behind were mostly children of the least intelligent.

  • Southern Hoosier

    Anyone remember the New Math of the 60’s and what a total failure that was?

    The key to good reading skills is to turn the clock back on education about a hundred years. Reading doesn’t exist in an education vacuum. Teach phonics and the diagramming of sentences. Give vocabulary and spelling tests. Give tests that require written answers and then mark off for spelling and grammar. Mankind has been learning to read for thousands of years. Why do educators think they have to keep reinventing the wheel?

  • WASP

    To Old White Lady,

    Poster 9 cited nothing. No school study on improvement or progress. No links.

    I think it is a bogus post made up by some crazy liberal who wants the world to be something it is not.

    There is a video of Phil Donohue and Jared Taylor on YouTube. Donohue claims there are more hispanic Nobel Prize winners than any other ethnic group. That is a total lie and can be checked on line.

    Go to greatschools.net and check any Detroit public school against any suburban school (which is not black) and you will see the real numbers. Most of Detroit’s teachers are black, have been for 20 years, and they have the lowest scores in the country.

    Then check Benton Harbor Michigan. It is a small town in western Michigan. the scores are the same as Detroits…. reason? Benton Harbor is 95% black. Different location, same results because both are black.

    It gives me no pleasure to say that other than to prove a lying liberal wrong. I feel sorry for the kids.

  • Anonymous

    In 1975, the year I entered Kindergarten, my parents purchased “The World Book Encyclopedia”.

    This was a major sacrifice for them.

    A few short years later I could also ride my bicycle to the public library.

    Our public schools at that time were almost all white but new idiotic hippie teaching standards were in vogue.

    Thanks mom and dad.

  • MarCo

    I couldn’t disagree more with R2, but then I’m from California and you know how THAT goes.

    Regarding R5’s link: Does it surprise you that Whites are

    as uncomfortable with South or Far East Asian attitudes as they are with AfAm & Meso-American values? Silicon Valley schools are cranking out ambitious automatons for their new utopia, that utopia doesn’t include free-thinking Westerners. I was especially amused by the comment about the white kids being the “dumb ones”. We ARE certainly, for allowing these aliens anywhere near our technology and our societies-they’re far more dangerous to us than any MS13 or Krips members. And I for one am fed up with their arrogance. Without the White Man, they would be stuck in the 16th Century. It’s one thing to master someone else’s technology, quite another to create it.

    I’m a believer in a good liberals arts education. At present it seems, the high schools, universities, and vocational schools have turned into math/science ant farms with student bodies under intense scrutiny by their peers and their foreign-born relatives. There’s entirely too much emphasis on conformity and material achievement. These parents expect a living from their children, and complete compliance with their demands. That sort of obeisance is uncommon in white men and our path, philosophically speaking, is much more along a line going forward than a circle of familial uniformity.

    I prefer my dumb white world, and all it’s wonders, to any oriental ant farm.

    Sureesh? Have you driven a Fo..err..Hindustani lately? http://goo.gl/NX3IK

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    17 — Bon, Stuck in Carmageddon wrote at 12:36 AM on July 16:

    “Prof. Jensen writes in The g Factor that the problem is not the decoding of written language but rather comprehending it. Most illiterates do no better on reading tests when the selections are read to them than when they do the reading themselves.”

    Ah, that second sentence is a beauty! I wonder how all the teachers struggling to get their students up to schedule on reading would respond to it. Is the fact not known by most teachers?

  • The Excalibur

    BTW, that canon of Hirsch’s is virtually all white.

    You’d be surprised.

    From The Core Knowledge Curriculum Third-grade:

    Poetry: Lewis Carroll, Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hughes, Eve Merriman (Feminist writer, The Inner-City Mother Goose), Ogden Nash

  • Anonymous

    Allow me to amplify/clarify #9. In the early 1950’s, I attended a junior high school in large northeastern city. About 50% of the students were black, mainly from middle income families. I was able to directly observe their academic progress, and by stealth learn their I.Q.’s. My sample size was about 40, including whites that I used for comparison. The I.Q.’s of blacks ranged from 69 to 124. I do not claim that I engaged in a scientific study, but I believe my observations have relevance.

  • Sureesh

    To MarCo,

    Some whites may feel “slightly uncomfortable” when they smell curry or see people celebrating Hindi festivals, BUT they do NOT feel unsafe- whites can easily walk around any Indian neighborhood at 3AM. You cannot even compare white flight from overachieving Indian neighborhoods to white flight from crime, ridden black dominated ghettos.

    I actually believe whites have been dumbed down by pop culture and would benefit from classical studies and learning ancient history, as well as a more rigorous math and science curriculum.

    Sadly, many of my fellow Indian immigrants think “American culture” is pop music, sexual promiscuity, drinking, partying, and putting fun over family and hard work.

    I know that white America has much deeper cultural roots than that- I admire great white inventors, such as Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison. I admire white scientists, both of American and European origin.

    I feel that teaching both Asian and White kids about the great scientists and explorers (such as the Vikings), will boost white achievement and strengthen both Asian and white views on whites.

    Today’s white teens have been brainwashed into thinking Black Hip Hop music is cool and that ‘whites are evil.’

    It’s so sad to see such potential wasted.

  • Nathaniel S.

    I’m less concerned about spending per se (though it is a concern) than I am over the fact that they keep taking more and more money (mostly from whites) to specifically give to blacks.

    If you’re going to develop a brilliant new program to improve reading comprehension or math skills, or spend extra time, effort and money on teachers, infrastructure, supplies, etc., great, but why should it only go to black kids or kids who are doing poorly in school? Why not provide the environment to all kids, and raise the tide for everyone? That seems to be the most fair, and the most productive for the country.

  • AlmostMusicPhD

    Observer said: “2) Spend ALL day learning reading and simple math, over and over and over and over and over. No PE, No “music”, no “art” and other USELESS topics. From age 5 you learn to add, over and over and over and over. You learn “see Jane (LaTrina) run” over and over and over and over.”

    I would beg to differ, STRENUOUSLY.

    Leaving the ‘Mozart Effect’ stuff behind, they have done tests that show a) music study- real study of music elements- rhythm, pitch, melody, and harmony, help DEVELOP the young child’s brain. PIANO study, specifically helps bridge the ‘Left-Right’ brain hemispheres, leading to increased abstract spatial thought, so necessary in higher mathematics. Also, music is a LANGUAGE. Linguistic studies have shown that children that know more than one language are made smarter by developing unused areas of the cerebral cortex.

    Finally, they have shown that children who have five or more years of study on a musical instrument, are less than HALF as liable for senility when they reach their ‘golden years.’ Not people who take up musical study late in life- but CHILDREN who study music while the brain is growing.

    Music was once considered (in the Western pantheon of learning) as an indispensable science. Of course, I am talking about WESTERN art/folk music, and NOT mere Rap, Soul, or Jive. Those don’t have ANY demonstrable effect, as far as the research goes.

    But Western (i.e., White) music? Clearly, millions of Japanese students studying the Suzuki method, of one of the most intelligent homogenous nations on the planet, must be getting SOMETHING right, that we fools in America, DON’T!

  • Question Diversity

    29 Sureesh wrote:

    I actually believe whites have been dumbed down by pop culture and would benefit from classical studies and learning ancient history, as well as a more rigorous math and science curriculum.

    Partially what you said, but also in most racially mixed schools (i.e. mixed with blacks and Hispanics), the curriculum is diluted down to the blackest common denominator. Why do you think homeschooling among whites is almost now a parallel education system?

    31 Almost Music Ph.D.:

    When I started middle school, it was still the time when it was thought I was going to be a math genius. Someone advised me to take up instrumental music and take up any instrument save the drums, but preferably one that I liked. I was told that the discipline was indispensable, and that learning to read sheet music would definitely not hurt. Because my mother was a fan of Harry James movies, I took up the Bb Trumpet. I think that advice worked out well, even though in the long run I really wasn’t that special a math genius, hit my wall at differential equations.

  • Anonymous

    31 — AlmostMusicPhD wrote at 10:13 AM on July 17:

    Are music and art important for WHITE students, yes. But for blacks the most important thing is to get them to be able to communicate and perform basic arithmetic. The fundamentals of reading, writing, speaking and addition and subtraction are what most blacks lack and desperately need.

  • OBSERVER

    Sureesh:

    You are not white. You want to live with and around whites because you have confessed the white civilization is superior to your non-white India.

    Why do I know this? Your action say it all. You intentionally and purposely LEFT non-white India since it’s culture (derived from your race) is inferior. Sorry, it is. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. You would be there.

    But, as more and more of your race floods white areas, (Here and England) you will turn it INTO another India, thus degrading and destroying what the white race, and only the white race, can build: Civilization.

    As long as “trojan” horse non-whites like you come to white countries, you destroy us. You dilute our race, our votes and our ability to defend ourselves. When we want or demand a WHITE country, you will side with the Blacks and the Mexicans. Though you may want us to survive, (since you NEED us), those you side with want to kill us.

    The friend of my enemy is my enemy.

    The only way you can defend us is to demand a WHITE ONLY country for us. That means, by default, you must go. What you should demand is the return of White colonial rule to India. I suggest you move back to India, where you belong, and write on the blogs that wish for the return of the White man.

    India for about 150 years was blessed with White Rule. The English built your railroads, your telegraph system, your bridges, your ports. They taught you the rule of law and did their best to get your heads our of the Cow Religion. At least the white man’s God (Jesus) was/is “human” and not some fart belching, (8 IQ), parasite infected bovine.

    You are not white. You can not be white. By that very nature, you are not really wanted in the country most of us want here. We want a WHITES ONLY homeland and though you personally share the values created by the white race, your fellow brown skinned non-whites DO NOT.

    Please return to your homeland while you have the chance. The door is closing and when (not IF) we have real racial “wars” here, you will not be accepted by the white militias and will certainly be killed by the Black and Mexican Militias.

    I think you are a nice person, but while you reside in MY country, you are counted as “enemy”. I will not trust you nor defend you when I am forced to form a neighborhood militia since…….you are not white.

    I will accept white people first, THEN settle our political difference. But being WHITE is first and foremost and absolute. Because then I know one will never start “civil rights” based on skin color since all fellow citizens in my white utopia will all have the SAME COLOR SKIN and that is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to me since all this hell of today IS based on…..SKIN COLOR.

  • Jack

    “The best predictor of future academic achievement for American students about to enter high school is the eighth-grade reading test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress,…”

    Racial smokescreen.

    The BEST predictor, not only of academic achievement but all other types, is IQ.

  • WASP

    To: 28 — Anonymous wrote at 8:22 PM

    Maybe you are a new poster. No one educated on the subject claims all blacks are dumb.

    Read Race, Evolution and Behavior if you have not. The combined sample sizes of the studies there are in the tens of thousands.

    About 15% of blacks will score as high, or higher than whites on any given IQ test. The other 85% are below. The vast majority are far below at about 15 points lower. Average white IQ is 100. Average African American is 85. That’s a standard deviation plus. That’s a lot.

    All the tests say the same thing. IQ test, SAT, ACT, the military ASVAB test. All valid tests, all the same results. There is a 100 years of data to study if you wish.

    I find it hard to believe some new reading program will change that. I have seen miracle workers come and go and nothing changes.

    Remember the movie “Stand and Deliver” where the Hispanic teacher worked miracles with advanced math in an all Hispanic school? He claimed to have a miracle cure. Well, here we are 20 years later and Hispanics are still a standard deviation behind whites. Nothing changed. That teacher died and no one had the sense to get his “miracle cure” from him before he died. Many thought he taught the students tricks to get correct answers without really understanding the equations.

    The only way to even the scores is to stop educating whites and keep educating minorities. It will probably come to that if Al Sharpton gets his way.

    Again, it give me no pleasure to say this but it is the truth.

  • WR the elder

    Marco, since I majored in math and science I guess that makes me an “ant farm” person. In case you haven’t noticed, we are living in a technological society. I consider learning mathematics and science to be more important for most people than learning Latin, although knowing Latin is certainly a fine thing. Also, people who think that the Asians are simply aping the West and aren’t doing anything original aren’t paying attention. I see an awful lot of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Indian names on the articles in the scientific journals these days. If more white kids don’t start learning math and science well our corporations will have all the more reasons to demand higher H-1b quotas because they can’t find Americans to do the work. The engineers who put a man on the moon were almost all white but if white people don’t start putting more emphasis on educating their children and actually increasing the gap with blacks and Hispanics the glory days of the white race are over.

  • MarCo

    Sureesh,

    I happen to love curry. Two of my best friends growing up were 2nd generation Indians-a brother and sister. My best friend was a Persian who’s father was highly-placed in the US Navy. I grew up in the western part of San Francisco known with affection by the locals as “The Avenues”. I don’t have an Asian “thing”.

    I appreciate that you seem to have a greater understanding of the white race than other professed non-whites do. The fact remains however that we are different from each other, and every one, whether they admit it or not, has racial feelings and no amount of sloganeering or social engineering will ever completely eliminate that. And I have encountered very racial Asians who despised white people for no apparent reason. It’s all well and good to say that Asians aren’t as criminal as other non-whites and white are safe around them-but if we continue to become minorities in the lands we built, that situation will not last long. Look at the Asian problem in England and in Scandinavia if you think me wrong.

    I will say to you as I once said to a Jewish friend ..”we find ourselves friends in enemy camps”. We understand each other well.

  • William

    I fear that ‘closing the achievment gap’ will eventually devolve into nobbling or disadvantaging White (or asian) children. If you can’t improve the African-Americans and Hispanics then hamstring the Whites. It’s probably already happening as teacher time once available for helping a White child get over a surmountable learning difficulty is just not available any longer because it goes into micro-managing hispanic-black minorities.

    Some solution will need to be found for minorities, something they can ‘go to’. I’m thinking of a German/Swiss/Austrian/Polish style systems of Hauptschule, Gymnasium and Realschule. Where they can be thorougly taught at a level they can absorb thoroughly rather than at a level well above what they can use. Those capable can transfer within the system.

    The downside is the fate of the White underclass who despite modest acadmic performance are likely to be damaged by the potentially agressive millieu around them.

  • Mike H.

    @ 5

    Oh there’s no doubting that east asians are intelligent, but they simply aren’t creative.

    The jury’s still out on whether that’s genetic or cultural. From what I remember of Arthur Jenson’s earlier research it showed that east asians and whites were far better at original creative thought than blacks and others(not that I needed to state that here), but it didn’t say if one or the other was better.

    Which leads me to wonder whether nearly everything being invented and thought of by whites is due to asian culture that places an emphasis on collective stagnation, or asian genes. Lack of creativity could hardly be explained by culture alone, so my money is on the latter. Blaming lack of asian originality on culture alone would be like blaming the lack of black originality on black culture. Idiotic. They didn’t not invent the wheel or the well in thousands of years because of their culture, neither were invented because they’re comparatively stupid compared to the majority of the rest of humanity(my deepest sympathies go to all the pygmies and australian abos).

    As far as this study goes, I think #18 said it better than anyone else.

  • Anonymous

    The article states that “…no more than 12% of the city’s black eighth-graders achieved proficiency.”

    This shouldn’t shock anyone who understands statistical distribution and the Bell Curve. Predictably, if Blacks have an average IQ of 85, then only about 12% of them would have the requisite IQ to pass an exam that the average White with an IQ of 100 would normally pass. What else is there really left to discuss?

  • Incognito

    Remember the movie “Stand and Deliver” where the Hispanic teacher worked miracles with advanced math in an all Hispanic school?…That teacher died and no one had the sense to get his “miracle cure” from him before he died.

    His “miracle cure” was cherry-picking ~ 25 of the very best students out of a school of 4,000+.

  • Say It!

    Racial-gap elimination scheme generation is a multi-billion dollar racket in education that keeps a great many bureaucrats & educationists well employed. That any such scheme must fail to the reality of black/white difference in academic aptitude just keeps the tax payer money flowing. Hence, the educationists who realize the futility of such schemes are not going to admit it. There’s too much sucker money in continuing the game.

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    36 — WASP wrote at 3:15 PM on July 17:

    “Remember the movie ‘Stand and Deliver’ where the Hispanic teacher worked miracles with advanced math in an all Hispanic school?”

    I remember being very irritated at that silly movie…it portrayed Calculus as a chore in advanced memorization. And possibly he taught it that way and tested his students with problems that didn’t stretch beyond that.

  • Harumphty Dumpty

    37 — WR the elder wrote at 3:51 PM on July 17:

    …if white people don’t start putting more emphasis on educating their children…

    …and on HAVING children!

  • Old EDD

    “The best predictor of future academic achievement for American students about to enter high school is the eighth-grade reading test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress,…”

    Racial smokescreen.

    The BEST predictor, not only of academic achievement but all other types, is IQ.

    Jack knows what he states. Also, standardized tests, whose results are used with impunity, which vary among any child and himself, as a protracted means of analyzing what a child knows or doesn’t know is ludicrous. A good teacher knows more about where every child in her/his class stands and knows in subject matter and individual learning than any single test given every 4 years can do. These tests are mulitple choice and like all standardized tests, are limited as well as questionalble in the ability to demonstrate accuracy. In a school in which I taught, we had kids who simply didn’t do well because they didn’t want to–especially in 8th grade. One year the smartest kid in the school (later received a full ride National Merit Scholarship to A&M and used ‘should of’, rather than ‘should have’ in his valedictory address, failed this pointless test and knocked the entire school into a lowered score, state-wide. Was it a sure sign of success in 8th grade? I hardly think so. Standardized tests are no more or less that a means of some testing company, having convinced the US ed dept (which should not even exist) that testing is necessary, to provide a means for the company to make big money. The total sum of how important this so-called unparalled measure of learning is is that it is a JOKE!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    This is just a new way to pour many more millions of dollars down the bottomless rat hole. There is [i]no way[/i] to fix the education gap.

  • Question Diversity

    WASP wrote:

    Remember the movie “Stand and Deliver” where the Hispanic teacher worked miracles with advanced math in an all Hispanic school?

    I do. The key word in your question is “movie.” Any resemblance between the events portrayed in that movie and the reality of Jaime Escalante’s teaching career is purely coincidental. The movie didn’t tell you that his students were cherry picked, and it made you think that students could go from not knowing their times tables to mastering AP Calculus in just a few years (that’s not possible with even the brightest of young math prodigies), and it glossed over the teaching of Calculus to make it seem like it’s nothing more than rote and repetitive drills a la times tables, when in reality it’s a highly cerebral canon which you either grok or don’t.

  • Sonya

    Sureesh wrote: Sadly, many of my fellow Indian immigrants think “American culture” is pop music, sexual promiscuity, drinking, partying, and putting fun over family and hard work.

    Do you really think the people on this site are ignorant? Your Indian friends think AMERICANS are promiscuous? India is an AIDS infested mess, second only to African countries!

    India is the world leader in child prostitution!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhUcfy_0o6g&feature=related

    Oh and India has a new trend, WIFE SWAPPING! Keep in mind these women entered arranged marriages, they didn’t a choice regarding the husband they will sleep with, and now the husbands are pushing their wives into non-consensual swapping parties!

    And then there are the women only trains. Yes these “non promiscuous and oh so chaste” Indians watch their own women run/scramble/pack themselves into female only trains to avoid the continual groping and sexual harrassment from the Indian male. Watch them scurry onto the female only trains so desperate to escape the Indian males…how many other countries in the WORLD have that issue? Where the women flee pitifully from the assaults their own men? Does this happen in Mexico? The middle east? Even Africa? It is astounding. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhSazXN48qc

    Yes Sureesh tell us MORE about your oh so chaste Indian culture, we ignorant White Americans will believe anything you say!

  • WR the elder

    Marco, the “Asian problem” in Great Britain is largely the result of a flood of ill educated immigrant Muslims, not of college educated Hindus.

  • Anonymous

    Sureesh,

    I have a question if S. Indians and asians are so bright and consistently outperform whites, why do they come to a white country? Why not outperform whites from their countries of origin? I mean if S. indians and asians outperform whites then surely their countries outperform european countries. I mean just look at all the things S. Indians and asian developed before whites, a brief sampling: circumnavigation, firearms, vaccination, calculus, flight, space travel, computers. Sheesh, Sureesh! Thank God for you brilliant S. Indians and asians, where would humanity be with out you! 😉

  • Wayne

    To poster #2. Schweitzer also said this:

    “Who can describe the injustice and cruelties that in the course of centuries they [the coloured peoples] have suffered at the hands of Europeans? … If a record could be compiled of all that has happened between the white and the coloured races, it would make a book containing numbers of pages which the reader would have to turn over unread because their contents would be too horrible.”

  • john

    The simple fact is that without the structure and discipline imposed by the traditional nuclear family, now almost totally lacking in black America, academic achievement of any significance is impossible for black youth.

    They’re already at a significant intellectual disadvantage, but not one so severe as to prevent their functioning as contributing members of society. But top that with a near-complete lack of meaningful education and training for black youth and we have a national catastrophe.

  • MarCo

    WR the elder said:

    “Marco, since I majored in math and science I guess that makes me an “ant farm” person. In case you haven’t noticed, we are living in a technological society. I consider learning mathematics and science to be more important for most people than learning Latin, although knowing Latin is certainly a fine thing. Also, people who think that the Asians are simply aping the West and aren’t doing anything original aren’t paying attention. I see an awful lot of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Indian names on the articles in the scientific journals these days. If more white kids don’t start learning math and science well our corporations will have all the more reasons to demand higher H-1b quotas because they can’t find Americans to do the work. The engineers who put a man on the moon were almost all white but if white people don’t start putting more emphasis on educating their children and actually increasing the gap with blacks and Hispanics the glory days of the white race are over.”

    “Marco, the “Asian problem” in Great Britain is largely the result of a flood of ill educated immigrant Muslims, not of college educated Hindus.”

    It’s ” MarCo “, btw

    That’s good, conservative cant, WR. But your statements don’t contradict my opinions, in fact, you’ve reinforced them. I did not state that math & science were unimportant, the point made was that it has become the ONLY subjects these students place any importance in, as they also do with other subjects who’s chief goal is to ensure that the graduate in these disciplines is able to pull in a nice living. They are obsessed with achieving high socio-economic status above all else. And unlike YT, they’re very racial about it. As for the scientific journals, are you so naive as to think that they aren’t as agenda-laden as the university system or the internationalist corporations? Are you saying that all white countries have simply stopped putting forth scientific papers, and the only output of any consequence is coming from Asia? Do you think that’s a coincidence? Or that your local classical music station highlights Asian performers(if not composers!) in the selections it plays?

    Your comments about American kids not being able to compete at present may be true, but how did we wind up in the present situation? Could it be that two generations of American young people have been subject to one of the most protracted culture-wrecking propoganda campaigns in history? That they are distracted at all times by multi-culti nonsense and are inculcated with guilt about the “sins” of their forefathers?

    I’ll say it again. I do not wish to compete with these people. And in a decent, racially homogenous society, I wouldn’t have to. Whatever their achievements, non-whites feed on the blood of the White creative class. And they are being groomed to replace our people in the only segments left us, now that this nation of such wealth and resources doesn’t make anything anymore. The corporations don’t seek out alien guestworkers to fill a need, they have a policy of racial replacement, and they intend to keep pushing for that, whatever heights the academic achievements of traditional Americans might reach.

    Do you REALLY want to live in such a world? We’ve both of us been sold down the river, but it seems that only one of us is aware of it.

  • WR the elder

    My response to MarCo:

    It is true that universities admit black and Hispanic students with lower test scores and grades than white students. But Asians are held to the same standard as whites, and sometimes stricter standards. We also know that the more subjective parts of the universities are dominated by cultural Marxists, both the traditional humanities departments and of course the various new “studies” programs (black studies, gender studies, etc.). The anti-white bias there is clear and unequivocal. But in the mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering departments cultural Marxism has made far fewer inroads. Either your experiment succeeds or it doesn’t. Either the machine you designed functions or it doesn’t. Either your mathematical proof is valid or it isn’t. The standards of achievement are far more objective than in the humanities, so it has been harder for the cultural Marxists to rig the system. Sure, at the undergraduate level a certain number of blacks and Hispanics will be admitted who should not have got in, who are not up to doing the work, and are taking the place of some whites (and some Asians) who should have been admitted instead. Eventually they will drop out or perhaps manage to eke out a degree with mediocre grades, but they won’t get far in graduate work or in industry. (Instead the advanced degree seekers among them will go for a Masters Degree in Education, which any hamster could get so long as it has the correct political views.)

    I used to work in a research field. I haven’t done that sort of work for many years but I still do work where it is important to keep abreast of new technical developments. I have read many papers by Asians (Indians, Chinese, and Japanese) and have seen no evidence that they are less competent or creative than their white peers. I work with Asians today (in software, not research) and they are no less competent than the white guys. When journals do peer review of papers in mathematics or science they do not apply affirmative action, whatever you may imagine. That an increasing fraction of contributions to scientific knowledge is coming from Asians is both a real phenomenon and frankly, given the distribution of IQ among races, a natural one. No where did I say that whites have stopped producing scientific papers. I do see fewer whites going into mathematics, engineering, and the natural sciences, and that does not bode well.

    You say that Asians are obsessed with high socioeconomic status above all else. A certain keenness to get ahead is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as it does not induce a person to commit crimes or unethical acts. I just wish that more pro-white white people had such a drive, as we might then finally have the money to fund our cause.

    As for local classical music radio stations, nowadays most of us are lucky if we live in an area where there is even one such station. (The New York City metropolitan area, the seat of serious culture in America, now has exactly one classical music radio station. It has gobs of Spanish language music and talk stations.) I have noticed that Asians (particularly, Japanese, Chinese, and Koreans) are nearly the only non-whites who develop a serious love of European classical music. So if classical music is dying out (and it is) it is not due to Asian immigration. It is due to the increasing fraction of blacks and Hispanics, and even more to a popular and academic culture that denigrates the highest achievements of European people, with the result that not even white people are listening to classical music anymore. If my local classical radio station plays a cello work and the performer was Jacqueline Du Pre, they’ll say so. If the performer was Yo Yo Ma, they’ll say so. I haven’t noticed any particular bias for highlighting Asians.

    As for our corporations, they like hiring H-1b workers not because the corporations are eager to replace whites, but because the H-1b workers are cheaper than whites. (For the same reason construction companies hire illegal aliens rather than white blue collar workers.) The H-1b program is basically a system of indentured servitude, so naturally the ruling classes love it.

    I am all in favor of slashing immigration. But even if we do that, if we fail to encourage many of the brightest among us to learn science and mathematics the engineering and science work will simply move to China, India, and Japan. Even if you don’t compete with Asians here in the U.S., you will wind up competing with them for global markets.

  • MarCo

    WR the elder..

    I’m sure that we could go back and forth with this topic forever. Blue-collar, tenth grade dropout that I am, I sincerely doubt that my intellectual rigor would hold up, I would however carry on (as I have throughout my adult life) through sheer, bloody cussedness.

    I believe as I believe-as do you. I just don’t see the point in attempting to “compete” when the game is rigged from the start. Our masters await our marginalization as the vultures await the the living flesh to cease movement. The best you can hope for with things as they are now..is the Blade Runner society. A world no sane white person would want to live in.

    There’s no saving any of the present system for us-the only way out is through our captors. Things will only continue to deteriorate. For me, there are worse things I can imagine than starting all over again in the aftermath. Because our masters will see that it comes to that, I’d bet my life on it.

    Thank you for your reasonable tone in our exchanges, it’s gone a long way to keeping my own excessive tendencies under lock and key. I’m sure you are a thoroughly reasonable and pleasant person. May we “Meet On The Ledge” as the old Fairport Convention tune goes.

    That’s all for me and forum posts of any kind..I’m done with it.

  • Well…QB Tom Brady turned out to be selected Number 1 in Best 100 Players of season 2011-12 at reputable National football league web site. I love his history extremely. Late round draft examination, skinny child at the combine, in the end bought the option and having the hope of NFL prominence and a super model lover. I used to show my pride by wearing out football jersey with a number 12 and his name. There is a store from where i ordered my wonderful jerseys. Jeter’s fans can get mlb jerseys, Jordan’s follower can obtain discount nba jerseys and Crosby’s supporters can order nhl jerseys wholesale there. What’s fantastic is they supply youth nfl jerseys and women jerseys. I gave 2 pieces as gifts to my nephew. He likes it very much. I bought my sports team a dozen of cheap nfl jerseys at about 20 dollars, quality is a whole lot better than expectation, big surprise. Really i desire to have my own name and number stitched on NFL uniforms, I hope they can customized jerseys very soon.