Yale Researcher Wants to Fix Achievement Gap

Bethwood Patch, July 8, 2011

It’s hard to imagine Dr. James P. Comer’s request to the state Board of Education coming at a more critical time.

Just minutes after Bridgeport residents pleaded unsuccessfully with the board Wednesday not to reconstitute that city’s Board of Education, Comer, a renowned Yale psychiatrist and researcher, asked the state agency for its permission to approach low-achieving school districts in Connecticut and ask them to take part in his national program designed to close the achievement gap between urban and suburban schools.

Following his 30-minute presentation, the state education board “enthusiastically” approved Comer’s request, which he said would now allow him to apply for a private, $15 million grant to undertake the project.

Comer said he wants to get 50 under achieving elementary schools in urban districts in Connecticut involved in his School Development Program, which aims to improve educational outcomes in schools that have large populations of minority children. The goal, Comer said, is to close the achievement gap between minority students and their suburban, largely white, counterparts.

{snip}

His program also has been used in hundreds of schools in more than 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, England, and Ireland.

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  • Anonymous

    Another expensive failure in the making. Speaking of education, hasn’t he learned anything from Bill Gates’s massive failure?

  • John Engelman

    Somehow this makes me think of Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football. One more expert says, “I know how to bridge the gap. Trust me with your money.”

  • sbuffalonative

    The goal, Comer said, is to close the achievement gap between minority students and their suburban, largely white, counterparts.

    How will he prove that he has closed the achievement gap? Will he be using objective, standardized test? Or will he be using circular, subjective assessments made by teachers and program administrators?

    I always say it’s one new theory needed to replace a previous flawless, fail-proof failed theory. As such, I propose he run his experiment.

    You see, the only way to end this madness is to institute every theory they propose. When every theory fails, what we will be left with is the genetic truth.

    As long as they leave white kids alone to excel, I say go for it.

  • Question Diversity

    I don’t get it. Were Federal wire and mail fraud statues repealed some time in the recent past when I wasn’t looking? Anyone else begging for and getting money based on this obvious snake oil would be chopping rocks for his Uncle Sam.

  • Sureesh

    There is only one school district in America where the ‘minorities’ do better than whites on standardized tests AND present fewer discipline problems than white students.

    It’s not about government programs- it’s about having the RIGHT non-whites- intelligent Asians-

    Here is a link about the school district where the minority-white gap is REVERSED-http://www.wsjclassroomedition.com/teen/teencenter/05nov_whiteflight.htm

  • WR the elder

    Who are the rich idiots who keep funding these programs in futility? Aside from Bill Gates, that is.

    Before he bothers with the study, let me give the results in a nutshell:

    1. On a small pilot study with the most highly motivated children and parents, and with highly motivated starry eyed teachers willing to work very long hours, Dr. Comer will achieve a significant improvement over the average inner city test scores. The gap with whites will be far from closed, however.

    2. When the program is expanded at great cost it will be found to be no better than the control group.

    3. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • Melissa

    Sureesh,

    I am a (white) seventh grade science teacher in a school that’s 90 percent white and 10 percent Asian and Indian. I want to say that the Asian and Indian kids are highly motivated and always at the top of my class. I have had ZERO discipline problems with them.

    The white kids range from studious to ‘I couldn’t care less’ but very few SERIOUS discipline problems with whites- just kids who talk in class, chew gum, and maybe have a little attitude.

    I have a friend who taught in an inner city majority Black school and she quit within a week after the physical and verbal abuse she endured from students- having chairs thrown at and being called white bitch.

    I say, bring on the Asians- it might finally cause liberals to wake up and realize that achievement is a mix of genetics and home environment and no amount of government money can be thrown to fix the gap between NAM and whites.

    I favor increasing immigration from India and China just so us teachers can get motivated and intelligent students from families who greatly value education.

  • Data

    “Who are the rich idiots who keep funding these programs in futility?”

    We are… they’re government grants. That’s the most insidious part about it. At least a rapist doesn’t make his victim pay for the privilege.

  • John Engelman

    7 — Melissa wrote at 9:24 PM on July 26: I have a friend who taught in an inner city majority Black school and she quit within a week after the physical and verbal abuse she endured from students- having chairs thrown at and being called white bitch.

  • Anonymous

    WR the elder wrote – Yeah, that’s right. Let me add a little bit: They may find that the improvements were due to cheating or gaming the system. The small select group who succeed in the pilot were a hand-picked group with the highest IQs. And as you say the conclusion will be the same, absolutely no improvement when the pilot is expanded, and wash-rinse-repeat. But there’s another step: after the expanded program fails they’ll get to bill MORE MONEY for ANOTHER STUDY to analyze what went wrong, and they’ll figure out that it was because of substitute teachers, unhealthy school lunches, desks too small / too big, teachers lacking enough training (ie, not enough $$$ spent on the diversity industry), teachers union pensions not big enough, or other such causes.

  • much squeezed turnip

    6 — WR the elder “Who are the rich idiots who keep funding these programs in futility?”

    I have to admit that I’m one of those who “keep funding these programs in futility”. But I’m hardly rich–I’m just another taxpayer, whose earnings are lavished on futile projects by politicians who should know better, but pretend not to.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s start calling it the intelligence gap.

  • Anonymoose

    #7 — Melissa wrote at 9:24 PM on July 26:

    Sureesh,

    I am a (white) seventh grade science teacher in a school that’s 90 percent white and 10 percent Asian and Indian. I want to say that the Asian and Indian kids are highly motivated and always at the top of my class. I have had ZERO discipline problems with them.

    The white kids range from studious to ‘I couldn’t care less’ but very few SERIOUS discipline problems with whites- just kids who talk in class, chew gum, and maybe have a little attitude.

    I have a friend who taught in an inner city majority Black school and she quit within a week after the physical and verbal abuse she endured from students ….

    _________________________________________________________

    There is another point to this story. What it shows is that much strong results could be achieved working with non-middle class whites and Asians. So why the exclusive focus on educationally disadvantaged non-Asian minorities?

    The possibility of identifying disadvantaged non-Asian minority students who have higher aptitude should not be overlooked. Nor do I think it is or should be legal to do so. There have been and will continue to be many success stories. Just don’t expect it to be the norm. For the rest, focus on literacy, general knowledge and basic math.

    I think the upper middle class just doesn’t want to suffer the intrusion of upwardly mobile individuals of their own color into their pampered, solipsistic world. Focusing on minorities both puts an inherent limit on the numbers and provides a basis, through incessant accusations of racism and imputations of mental and cultural inadequacy, for deprecating the fitness and capabilities of whites from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds.

    The reality is – exclusive of Jews, children of recent Eastern European immigrants and the hereditary upper middle class – the rest of the white population in America likely is seriously underrepresented in the elite universities and in graduate and professional education generally, and should be considered underdeveloped educationally. This is in spite of the likelihood that one would find many more capable aspirants and more individuals worthy of special admissions programs among this population than among non-Asian minorities. Nor should anyone fall for the idea that the declining percentage of whites in the total population means that whites in America are disappearing.

    Unlike what is happening in some parts of Europe, the white population in America is holding its own, perhaps even due to increase. The fact that large new populations are developing which were never here before is not an excuse for disregarding the educational needs of the white population in America.

    We have a misconception about the experience of different ethnic groups in North America. We believe that people come here, climb the ladder, get to the top and stay there. But actually, the people who have been here the longest, such as Natives, blacks, and Appalachian and backwoods whites, are among the worst off. Only those who make specifics arrangements to preserve their station over the generations — i.e. some elements of the white, upper middle class — have any certainty of surviving this process.

    We need outreach, perhaps tailored to the profile of each group, but not outreach restricted by color caste and linguistic culture and by the misrepresentations of disparate impact (affirmative action) demographics.

    By the way, don’t get the idea that I am deprecating Jews or Eastern Europeans. I am partially of European Jewish descent myself and qualify as partially of Eastern European descent as well. I only want to point out what regime most of the white population in America (including many people of Jewish and Eastern European ancestry, of course) lives under.

  • Sureesh

    Melissa,

    Thanks for the compliment. I am glad that you do realize that Indian immigrants are an asset rather than a hinderence. BTW- did your friend work for teach for America? Here is a horror story you might find interesting- http://www.ryanvanwagoner.com/teach-for-america-the-truth-behind-the-organization/

  • Irish

    Soon we’ll also erase the height gap between males and females, and Dinka and Pygmies.

  • Anonymous

    7 – Melissa

    “I favor increasing immigration from India and China just so us teachers can get motivated and intelligent students from families who greatly value education.”

    What would make you think something like this would be well-received here? Why do you think that importing those from the Indian subcontinent with the most Caucasian genetics along with the Jews of the Orient will improve this land?

    Immigration laws should not be structured to make your job easier. They should be structured to maintain the culture and traditions of the founding stock. YOUR job is to educate those children to the best of your ability.

    Trust me the liberals calling the shots understand it already. They don’t really buy in to the propaganda, they just push it because it means more power for them. That’s what it’s all about…power. If they really cared about the blacks they wouldn’t try and get them all on welfare. The Native American precedent existed for 100 years before the Great Society. It’s no secret that being on the dole destroys the fabric of a nation. But getting them there and keeping them there does guarantee votes for generations.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    His program also has been used in hundreds of schools in more than 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, England, and Ireland.

    Didn’t see any mention of the success or failure of this program that “has been used in hundreds of schools.” Do you think the government will allow a disinterested party to closely exam, evaluate and present the results of Mr. Comer’s program? Will Mr. Comer be held responsible if the program fails (as he should)? Will he be forced to give back the 15 million (as he should)?

    You see, the only way to end this madness is to institute every theory they propose. When every theory fails, what we will be left with is the genetic truth.

    This has already been done for 50 years and still the theories keep coming and coming and coming — they’ve run out of new theories to try so the old ones are repackaged and presented again. It’s a never ending cycle as long as nothing works — and it never will — and as long as large amounts of money are to be made and no one ever held responsible when the program inevitably fails.

    As long as they leave white kids alone to excel, I say go for it.

    White kids are not allowed to excel, unless their parents get them the hell out of the government schools and homeschool them (which White parents are increasingly doing, and bravo to them).

    Who are the rich idiots who keep funding these programs in futility?

    We are, the American taxpayers. These “private” grants inevitably are not enough and “public” funds will be tapped to pay for the inevitable shortcoming. If the program is widely adopted the costs will suddenly explode exponentially — with a lot of the money “disappeared”, never reaching its intended target (not that it would matter; no amount of money will close the achievement gap!).

    I say, bring on the Asians- it might finally cause liberals to wake up…

    I favor increasing immigration from India and China just so us (sic) teachers can get motivated and intelligent students from families who greatly value education.

    You are going to be race-replaced by Asians right out of your job — and your home and country too. They have no use for the likes of you.

    Count on it.

    Bon

  • Yorkshireman.

    This ‘schools development program’ is certainly not incorporated into the current UK schools curriculum and I can find no one at all who is involved in education in England who has ever heard of Dr James P Comer, his ‘Comer Process’ or his ‘Pulse Program’. There plenty of references to books written or co-authored by him but all appear to target black schools in USA. His claim to be involved in the English education system appears to be totally false. Quote “His program also has been used in hundreds of schools in more than 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, England, and Ireland.” unquote. I don’t know about Ireland as he does not specify if it is the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union, but the others would seem to be all ‘black’ countries. I suspect this is a front to sell books and if his face appears on the cover, it’s a sure bet that black schools will buy them.

  • Xman

    Melissa,

    You see, a large chunk of successful Indians in America are a small subset of the ethnic variety in India – mostly the upper castes, especially Brahmins. These are the descendants, mixed with locals, of the Aryans who invaded India.

    South-Indians, especially, emphasize on rote & aren’t very creative, lack knowledge of current affairs or anything beyond their text book basically. Most Indians coming to the US now a days are south-Indians, with a smaller % of the Indo-Aryan mix.

    I have always wondered what would be the color of crime in India. In my observation, since India doesn’t have US style statistics for crime, Aryan-Brahmins tend to form a small % of those who commit violent crimes, the darker races of India contribute more.

    With more Indians you’d get more of India through a lot of the above.

  • GreatLakesState

    Really now, Melissa. You want us to doctor immigration policy and further dilute our native white population … so you can feel good about yourself teaching 7th-grade science? How myopic can you get.

  • Yorkshireman.

    Melissa wrote at 9:24 PM on July 26:

    “.just so us teachers can get motivated and intelligent students.”

    Maybe us parents can get teachers who write English.

  • WASP

    I guess the good doctor had not heard that forced school bussing in the 1970s cured the achievement gap.

    This is more snake oil. He should be put in prison for fraud after he fails.

    Someone please send him a copy of “Race Evolution and Behavior”

  • sbuffalonative

    This is more snake oil. He should be put in prison for fraud after he fails.

    Someone please send him a copy of “Race Evolution and Behavior”

    And please send him a copy of this article:

    http://goo.gl/ee2Wj

    This has already been done for 50 years and still the theories keep coming and coming and coming — they’ve run out of new theories to try so the old ones are repackaged and presented again. It’s a never ending cycle as long as nothing works — and it never will — and as long as large amounts of money are to be made and no one ever held responsible when the program inevitably fails.

    White kids are not allowed to excel, unless their parents get them the hell out of the government schools and homeschool them (which White parents are increasingly doing, and bravo to them).

    That’s my point. The theories are endless. It’s just one new theory to replace the old theory which was perfect but for some reason didn’t pan out so it needs to be replace with a new theory. The theories are endless and they always fail and need to replaced with new ones. But some day, after every theory is tried, we will be left with the genetic truth. The FAILURE of every one of these initiatives is proof that we’re right.

    As for leaving white kids alone.

    This is another reason we should be pushing these programs. We should pat Mr. Comers on the head and tell him ‘he’s one of the good ones and a credit to his people’. As long as they’re targeting minorities, they will have less impact on white kids.

    Let them have their black enrichment programs, black learning style, black administrators AT BLACK SCHOOLS. Let them run their experiments AT BLACK SCHOOLS.

  • Say It!

    The close-the-gap industry is just a big scam industry.

    Of course if a state spends millions giving extra educational attention to any racial group in any set of schools then that group can be expected to improve relative to the other groups that don’t get that extra funding & attention. It proves nothing but the obvious. The comparison has to be made between whites (and East Asians) and the lower achieving minorities under the same program in order to judge it as a system for gap closure. Otherwise this program is just pro-minority racial discrimination at allocating education funding.

    Taxpayers are so easily scammed by the PhD educationists.

  • Middle American Jew

    Right. This will work. It might make more sense to burn the $15 million and use it to heat little Shaniqua’s school so she won’t be cold during the free breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    Honestly, this is such a waste of money it’s unconscionable.

    Take a look at the Yale guy’s photo. What a surprise. He should be prosecuted for fraud and theft now just to save time.

    The reason we as a nation are going down them tubes are that morons like the dimwits on the education board (I can imagine the IQ of that diverse group) simply handed over $15 million of white tax money after 30 minutes of listening to professor affirmative action babble for 30 minutes.

    We are so doomed.

    EVERYONE on this site can accurately predict the outcome of this intelligence gap fiasco.

    Why are we still wasting money on trying to alter hard-wired genetics?

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Let them have their black enrichment programs, black learning style, black administrators AT BLACK SCHOOLS. Let them run their experiments AT BLACK SCHOOLS.

    They ARE run at black schools! These billion dollar programs are specifically designed for and targeted AT blacks! — in name of “closing the achievement gap” or the all-purpose “social justice.”

    I have not once seen a program targeted to benefit White children. Not One. In fact, I don’t ever recall being in a teachers’ meeting or professional development where the educational needs of White children were even mentioned, let alone targeted for improvement. As far as the educational system, White children do not exist except for purposes of test comparison to blacks.

    Did I mention that these programs cost billions of dollars?

    My point is there will NEVER be an end point!! NEVER! (as these programs repeatedly fail, no one is ever held accountable and billions of YOUR dollars are wasted!!).

    We’re at the point now where the old, original programs from the 60s — ones that failed spectacularly — are being re-packed, recycled and re-presented to a new generation of educators as the “latest” breakthrough.

    I haven’t seen the details of Mr. Comer’s program but I’ll bet my paycheck what he’s promoting has been tried before, probably repeatedly, — and failed, like all of these programs do.

    But, that doesn’t stop the government from providing him with billions of dollars in funding (do not EVER believe the figures presented by the media, these boondoggles inevitably end up costing three or four times or more what was originally put forth).

    It is a travesty.

    Someone mentioned the old Language! program the other day. Ha! I had to laugh. I well remembered that old recycled pile of garbage! My district PAID for me and three other teachers to attend a five-day professional development at a very nice Hilton Hotel (local, not out of town). That means the district paid us PLUS subs for five days to attend training for a program that we knew immediately would never work at our school. A wonderful, full breakfast and lunch was offered every day, provided by the Hilton itself — PLUS I was paid a $300 stipend for attending!!

    A shot time later, about 10 boxes containing the Language! program arrived for me at my school –all of it was immediately relegated to a storage bin, none of the boxes were ever opened — the other teachers did same. Five years later, the district declared the program a disaster and unworkable (after how much $$ was spent???) — and recalled all components of the program. I dug the dust-covered boxes out and shipped them back to the district office — I heard from the inside that most of the textbooks, workbooks, et al. had either never been used or had “disappeared”– probably tossed.

    Insane? You bet. And, it happens all the time — I have attended a lot of similar teachers’ developments.

    I write about these things because the more that know the better — I want everyone to know just how much the educational system is ripping off White taxpayers.

    And,

    All the Best To You!

    Bon