UC Researchers Find Link Between Freshman Algebra, Murder Rate

Mike Flannery, My Fox Chicago, September 30, 2013

Could there be a link between 9th grade algebra and Chicago’s murder rate? Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab believe so. They say an intensive tutoring program for young black men could help many more graduate from high school and reduce the bloodshed.

When UC researchers looked at why a scandalous 56% of young African-American males drop out of Chicago’s Public Schools, they made a startling discovery. 9th grade algebra was the crucible. Those who passed usually got their high school diploma. Most young black men who flunked it ended up on the streets in a city where they comprise 80% of murder victims and offenders.


Too many at Englewood’s Harper High School arrive three, four or even five years behind grade-level. Some face unimaginable obstacles at home and on the street. Two years ago, 29 Harper students were shot off-campus, eight of them killed. First Lady Michelle Obama paid a personal visit as Harper became a national symbol of the murderous violence gripping a few Chicago neighborhoods. She and the President helped to mobilize resources.

One result was the Match tutoring program aimed at troubled young men. It’s run by a branch of the University of Chicago and was expanded last month to a total of 12 Chicago Public high schools. Working closely with a mentoring and sports program called BAM, Becoming a Man, the tutors achieved astounding results at Harper last year: student misconducts fell 67%, absenteeism fell 22% and academic course failures dropped 37%.


The daily, high-impact tutoring costs about $2,500 for each student, according to the researchers at the University of Chicago. They’re carefully measuring how well it really works. The study will take two years. Among preliminary findings: when compared to those not getting this special attention, the young men in Match tutoring are projected to have 50-60% fewer violent crime arrests.

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  • MekongDelta69

    Oh wait – Yet another ‘study’ (of endless studies) from the ‘esteemed halls of academe.’

    Another meaningless article to read skip…

    • Oil Can Harry

      The real solution to black crime is to teach these “youfs” algebra while they’re playing midinght basketball.

      • blight14

        Or pursuing their dreams of being an ‘aspiring rapper’………

    • LolKatzen

      Here’s another one

      Baby Talk Bonanza

      Children aren’t born smart. They’re made smart by conversation.

      Six years ago, Suskind noticed a disturbing trend among her patients at the University of Chicago Medicine: While children from affluent families were starting to speak after implant surgery, those from low-income families lagged behind.

      Why? The question ate at Suskind, who co-founded the hospital’s cochlear implant unit in 2006. She believes she discovered her answer in research by child psychologists Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley. Their landmark study in the 1990s found that a child born into poverty hears 30 million fewer words by age 3 than a child born to well-off parents, creating a gap in literacy preparation that has implications for a lifetime.

      At the “Slate” site.

      • leftists are delusional

        That explains why the poorest White kids from families that make less than $20k per year score on statistical par with the most affluent black kids from families with incomes $200K and up.
        Oh wait.

  • Extropico

    I have another solution. We could abolish algebra and assist with the self-esteem of everyone. A more confident country awaits us when we eradicate standards. Being in the First World is hard, Yo!

    • This whole bunk theory is engineered around the premise that high school diplomas solve everything. (Sure, because there are just a glut of jobs out there these days that only require a high school diploma.) Well, if that’s the case, why not just give high school diplomas away as a birthday present when you turn 18? That should make everything better.

  • WmarkW

    OK, so we need a ninth grade algebra class that anyone can pass.

    • That’s on the way. Except the class will be called “Algebra,” everyone will pass it, but the course work will only be arithmetic. Course title inflation is the fancy name for that sort of thing.

    • Brian

      Did you hear about the math teacher who was caught with a protractor and slide rule and arrested for terrorism? He was a member of Al-Gebra, possessing weapons of math instruction.

  • John Ulfsson

    More liberals that don’t get the chicken and the egg scenario with race.

    These students don’t stay out of crime because they were good at algebra, the fact that they were good at algebra meant they were already smart enough to stay out of crime.

    It’s like they have the mind of children to seriously think and put into action this plan, as if algebra tutoring is the cause and not just indicative of what’s already there.

    Mind you this is coming from the people who scream and whine “correlation is not causation!” when you show them study after study and data set after data set reflecting lower black test scores in all areas even when socio-economic status is controlled for.

    • Rhialto

      You make a good (and often made) point. A more interesting experiment would be vocational training beginning at the 9th grade. These skills that they learn, would give them the capability to earn a good wage when they graduate. Combine this with an economic system that would supply jobs for them, if and only if they showed a good work ethic.

      This was, to a good extent, the situation before 1955.

    • Rosenmops

      They can tutor the dumb, shiftless students in algebra ’til the cows come home. It won’t help any more than putting short kids in basketball will make them tall.

    • 1stworlder

      But they can fake test scores like the 137 Atlanta teachers.

  • Erasmus

    Know what we should be doing?

    Ending EITC. It’s bullshi’ite to continue to reward baby mommies to keep popping out little bastards who’ll be nothing but parasites on society?

  • Luca

    Social engineering combined with the academic mafia. They want yet another program and another barrel of money so they can administer hard-core tutoring, teaching, mentoring, counseling and basically baby-sitting blacks who have neither the capacity, desire or self-control to do it themselves, nor do they have role models or parents willing to contribute.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about more money for more teachers, and more programs that will not have a lasting effect. Half these kids in this program will become street or prison statistics anyway, costing us yet more tax dollars.

    • Erasmus

      Black culture is intrinsically dysfunctional. Listen to almost any piece of jazz: It’s nothing but “po’ me, da’ beetch done do me wrong, so’s now’s I’s goin’ ta git drunk and behave lik a shiftless n*****, oh po’ me!”

      With s**t like that being passed off as culture, don’t be surprised when even the best of your people turns out to be lazy and irresponsible.

      Can you imagine a European or an Asian whining like that and being patted on the back by his peers for doing so? No way. Instead, his friends would say, “Grow a pair. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Put away the liquor and get to work!”

      • Spartacus

        Hey ! Don’t belittle booze just because some groids drink it too !

  • Wasting time. Wasting money. They are janitors.

  • MekongDelta69

    To give a little twist to what I said yesterday:

    “If x = 2 and y = 3; and x + y = z; what does z equal D’Ontavious?”


    “No D’Ontavious. Try again dear.”


    “VERY GOOD D’Ontavious. You get an A. And, as a bonus, you may get to live one more year and get greased when you’re 19, instead of 18. I’m sooooo proud of my lil’ genius.”

    *Feminazi, gushing leftist thinks to herself: “Gosh, I’m such a good and moral, multicultural, liberal. I think I’ll have a Chardonnay and Brie with my equally, morally superior liberal friends tonight.”*

    • I cracked up ont this:

      I think I’ll have a Chardonnay and Brie with my equally, morally superior liberal friends tonight.”

    • Andy

      What is the significance of Chardonnay and Brie?

      • LMAO!

        • Andy

          No, I really don’t get it… I don’t drink, maybe that’s why. But I never understood the punch-by-the-cheerios thing either.

          • GeneticsareDestiny

            I think it’s just that it sounds like something rich white liberals would enjoy. They’d think it makes them sophisticated because it sounds sophisticated.

          • Andy


          • WhiteGuyInJapan

            Hence the expression “wine and cheese liberals”.
            By the way, chardonnay is so 90s. Keep up. guys!

      • Brie is very good when slightly baked – or at least allowed to soften at room temperature – and then eaten with hors des ouvre.. I like a dry white wine with Brie, and I only really like Chablis – a variety of Chardonnay – with shellfish, as the taste of the wine doesn’t hide the taste of the food. Sauvignons are my favorites among white wines, as they’re quite dry.

        I suspect the negative connotation you would like is “liberal yuppies”. I am neither, but merely a “foodie”. I spent too much time eating the swill the prison chow hall dished out to waste the rest of my life on similar garbage.

  • ncpride

    Eureka! This is IT, folks! They have finally figured out what causes black males to murder so often. If only they could understand Algebra, it’ll all go away! Now, I know what you’re thinking ( this is ridiculous) but really…. just give them millions more dollars, and they’ll show you their impressive results in two YEARS!

    How much you want to bet we’ll never hear another word about this, because we all know it’s an utter waste of time and doomed to failure?

  • Puggg

    But are they any better at learning algebra?

    What about all the white people who don’t get algebra? Do they run out and shoot each other?

    • MekongDelta69

      What about all the white people who don’t get algebra? Do they run out and shoot each other?

      Au contraire, mon ami.

      Didn’t you see the gang war that erupted between the Mormon Fathers, the Amish Leaders, the Orthodox Rabbis, the Catholic Archbishops, the Protestant Ministers and the Buddhist Monks?

      God – I’m telling you, it was a helluva fight. Switchblades, car aerials, brass knuckles, chains, garbage can lids, stilettos, zip guns, you name it.

      What a zoo. I’ll see if I can find it for you on YouTube.
      It was a virtual West Side Story, I tell ya.

      When you’re a Jet,
      You’re a Jet all the way
      From your first cigarette
      To your last dyin’ day.

      • Puggg

        Oh yeah I remember that one, it was the quadratic qurazy qurew versus the graphing equation gang. Those fights between the people who got D- in Algebra and those who got F in algebra are the stuff of legends.

  • Since algebra reduces violent fatalities, perhaps armed forces personnel should receive additional instruction. According to libtard “logic”, it will help protect them from IEDs.

  • Andy

    Apparently the University of Chicago needs a review on the difference between correlation and causation.

    As for that guy in the video… “It’s also common sense if you spend a couple of million dollars you’ll get better outcomes”? What a DUNCE. Has he looked at school spending rates compared to test scores over the past half a century?

  • ozamataz

    Could it be that basic algebra so confuses bellcurvious as to partially immobilize it, therefore lowering the murder rate?

  • Lewis33

    The screen still shot says it all…oblivious young white female teachers trying to pound something into thick skulls. While the thick skulls stare at their ta-ta’s or sleep! Hilarious!
    And look in the background above the chalkboard…”My humanity is tied to yours.” total gibberish that means nothing but sure feels all warm and fuzzy!

  • Oh for God’s sake.

    Algebra as the cause of violent crime?

    When will it get so ridiculous, this excuse making and silly causation-making, that it’s going to be obvious to everyone what the truth is?

    And I know the answer to my own question: Never. Not as long as the powers that be are thrown in with the cult of racial equality. What have I been saying about ideological cultists? That they’ll never blame their pet ideology and theories for anything that goes wrong, that they’ll blame the lack of their ideology for some external factor for a problem which most sane people would come to the taboo conclusion in one second. The lame explanations will only continue and get lamer by the go-around.

  • Andy

    Those do not look like ninth graders.

    • Those are Chicago ninth graders, which means they are probably 18.

    • 1stworlder

      I guess you missed when an 11yo girl got gang raped by 28 blacks in Houston and before the races got revieled by black panther leader Quandell x they pointed out that the 11yo was raped by 15+year olds from in her same grade.

      • I saw it. Just another day of crying.

  • JohnEngelman

    It may be that those with the IQ power to learn ninth grade algebra are less prone to kill people. Has anyone thought of that?

    • MBlanc46

      That’s very likely true, John, but there’s also the low-impulse-control factor. A lot of the shootings occur not because the shooter is stupid, but because he just can’t control himself.

      • JohnEngelman

        High black crime rates are caused partially by low intelligence, partially by high testosterone, and partially by genetic factors that have not been discovered yet. White racism is the effect, rather than the cause, of high black crime rates.

        • MBlanc46

          I’m in pretty full accord with that, except that I wouldn’t call white reaction to black violence “racism”. It’s a rational response to a real threat.

          • JohnEngelman

            What is called “racism” is frequently “a rational response to a real threat.”

          • MBlanc46

            I assumed you were implying the scare quotes. I just wanted to make it explicit.

      • Luca

        I would also add ghetto culture as a factor. There are many low IQ people who may even have low impulse control, but with a proper culture of hard work, self sufficiency, respect for authority, discipline and personal responsibility they can achieve a lot.

        Culture is taught through a well rounded family life. In the ghetto, the nuclear family has been discouraged.

        • MBlanc46

          I’m sure that there’s something to what you say. The black middle class pretty much attests to that. But I am skeptical regarding the percentage of the black population that is capable of that amount of self-control. I fear that a significant proportion of them will always need external control in order to be productive and non-violent.

  • MBlanc46

    From the picture, apparently the message is if you bring in the white wimmens as tutors, the young bloods skip school less and behave better.

    • Bossman

      Yeah, it could be what’s going on between their legs is more important to them than what’s going on in their brains.

      • MBlanc46

        I would think that’s pretty much always the case.

  • I watched the video. The tutor was trying to show the student how to expand (2x+2)(3x+2). If he learns how to do it, I’m sure he’ll be well on his way to a crime free life.

    6x^2+10x+4, I didn’t even need to move anything other than my eyes to do it.

    • 1stworlder

      if you where black counting to 6 would mean you couldn’t hold anything in either hand.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    I literally burst out laughing when I read this headline. It just keeps getting better.

    • John Ulfsson

      The straws to grasp are getting increasingly few and far between, aren’t they?

  • The alchemists couldn’t turn base metals into gold, but they made many far-reaching discoveries in their exertions.

    The effort of these liberals will accomplish jack-squat.


    • John Ulfsson

      Also, what does alchemists messing around with metals harm? Not much. These liberals, however, are holding Western Civilization hostage with this.

    • One of those alchemists, named Hennig Brand was the first to isolate elemental phosphorus, in 1669.

  • What an embarrassing charade for everyone involved.
    Stay in your lane:

    K = FC^2

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Solve for ‘n.’

  • Yale2001

    I don’t know if it will decrease the black murder rates, but will probably increase white suicide rates (for those forced to try and teach these kids algebra).

  • cablegirls

    I read the study abstract published by University of Chicago. The educational gains persist past the program year. The crime/violence benefit doesn’t stick; participants return to the norm after the program year.

  • newscomments70

    If we sterlized criminals and welfare recipients, that would solve part of the problem…eventually all of it.

  • Reverend Bacon

    Let N be the number of blacks in your school. All other things equal, the quality of the school Q can be expressed as a number between 0 and 100%, where 100% is best. Thus,

    Q = 1/(N+1).

    How can school quality be improved? What is the quality-optimizing value of “N”?

  • Reverend Bacon

    Of course, the study is both clearly true and clearly meaningless. Here’s a similar truism: children with blonde hair and blue eyes are more likely to stay in school than those with black hair and black eyes. This doesn’t mean that giving them blue contacts and a bottle of peroxide will solve anything.

    Those who do well in algebra are probably 2- or 3- sigma blacks. They are in the less-than-5-percent of blacks whose intelligence is significantly above normal. That’s probably also well-correlated with lower aggression and lower violence, and larger cerebral cortices.

    Trying to force the other 95% to regurgitate basic formulae and thus pass Algebra I is, as Heinlein said, “a waste of time, and annoying to the pig.”

  • Brian

    Oh, they are so close. And yet failing still to see cause instead of mere correlation.

  • Brian

    I have had cheese grits with caviar on top. Snob-billy cuisine.

  • Brian

    I’m sure Quadraticus and FOILesha will be popular baby names in da hood any day now.

  • Brian

    It does make sense. As we know, the 100% black Egyptians invented algebra and the Arabs stole it from them, making the Egyptians all forget it.

  • MBlanc46

    Heaven forbid that I should suggest that there’s a genetic factor in the gender difference in math. It’s really not relevant here, fortunately, because even my self-described math-phobic wife is streets ahead of the average Chicago male Negro high school student.

  • MBlanc46

    That and higher testosterone levels and hypermasculinity,