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Taking Progress out of Progressive

Taking Progress out of Progressive

This has got to be the worst, most misguided initiative since Jim Crow—and if you’re a eugenicist, a Klansman, or just a garden-variety bigot, you’re popping champagne corks.

The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for students in math and reading based upon their race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

Consider this reasoning:

“It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences.”

Oh, wait.  That’s not the Florida Board of Education’s reasoning.  That was the conclusion of social scientist Charles Murray and psychologist Richard Herrnstein in their 1994 book The Bell Curve, and the anguished outcry over their research led to, among other things, investigations into the background of the authors and accusations that they were fronts for racist groups with ill intentions.  Here’s more from the Wikipedia entry:

In his book The Bell Curve Wars: Race, Intelligence, and the Future of America, Steven Fraser writes that “by scrutinizing the footnotes and bibliography in The Bell Curve, readers can more easily recognize the project for what it is: a chilly synthesis of the work of disreputable race theorists and eccentric eugenicists“.

Since the book provided statistical data supporting the assertion that blacks were, on average, less intelligent than whites, some people have feared that The Bell Curve could be used by extremists to justify genocide and hate crimes.[33][34] Much of the work referenced by the Bell Curve was funded by the Pioneer Fund, which aims to advance the scientific study of heredity and human differences, and has been accused of promoting scientific racism.

Welcome home to the roost, chickens.

Alas, what they’ve come home from is not The Bell Curve but affirmative action—that well-intentioned but insidiously corrosive and divisive program (that Martin Luther King would have opposed).  The moment you begin assigning performance expectations based on race, the slope doesn’t have to be slippery to drop off into the gutter.

Hey, here’s a progressive idea.  Why don’t we expect 100 percent of all students to read and compute at grade level? Sure, we’ll fall short.  But the number of kids who succeed will certainly be far higher than the target goals, if only because certain kids won’t be burdened with the stigma of knowing that less is demanded of them.

In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education established that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”  Well, so are separate educational expectations.


Even as social scientists have transformed our understanding of affirmative action, universities don’t seem to be paying attention. Consider the University of California system, which since 1998 has been legally precluded (by Proposition 209) from considering race in admissions. Throughout the past 15 years—most recently in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court—university officials have denounced race neutrality and pointed to the substantial drop in freshman black and Hispanic students at the system’s two flagship schools, Berkeley and UCLA.

Yet race-neutrality has produced stunning benefits for minorities in the UC system as a whole, as shown in a data set that economists obtained from UC administrators. Black, American-Indian and Hispanic students made up 26% of all U.C. freshmen in 2010, up from 16% in 1997; the number of B.A.s earned by black and Hispanic students in four years rose 55% between 1995-97 and 2001-03, while the number with GPAs above 3.5 rose 63%.


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“All men (and women) are created equal”……..Whatever happened to that document? OTOH, remember when California wanted to teach blacks Ebonics. That failed just as this one will fail. The public is not stupid and hate to lower expectations for any group. This would mean that an Asian with a 4.0 average is on the same page as a black with a 2.5 average in real time. Is this just another way to get around affirmative action?

Unfortunate for the board, blacks will never acheive this 74%. Sorry to say that fellow students will stop any black from succeeding by intimidation and disruption or teacher abuse.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to BarbaraS. | October 14, 2012 at 11:23 am

    There are also these factors: family stability and expectations. The black community’s chickens are coming home to roost vis a vis high rate of out of wedlock birth, low rate of marriage, poor social stability. These are the things the Asians have going for them.

    Plus, as BarbaraS said, the crab in the barrel attitude ensures low achievement. You do pay a price when you believe that to be educated is to act white. and ‘keeping it real’ and being black means to be ignorant as hell. The pre-Civil Rights Act blacks are rolling in their graves, the ones who are there, that is. Thomas Sowell is pre-CRA.

    Another factor reading material in the home, the absence of sometimes both the home and such material. Or, if there is any, all the material is restricted to the black experience. Well, honey, the world doesn’t revolve around you. Broaden your horizons and discover what Thomas Sowell did in Race and Culture.

    So, to all those folks who want to keep it real dumb, go on ahead and watch your kids continue to fall behind everybody.

Consider the first principles of the Founders, one of which was that people were smart enough…and had the inherent right…to govern themselves.

That was not limited to people of British extraction.

And it was not naive WRT whether EVERYBODY was smart enough to govern themselves, or to make sound choices. The Founders knew that people who were free WOULD make bad choices…and they would have to learn from them.

Pres. Bumps just a matter of days ago imposed…by diktat…a race-based discipline schema on American K-12 public schools.

Now this.

Does anyone wonder why I say the Collective is the reaction to the Revolution (which was the expression of The Enlightenment)?

This is indicative not only of rank bigotry, but also the other part of progressive thought. Our schools suck, but it’s not the teachers faults, it’s the standards fault. Lower ’em, problem solved. No need for education reform, kids now meet the rock bottom standard. No need to fire half the union, nothing to see here, move along…

Didn’t ANYONE at that Fla Board meeting ask if this really was a good idea?

Will there really be parents who will think this is ok?

One of the objections to the The Bell Curve, apparently made by there reviewers since the authors briefly discuss in the conclusion, but also made elsewhere, is that the book would provide a justification for affirmative action, if this data is correct the only way to provide statistical equality between groups would be some sort of formal or informal quota system, that is affirmative action forever.

There response was
1) Data is data and should not be adjusted for political reasons.
2) There is a vast spread of different IQ in each group and making policy on the average score of each group would be unjust to the vast majority of members of both groups. But if everyone is treated as an individual rather than a group member then most will end up at the level where they can function successfully and have a reasonably happy life.

Another point they repeatedly make is that being average or even below average is well above the level that could be considered stupid (unable to function). The assumption of many people with some education that “average = stupid” is unsupportable.

Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

I disagree with a lot of the OP. I suppose from a PR standpoint, setting different percentage goals based on race is stupid. And I really hate the idea of government at any level sorting people by race. However, Professor J. omits an important piece of context here, which is that if you look at how kids of different racial groups are actually performing in terms of reading, etc., you’ll find that there are already, empirically, vast disparities from group to group. So while the OP makes it sound like the board is trying to institutionalize educational inequality, in fairness, I think the board is probably just trying to DEAL WITH and hopefully work toward reducing the inequality in achievement that already exists.

Again, I’d be thrilled if the govt got out of the race business completely. I’m just saying that if it’s a legitimate govt concern that racial Group A is lagging Group B in reading skills, then setting goals that take into account each respective group’s current level of educational achievement isn’t all that crazy.

Second, I don’t get why Prof. J. immediately leaps into a discussion of possible genetic differences when, according to him, “[t]hat’s not the Florida Board of Education’s reasoning.” I don’t even know of the Board gave any thought at all to what might explain racial disparities in educational achievement, but obviously there are a lot of theories about this that have nothing to do with genetics (e.g., disproportionate incidence of single-parent families amongst black students). If the Board WASN’T basing its goals on the belief that genetics plays a role in race differences, why is this suddenly an occasion to disparage that kind of thinking?

Finally, IMO, if govt at all levels is going to be in the race business, then it should at least try to conduct that business in a rational way. It is POSSIBLE that there are reasons — I mentioned one above: single-parenthood — that black kids (in the aggregate) simply won’t be able to perform at the level of white kids (in the aggregate) based on conditions that the schools are simply in no position to control. If that’s true, then having educational policies and priorities that ASSUME equal outcomes across the board are achieveable is simply madness. It just results in lowering of standards for everyone, pouring money down the drain on programs that don’t work (e.g., Headstart), and more and more outlandish allegations of discrimination that only pull the country further apart.

    Pasturized in reply to Conrad. | October 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    If the rationale was based on a combination of nonracial factors, then the targets should have been expressed in terms of those factors (ie. 2 parent upper income family 92%, 1 parent upper income family 84%, etc). That is not how the targets are expressed, so it is entirely appropriate to assume that the Board expressed the targets in terms of the factors in which they wished to emphasize. Don’t blame Professor Jacobson for taking them at their word. Blame them for expressing it in that fashion.

      DemNoMore in reply to Pasturized. | October 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Since this item was posted by Joel Engel, not Professor Jacobson, you and Conrad each get an extremely low grade in reading comprehension.

“The soft bigotry of low expectations.” Probably the best quote that ever came out of Pres. Bush II’s mouth.

I used to work in the medical field. We were discussing the new docs coming into our residency program. Someone said something about affirmative action in medical school and was roundly chastised for even thinking about that. I said, “So, you’re going in for brain surgery (in those days a very risky proposition) and one of your docs “may” have been the recipient of affirmative action. What would you do?” End of conversation.

So, these days I guess it would apply to some women, too? Like those who “check the box?”

Similar or ________? (fill in the blank add you own blank(s), if you choose.

The above is what John Derbyshire, got canned from NRO.

Saw this headline this morning from Rick Moran at PjTatler: Florida Board of Education Thinks Blacks are Dumber than Whites

That’s the way this racism should be called out – say the truth. Using skin color to determine whether or not to put the energy into educating a child?! Shame on the state of Florida.

If you keep lowering expectations then the bell curve is changed into a downward slope along which mankind devolves back to animal and eventually flat lines at monkey see, monkey do.

That’s Progressivism for you – push the button and the banana comes out.

This is just another liberal excuse for failing to perform.

It is also a prime example of the intended dumbing down of America and is a further advancement of affirmative action and its consequences.

I would point out that it also indicates a breakdown of traditional family values to the point that our institutions of learning have become repositories for babysitting and liberal democrat indoctrination.

It’s gonna be hard to “reset” forty years of affirmative action…

Well, at least it’s not institutional racism….that would be really bad.

the stigma of knowing that less is demanded of them.

Yes … it singles out blacks for no reason but politics. It imposes on these students, not just the stigma, but a false rationale for underperformance. If a student struggles with a math problem, he works through it if encouraged, but not if told “it’s OK, you’re black, we educators understand”. The stigma is bad, but the ingrained racist rationale is worse.

Obama grinned and jumped the racist white shark. He may at last unite us, if only by demonstrating how destructive the “race card” can be.

Our or any society is set up to reward those who advance the goals of that society. If your actions or inclinations lay outside that reality you will have a tough go of it. A big part of the reason blacks are so attached to the dem party and its goal of an expansive state is because they get a disproportionate payoff for doing so. In govt its not so much competance as it is growing the Societal Governmental Order. Hence percentages and quotas. As their support for State is higher , their quota is more.

My daughter is half “White” & half “Asian.” But at almost 4 months, she looks more white. How will she ever deal with these standards imposed on her?

LukeHandCool, how do i deal with this?? Help me, PLEASE!!!

    LukeHandCool in reply to quiksilverz24. | October 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Haha quiksilerz24,

    My wife’s mission in life has become to ensure our children all become successful (which is quite astonishing if you were to see her before we were married).

    So, I leave it up to her. My job is to provide balance. I constantly tease and joke with them, to make sure they grow up with a wicked sense of humor and the good sense never, never, never to take race or any other group identification seriously.

    It’s one thing to be aware of your heritage for strictly fun trivia purposes … but never, ever let it define you.

Pat Moynihan saw this all coming when he tried to warn about the myriad consequences of governmental good intentions unwittingly encouraging the disintegration of the black family (with white family trendlines not nearly as steep but heading in the same direction).

His daughter later recalled seeing her father weeping in the kitchen, devastated at being publicly attacked as a racist for warning that big government good intentions might soon and easily accomplish what no hate group ever could.

I think the answers are very simple, but the solution seems almost impossible at this point in time because of the magnitude of the problem.

It starts and ends with family. As George Will has said, (I don’t know if it is original with him), the leading factors are: whether or not there are two parents in the home; the quantity and quality of reading material in the home; the limitation of time allowed watching TV (and I would guess, time spent with other razzle-dazzle modern electronic entertainment devices); time spent on homework.

Now, of course, this is just a rough guide pointing the way to success. Two parents who stress the importance of education constantly and who demand excellence will likely see better results than two parents who are in the home but who don’t highlight education.

My Japanese wife came from a working-class (I’d say bordering on poor) family. When we were newly married and living in Japan, I quizzed her about why her mother didn’t push her little brother to succeed academically. It puzzled me that in a country where the average mother’s job was to push her children academically (often to extremes … they’re called “kyooiku Mamas,” “Education Moms”) my wife’s mom let the children play and goof off on what seemed to be American-style levels. My wife said that her funny, big-hearted mom came from the countryside and, even though now living in the big city, was still and always would be, a country bumpkin who thought the most important thing in life for her children was to enjoy their childhood.

Well, yeah, my wife and her siblings did get to enjoy their childhoods and teen years much more than their peers, I’d say. But as I predicted, it would come back to haunt my wife’s little brother as an adult … and it has.

Of course, although having grown up a slacker herself, my wife was cognizant of the culture of academic success that surrounded her, much as I (also an academic slacker as a kid … I always did very well in school, but would only exert the minimum effort) was influenced largely by the Jewish kids around me growing up and their families’ insistence on achievement.

Now my wife, with our children, has become quite the “Kyooiku Mama” herself. Not as extreme as many of them. But a huge change from her own mother. It’s not only what she observed in Japan, but what she observes of the ways of very successful people (largely Jewish) in the area we live.

My wife was laughing while telling me a story recently about driving our son and his friends to their lacrosse practice. His three friends, all Jewish, are the sons and grandsons of a Las Vegas casino magnate, a TV producer, and a sporting goods manufacturing company owner.

Our son, a straight-A student, yet to get a single “B” in middle school, gets better grades than these boys. But, as my wife said, “Oh my God” (can those boys talk and debate). She marvelled at their verbal abilities while driving them to and from practice. She thought it was funny, but a bit sad, that our shy son couldn’t keep up with them. He’s very good with the written word, but often completely lost when it comes to the spoken word.

I told my wife that that was great because some of that will rub off on him and he’ll learn that he has to find a way to improve his speaking abilities if he wants his voice heard in the future.

My wife’s new idea? Our daughter’s boyfriend at USC is from Utah and was a state champion in debate in high school. My wife wants to hire him as a tutor and get our son into debate.

She’s turning into something of a monster. But I guess that is better than becoming a grievance-monger blaming your lack of success on groups striving to succeed.

Average and underperforming black students often jealously accuse serious, successful black students of “acting white.”

Hah! Better they try to “act Jewish and Asian.”

LkeHandCool (who couldn’t get to sleep last night and who is now so drowsy, he hopes he made at least a little bit of sense)

    What doesn’t break you makes you stronger. Unfortunately, many people prefer and are encouraged to remain at a lower energy state.

    Valerie in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I suspect that if you could be a fly on the wall, you’d find that the fathers of those talkative boys are very generous, but they force the kids to negotiate with them for their goodies.

    It goes like this: first you either tell them no, or ask them why you should do this. Then, if they give you good enough reasons, you let them persuade you. This is not the same thing as “giving in,” although you will use that phrase. It is teaching.

    For example, you don’t “give in” to whining, lying, storming and stomping. You do give in to the argument that this is a good product at a good price, and to top it off, they’ll keep the pieces off the floor.

    Season 5, No. 25 of Deep Space Nine “In the Cards” has a charming description of the general idea, although the kids do not negotiate with anybody’s father.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Valerie. | October 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Yep. You’re so right, in my opinion.

      Growing up, I was flabbergasted to see my Jewish friends’ fathers play with them and talk to them as if my friends’ opinions mattered.

      That was so alien to me. The only time I can remember my father doing something vaguely resembling playing with me, was when I was throwing the football in our front yard with a friend one day. My dad stepped out the front door to go somewhere and an errant pass saw the football land near him. I was expecting him to flash his violent temper and yell at me to be careful of the windows, but, instead, to my amazement, he picked the ball up and punted it to me.

      I remember standing there thinking, “Wow. Dad kinda played with me.”

      That’s how stark was the contrast!

      Have a conversation with my dad and expect him to be interested in, let alone value, my opinion? Haha!

      LukeHandCool (who’s ability to come anywhere near his innate capacities was doomed from the start)

If they had any integrity, their effort would focus on determining the causal factors which distinguish between individual success and failure. Their obsession with incidentals, while profitable, is counterproductive and ensures the perpetuation of prejudice and progressive (i.e. cultural) corruption.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to n.n. | October 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Hogwash! We’ve wasted hundreds of billions, if not trillions, trying to educate blacks as a group. Are there some success stories? Sure, but so few that the cost per each is well into the millions.

    We don’t need anymore expensive research and analysis to figure out that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Blacks, as a group, are not as intelligent as other races. They just aren’t. No amount of money and no amount of time is ever going to change that. Beyond that, most don’t want to learn. They don’t have to because there will always be white people around to do the inventing of cool stuff and to pay for it for them. That much they have learned. Meanwhile, they’re an albatross around the necks of the kids who do want to learn and succeed because the pace has to be slowed and the materials and standards have to be dumbed WAY down in order to get the blacks over the finish line.

      That bigot has just GOT to shine through!

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Ragspierre. | October 15, 2012 at 2:09 am

        You may not like it, but it’s the truth. By and large, in terms of numbers, blacks are less intelligent, less cooperative, more shortsighted, more violent and more impulse-driven than members of other races. All of them? No, of course not. But a preponderance of them? Yep.

        Now go bury your head in the sand again, only instead of sniveling to yourself about poor little Trayvon, contemplate why you’re so racially sensitive.

        When you’re finished, give us a treatise on why there are so crushingly few (nearly non-existent) black engineers.

          “Now go bury your head in the sand again, only instead of sniveling to yourself about poor little Trayvon, contemplate why you’re so racially sensitive.”

          Funny! One of us is racially “sensitive”, and that would be you, the obvious and demonstrated racial bigot.

          Oh, and you are grossly ignorant, as well…

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | October 15, 2012 at 10:41 am

          A collge organization of wannabes or callmethats does not an engineer make. It’s just another self-segregating, all-black college organization no different than the black dancers club or the black choral club or the black bug-swatting club.

          Tell me why there are so few, if any, black engneers. For your edification, that would be licensed, certified, practicing engineers – not the college wannabes or a black child with a box of building blocks and an erector set.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | October 15, 2012 at 10:50 am

          By the way, it is you who has demonstrated gross ignorance by putting up yet another silly black-only college organization as proof that blacks are well-represented in the profession of professional engneering.

          How’s that black rocket scientist organization working out?

          How’s that remedial algebra working out?

          How’s that 94% black voting bloc working out?

          Check you StormFront sources, and get back with some links proving you racist assertions WRT black engineers.

          Because, see, there ARE black engineers, physicians, attorneys, mathematicians, chemists, etc. Not a few. Many.

          Not to mention very competent black aviators and others in our military. I’ve known them. I was trained by some of them.

          “When you’re finished, give us a treatise on why there are so crushingly few (nearly non-existent) black engineers.”

          ONE organization with 33,000 members. Non-existent???

          And that is ONE organization with a fairly political bent. How many black engineers do not belong?

          THAT is a statistical summary you might want to peruse to dispel you frightful ignorance and bigotry. Those are graduate students, BTW.

          It is important to identify bigoted commenters like you on any conservative blog, and to call them out. Just like it is important to identify bigots at a TEA Party rally, and assure they are shown to be unrepresentative of the rest of us.

      Actually, the studies have already been completed, over many generations. We know what principles and behaviors engender positive outcomes. We also know that every individual has different potentials and different interests. It is imperative to recognize that as individuals we do not all share the same dream. This diversity is not strictly correlated with incidental features. However, conformity is often enforced within a group of like-minded individuals, and others who profit from its preservation and perpetuation. This is only a problem when their conception engenders a dysfunctional outcome, which has become obviously the case in the diversity manifested within our society.

      This clown hasn’t been banned yet? Seriously…

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to WarEagle82. | October 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm


        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to WarEagle82. | October 15, 2012 at 2:15 am

        You’ve clearly been drinking the “guilty white American” Kool-aid from the politically correct multiculturism pitcher sitting on the diversity indoctrination table so long you wouldn’t recognize epic failure if it walked up and ID’d itself, which it has.

          Not a lot of surplus guilt here.

          I just recognize blatant racism when I see it.

          You are a racist, plain and simple.

          The Klan must be so proud of you…

          Wow. Red-lined the cliche meter on that attack.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | October 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

          Calling somebody a name, such as “racist”, for speaking the truth just further solidifies that you are an indoctrinated child of the left unable to observe the obvious and think your way out of a wet paper bag.

          You really have no clue what you’re talking about – just typical indoctrinated, knee-jerk jaw-banging.

          Call me all the names you want. I couldn’t care less, and it will never change the truth of what I say.

          You repeatedly express blatantly racist views. If you hold racist views, and advocate racist positions, how can you be anything but a racist? I think you done thunk yourself into corner, sport. Maybe you should turn around that white sheet you wear so the eye holes are in front…

          As far as “no clue” you seem to own that dubious superlative.

          Your vile, racist beliefs are so 19th century. Go back to your Klan rally where you belong and leave civilization to the civilized.

The data in The Bell Curve was 180 degrees off the thesis. That is, the data in The Bell Curve DISPROVED the thesis.

The thesis was, essentially, that an allegedly persistent 15-point difference in collective IQ scores “proved” that blacks are less academically talented than everybody else. The IQ test scores, however, had varying MARGINS OF ERROR, the least of which was plus or minus 10 points. That is, for those IQ tests with the least margin of error, two IQ scores within 20 points of one another were THE SAME.

When the difference between two readings is LESS than the MARGIN of ERROR, the readings are THE SAME.

It doesn’t matter how many tests you run. It doesn’t matter if you aggregate them. A 15 point difference is less than 20 points, and so the test scores are THE SAME.

How the h3ll Harvard managed to find and hire two professors so lacking in knowledge of the fundamentals of experimental statistics was a mystery to me, at the time. This is freshman level chemistry and sophomore level biology. Now I know. They were busy making hiring decisions based on something entirely separate from academic hygiene.

JackRussellTerrierist | October 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

The truth is, like it or not, that blacks are very poor academic performers. As such, they are an undertow on the process of education. You either lower the standards for them or you segregate them. If you don’t, you get what we’ve had ever since Brown came into full bloom: kids of all other races being bogged down and under-achieving because of lowered standards, eased curricula and behavioral standards.

It looks to me like what FL is saying is, “Okay, Dontavius, you don’t want to learn? You don’t want to keep up with the class? Well, then, instead of the lesson coming to a screeching halt because you (Dontavius) don’t want to learn/behave/shut up and sit down/cooperate/pay attention/try or simply don’t have the mental firepower to comprehend what everybody else can, we no longer have to waste, and I mean WASTE, time on you because we can pass you through at a lower score so we can maintain the faster speed and higher standards established for the rest of the class.”

My husband just retired from public school teaching in CA. One of the final straws was a memo that came down from the superintendent’s office stating that no black kids will be suspended for anything.

I wouldn’t be too quick to jump on FL for trying to salvage education for the kids who have the intelligence to do the work and the cultural background to want to do it.

    The truth is, like it or not, that blacks are very poor academic performers.

    Whatever happened to individualism and individual achievement.

    The artificial, arbitrary, and often inaccurate demographic grouping of people in the worship of the god of affirmative action and “diversity” politics is nothing short of disgusting.

    Groupism runs a high risk that lines will be drawn based on incorrect criteria — just as we can gerrymander voting district lines to create enclaves of Republicans or Democrats.

    Do all “blacks” — based on the stupid concept of skin color — actually share similar ethnic, cultural, moral, family, economic and other traits that might more directly be affecting academic performance? NO!!

    “Hispanic” is also an idiotic demographic grouping. Does anyone seriously think that a child from a wealthy Miami Cuban family would share anything important in common with the child of illegal Mexican migrant workers?


      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to janitor. | October 15, 2012 at 1:58 am

      I agree with you on your larger point, but until we are able to tear down the governmental agencies that develop policies based on race, it’s irrelevant because the politics of race, not the truth of race, rules the day.

      “Whatever happened to individualism and individual achievement”

      You can’t get blood from a turnip.

      A dim bulb never glows brilliantly.

    But black immigrants outperform black Americans, again pointing to a black American cultural problem.

    Look at Mia Love as an example. And I remember a black man from Jamaica in one of my grad school seminars who was just brilliant.

    I think I remember reading (maybe Professor Jacobson can comment on this) that of black students at Harvard, either the majority or a vastly disproportionate number are black immigrants.

    Either they place a higher premium on education or don’t suffer from the dysfuntions of black American culture (at least not to the same degree), or both.

    We’re all God’s children.

    LukeHandCool (who just wanted to end on a sweet note)

      janitor in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Except, LHC, all black immigrants don’t outperform all black Americans. (Whatever “black” is.) We have to stop lumping people into groups based on characteristics that themselves are not determinative of anything important. It’s become absurd.

        LukeHandCool in reply to janitor. | October 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm

        “Except, LHC, all black immigrants don’t outperform all black Americans.”


        Certainly I’m not saying 100% of all black immigrants outperfom 100% of all black native-born Americans. That would be absurd.

        I said, per my reference to the situation at Ivy League schools, Mia Love, etc., that as a group, they tend to outperform the group that is native American blacks. We’re talking about and comparing groups anyway, but whether it is absurd or not to do so is another question.

        I agree that it is largely absurd. We should expect and demand excellence across the board. But when the other side keeps insisting on focusing on race and other group affiliations, we have to answer back using the same language.

        Maybe I didn’t make my point clearly, but what I’m trying to say that when Americans of African ancestry, on average, do not perform as well academically as recent immigrants from Africa (which is counterintuitive … the native born have a head start knowing the country’s culture and language fluently … while, at the same time, being largely identical with the immigrants genetically) then, this points to a problem with the culture of native-born American blacks, at least when it comes to the question of excelling academically.

        But putting that all aside, I agree, I hate all this. Just treat everyone as individuals and not as members of this or that group.

          janitor in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 15, 2012 at 1:06 am

          I am pretty sure that we do substantially agree.

          Re the recent immigrants, and especially the foreign students, do take note of the skewed demographic (these are frequently not only among the brightest and most resourceful from their countries, but foreign college students also hail from the higher socioeconomic groups. They are not representative. Some college admissions offices play games with their affirmative action “goals” by filling minority slots with students from upper-class foreign families.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

          You’re talking to the wrong audience. It is the blacks, through their various “leaders”, lawyers, mouthpieces and political representatives, who demand to be treated differently, so go tell it to them, not whites who would be perfectly happy to see them treated exactly the same as we are.

          But apparently blacks can’t survive without special treatment and privileges and a boatload of freebies. If they could, they would, right? Right?

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to janitor. | October 15, 2012 at 1:36 am

        Black Americans have chosen to lump themselves into a skin color-based group. The Congressional Black Cuacus, black fraternities and sororities, black graduation ceremonies, NAACP, magazines and periodicals, cable TV channels and radio stations, and a wide variety of black race-based organizations on high school and college campuses were not imposed on black society by whites. They vote as a bloc, protest as a bloc and demand as a bloc. They do this through their own choosing. They fought against segregation, as did many whites (including myself)who have watched in great disappointment in the years since as black Americans choose, increasingly, to self-segregate into the “African-American COMMUNITY.” And through the perpetual and professional victimhood of being a member of the “African-American Community”, they are able to get pretty much everything they want for free. Most cannot discern any personal advantage in making the effort to succeed on their own. Yes, some have pride and actually take advantage of opportunities and become fine citizens, but they are the exception, not the norm.

      Two-thirds of the black undergraduates at Harvard College are the children of Carribbean immigrants, or immigrants themselves.

      This 2 to 1 ratio of non-American blacks to American black is what you find throughout the Ivy League. Also, the 1/3 that are American tend to be from upper-middle-class and upper-class elite – they come from accomplished, educated families (their parents are doctors, lawyers, artists, named professors, etc.).

        LukeHandCool in reply to Cassie. | October 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm

        Thanks, Cassie.

        That sounds pretty much in line with what I vaguely remember reading some time ago.

        Call it the “Mia Love Paradox” if you will.

        People who don’t wallow in grievances and take on life will tend do better.

        Having done some teaching myself in the past, give me a highly-motivated student with a good attitude and average innate intelligence … over a lazy student of above-average intelligence with a not-so-great attitude … any. day. of. the. week.

        The former are a pleasure to have. Grit and determination are some great equalizers. IQ is often overrated while so many other important characteristics people can develop which facilitate success in life are often given short shrift.

Only the racist, idiots running an state-controlled “educational system” could conclude that they only need to “teach” 74% of African-American kids to read at grade level.

Rest assured that EVERY inmate of the state-controlled “educational system” WILL be fully indoctrinated with the tenets of the progressive faith.

Your tax dollars hard at work…

The problem here is the U.S. Department of Education and its No Child Left Behind Act. From the article you cited:

State Board of Education Chairwoman Kathleen Shanahan said that setting goals for different subgroups was needed to comply with terms of a waiver that Florida and 32 other states have from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. These waivers were used to make the states independent from some federal regulations.

It is no better to promote someone on the basis of their race (“affirmative” action) than it is to demote someone based on their race (this FL plan).

Clearly, this extends to promoting someone to the office of the president based on their race. How’d that work out?

All I will add: I am beyond grateful that I am able to be home with our children and to homeschool them!

Poor minorities can’t compete?

Maybe if you cripple them with doubt and low expectations and encourage them to blame others, in addition to hitting them with horrible public schools.

The answer. I think this is the only article I’ve ever read in the LA Times which I think should be required reading for all voting adults:

“Spitting in the Eye of Mainstream Education.”

And why the disproportionate concentration on one single aspect of being human (IQ) to the detriment of focus on the many other characteristics that make us human?

My feelings were expressed well when Dennis Prager said (paraphrasing as closely as I can recall it):

If I had to choose between having an intellectually brilliant child who was otherwise an average person


An intellectually average child who was otherwise an outstanding person (in terms of kindness, friendliness, diligence, etc.), I’d choose the latter every time.

Amen to that.

As a former Moonbat who believed in affirmative action and thought George W. Bush’s comment about the soft bigotry of low expectations was indicative of his own racial bias (please let me continue before I get 89 thumbs down), I apologize for the present sorry state of public education that is probably 99% (a statistic made up by me, much like the current economic numbers being dispensed by the Obama administration) due to the misguided beliefs of myself and my fellow liberals.

As a geezer who grew up in the South, however, in our defense I wish to say that while “separate but equal” was indeed separate, it was in no way equal. So, while we now have the advantage of hindsight and know this was not the way to address the issue of Black students who had been disadvantaged, not by being less intelligent (or would this be fewer, Luke?), but by being forced to attend inferior schools with inferior libraries and teaching materials.

Unfortunately, the idea of giving a little extra help to those students was hijacked by the professional race-baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, so today instead of the equal opportunity regardless of skin color that we all wanted, we now have the Obama society of plasma tvs and cell phones for everyone whether you are willing to work for them or not. And here we are, decades later, with students of all races and ethnic origins attending the same schools, still struggling with test scores sorted by race that show lower scores for blacks. And the same professional race-baiters are calling for ever larger sums to be directed at the same old programs that have not worked for the past fifty years. And we also have the Black Liberation Theology people who have convinced a large segment of the black community that every little boo-boo in their lives is directly the fault of whites, so in the name of “social justice” they are due equal possessions and jobs of equal status whether or not they are qualified for such.

Today’s educational institutions must make sure not to discipline more black students or fail more black students or even have the incorrect proportion of black cheerleaders (don’t laugh, there was actually a lawsuit over this) or they will face consequences from the federal government and lawsuits from irate parents. So this Florida plan is just the logical conclusion of years of not being permitted to require black students to perform at their full capacity.

If we don’t stop making everything about race and start evaluating students as individuals, then giving them whatever extra help they might need in order to achieve what they are able to and want to, our entire nation is going to be overrun by ignorant occupy types demanding their “rightful share” of everything earned by others, at which point I guess we can petition to just become another member of the European Union.

    LukeHandCool in reply to DemNoMore. | October 14, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    “(or would this be fewer, Luke?),”

    Haha! “less” is correct. But that’s for an adjective. For nouns, it’s determined by whether the noun is countable or not.

    A good rule of thumb is, “Can I count this noun gramatically?”

    Can I say, “One intelligence, two intelligences … ”

    In this case, no, you can’t. So, instead of “fewer,” you’ll use “less.”

    With the proper quantifier, however, you can make most uncountable nouns countable.

    Less milk … but fewer glasses/cartons etc., of milk.

    LukeHandCool (the pedantic prick)

      DemNoMore in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      I was making a joke re less/fewer, but obviously not a very good one, since you called that your fingernails on the blackboard pet peeve. I have a helpful little book which I could consult when questions of proper usage arise, were I not as lazy as Barack Obama. It is entitled “Woe Is I.” Seriously.

        LukeHandCool in reply to DemNoMore. | October 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

        I wasn’t sure if you were kidding or not, DemNoMore 🙂

        I get lazy about looking up things, too, and checking about proper usage. What made me feel better was seeing both Dennis Miller and Greg Gutfeld occasionally stop and say something like, “Am I using that word correctly?” or “Does what I just said make grammatical sense?”

        So even bright, articulate guys like them have their “senior moments” with language, so to speak.

What if you’re half Asian and half Black. Does the “one drop” rule make you Black, or are the math and reading scores averaged?

What if “family lore” says you’re 1/32 Black?

To meet state standards, it would benefit schools if all students were designated as Black.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Hepcat. | October 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Won’t it be great when the US government starts putting our “race” on our ID cards! Why it will be just like the Nazis, Soviets and South Africa.

    Life will be just one long party!

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to WarEagle82. | October 14, 2012 at 9:22 pm

      I know at least one ethnic group of peoples for whom the USSR was a blessing. When they got to Germany the Slavic Sorbs of NE Germany were ready to welcome then. In return the Sorbs got their own towns, language & culture back .

      true the price was communism but at least they exist today.

      I think you are from Texas & many emigrated there in the 1850s fleeing Bismark & Germanization.


        You should have a rule about not posting when you have spent the day at the public house. The “Incomprehensibility Quotient” of that post was particularly high…

casualobserver | October 14, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I see a reference or two to PJMedia. Bill Whittle’s newest video over there is the most insightful yet on what the modern progressive movement is all about. My translation: It hasn’t ‘progressed’ since the 60s. The words and even the vernacular in 2012 could be scripted from that era. In this case, even though racially based preferences have done almost nothing for the ‘minority’ races, the FL BoE is doubling down. Perhaps they are still reading the same texts and social ‘science’ studies from the earlier period?

His video is worth a look:

Somebody dig up Christopher Hitchens, he’s the right man to respond to this. I’d do it myself but I’m frothing too much at the mouth to be able to speak the required words.

Admittedly, there’s nothing scientific about what follows. However, I do think my observation has some validity. From time to time, there will be a segment on TV about a black professional athlete. It will discuss life outside of their sport. Frequently, the athlete will contribute time, talent, and finances to a charity or a program for youth. Never once, in my viewing of such a news spot, have I ever heard any of these athletes encourage youth to do less and think that this would lead them to a rewarding, successful life. Rather, they encourage them to push themselves, celebrate their accomplishments, and learn from their mistakes. If there were only more of these athletes to go around. The need is tremendous.

    DemNoMore in reply to ALman. | October 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Believe it or not, I like sports; and I agree that athletes like Tim Tebow and Barry Sanders can make great role models. However, they seem to be outnumbered by the out-of-control ones who father numerous children out of wedlock (or have the pregnant fiancee killed), use drugs, abuse women, animals and anyone who irritates them in a bar, and generally engage in activities that insure they spend as much time in court as on the court or field. I wish we could teach children not to consider a person with the ability to throw a touchdown or shoot a basket as anything other than a good athlete and not necessarily a good person who should be considered an example to emulate in life.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to DemNoMore. | October 15, 2012 at 1:33 am

      Most sportspeople are very or reasonably young. I think there are 2 groups -. You can’t expect a 22 year old to act 30.

      Actually i stop noticing sportspeople over 25. B o R I N G .

Jack The Ripper | October 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

You people are missing the obvious.

1896 – Plessey v. Ferguson – Separate but Equal is okay.

58 years later . . .

1954 – Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka – Separate but Equal is not okay, because separate is inherently unequal.

58 years later . . .

2012 – Florida State Board of Education – “Aw, fuck it! As long as all the kids are under one roof, there is no need for equality across races. We need to protect unionized teachers against claims of failing schools.”

Prognostication: In a few years, they will simply declare black students to be 3/5ths of asian and white students.

Mr. Engle has omitted a very important component of the article which cites the Florida Board of Ed’s decision in this matter. I read the full article earlier today on Drudge and noted that the target percentages mentioned in Mr. Engle’s post above are a short range goal (over the next 6 years)and reflect a significant improvement over current performances for black and Hispanic students in Florida.

I’m sorry I do not have the current performance data at my fingertips right now, but they are truly abysmal in both reading and math. Again, I repeat, the target achievement levels are a short term goal fashioned with honest, realistic consideration given the starting point for each of the groups of students, and seem quite reasonable. The report struck me as having more to do with strategic planning than a sell out. Perhaps Mr. Engle did not notice that aspect of the full article.

As one who has been teaching at the post-secondary level in a science discipline for over 25 years, I have witnessed the dreadful decline in academic performance across the board especially reading comprehension and quantitative reasoning skills. But given the trend at many institutions to enroll as many minority students as possible (fed and state subsidies are are great incentive), there is tremendous pressure to retain these students, regardless of their lack of preparation or scholastic performance once they matriculate.

For far too long, universities have been playing the money game of inflated enrollment, requiring inflated grades to retain ill prepared students so as not to lose out on the inflated funding. If the FBE is ready to take a serious look at the disparity in performance in these groups and try to devise an approach to augmenting performance, a step at a time with realistic goals, I would not be so quick to criticize.

    Jack The Ripper in reply to DuraMater. | October 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm


    I do not know all the ins and outs of primary and secondary education, especially public education.

    You make some points that sound very sober and level-headed.

    Then again, have there been other instances where school boards have established varying proficiency goals based on race? County? Zip code? Income? Parental status?

    Sounds sort of grim, as if the (de facto) “soft bigotry of low expectations” has become the (de jure) “hard legal prejudice of low expectations.”

      Hello, Mr. Ripper. I do not have specifics about other school systems other than Virginia and DC had a similar program strategy in recent years. They caught H*11 from the media, too.

      My point is that, contrary to the meme out there (leave it to the media and race flame throwers to skew the message), the goals are not dumbing any groups down. All demographics will have the same opportunity to succeed according to their motivation and ability.

      The stark reality that presently exists, however, is that only 38% of blacks read at grade level and for Hispanics the performance is in the 50s%. I can no longer find reference to math, but it is equally grim. The target achievement goals of 74% and 81% respectively in reading(to be reviewed in 2 years, 2014) are actually pretty optimistic but doable with shifting of resources. There are also revised goals that take into consideration social/economic factors as well as special needs children.

      I understand that when the words race and education show up in the same sentence, some people get a powerful case of the vapors and others automatically whip out the race card. But I think acknowledging the disparity and honestly trying to address it are good first steps to problem solving.

      As long as affirmative action, demographic preferences and set asides are a centerpiece in our society, there will be valedictorians who communicate in ghetto-speak, pre-med students who cannot balance a check book, much less a chemical equation and presidents who can beguile the masses by merely reading a teleprompter.

      There is a problem throughout K-12 which should not be expected to be, cannot be corrected at the college level.
      It’s time to stop the pretense and acknowledge that 100% of all students in all demographics are a long way from meeting academic basic standards. Set realistic goals, an action plan for distributing resources effectively (maybe fewer administrators would free up needed $)and perform periodic reassessment of the strategy. Seems to me that is the intent of the FDoE.
      It’s time to stop the pretense and acknowledge that 100% of all students in all demographics are a long way from meeting academic basic standards. Set realistic goals, an action plan for distributing resources effectively (maybe fewer administrators would free up needed $)and perform periodic reassessment of the strategy. Seems to me that is the intent of the FDoE.

      I am in a wait and see mode and refuse to take the race bait on this story.

        Jack The Ripper in reply to DuraMater. | October 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm

        Dear DuraMater,

        Thank you for your reply.

        As I previously noted, I do not know all the ins and outs of primary and secondary education, especially public education.

        And “Lord knows” that there are lots of “variables” in crime and educations statistics. [You want to show that you are doing well combating crime or that you need more funds? How are crimes characterized? Reported? Etc.]

        You made some points that sound very sober and level-headed in your first reply to me, and, again, in your second reply.

        Obviously, in the real world, human systems have to take in the realities of humans being human.

        Your second reply about reasonable goals and progress sounds very pragmatic in the more focused realm of State Board of Education policy.

        I always admired President Reagan’s boundless optimism and try to remind myself of it in trying times like these. Without giving you “the vapors” or calling you misguided, I will say that there is a particular optimism upon which a portion of your analysis is predicated: That these scaled back proficiency goals will be met and eventually converge with each other.

        What if they don’t?

        What if this academic apartheid does not converge and fade away, but the gap in proficiency goals remains?

        What if the gap in proficiency goals based on race gets WORSE?

        On its face, I see this as a violation of equal protection of the laws and, I believe, some provision in the Florida State Constitution that “guarantees” a quality education for all children. Sounds good. I agree with such a notion. How does this State Board of Education policy square with that? And, as at least one time in the past in Florida (or maybe it was Texas), is this really just a crow bar for higher property taxes being imposed in some jurisdictions and redistributed in other jurisdictions that did not manage their overall budgets, school budgets, millage rates, and development policies very well. Sure, some jurisdictions are inherently better than others – beautiful waterfront versus mosquito infested swamp, but a certain amount of redistribution based upon fixed and variable county and school budgets is quite a bit different than vastly expanded redistribution to paper over bad policies and management.

        I am going to revert to my “laboratories of democracy” qesstions. Have there been other instances where school boards have established varying proficiency goals based on race? County? Zip code? Income? Parental status?

        And revert to my previous conclusion that this policy: “Sounds sort of grim, as if the (de facto) ‘soft bigotry of low expectations’ has become the (de jure) ‘hard legal prejudice of low expectations’.”

        With Uncertainty But Respect, I remain,

        Jack the Ripper

My last word on this subject:

I’ll never give up on my own kids.

After them comes America’s kids. I’ll never give up on them, either.

Oh, and, if you’re a WASP, there is a drawback to growing up with Jews:

I have no idea how cars work. When guys start talking about cars and the engine parts and all … I have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s embarrassing. When I’m caught in such a situation I just smile … and hope I’m not asked any specific questions. When I open up the hood and take a look … I have no idea what all these parts are and it’s all an act.

Maybe JackRacistTwit can give us his list of just what “races” are the most intelligent. Maybe he can tell us what people are really “white” and which “white” ethnic groups are smarter than others.

I mean, how would he rank Anglo-Saxons, Germans, French, Slavs, Basques, Hispanics, Gaelic, Italians, Hungarians and Finns and other related groups, etc. I mean which are the smartest and how much smarter are they?

Then, he could do the same for Asians, and Africans, and Native North Americans and Native South Americans, and Oceanic people.

I bet he could go on and on and on for hours just like Rosenberg, Goebbels and Hitler. I wonder if JRT is still getting his subscription for the Völkischer Beobachter? Of course, maybe he is the new editor-in-chief and publisher?

After a few days of his “enlightened views” on race we might get some idea of exactly how little JRT knows about so many things. Now, that’s scary, eh, kids…

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to WarEagle82. | October 16, 2012 at 12:32 am

    “I mean, how would he rank Anglo-Saxons, Germans, French, Slavs, Basques, Hispanics, Gaelic, Italians, Hungarians and Finns and other related groups, etc. I mean which are the smartest and how much smarter are they?”

    Those are all ethnicities, not races. Those you’ve listed fall within the caucasoid race.

    The other two are mongoloid and negroid.

    Our subject here has been American members of the negroid race, who self-identify as “African-American”. It is true that the negroid race originated in Africa and is still by far the most populous race there. You can comparatively look at the vast successes and achievements of Africa’s societies and governments as well as their great advancements through their own invention to answer the rest of your questions regarding intelligence.

      Well, you rate an epic fail on reading comprehension, sport.

      But I suppose you spent the entire night gathering crosses and gasoline for your next big night out on the town and were distracted…