December 13, 2012

"I would suggest that we not worry about funding."

"In other words: Design the best programs possible. Then we’ll worry about funding them."

The quote is from Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, and the issue is "the achievement gap" in Madison schools. Soglin has suggested "expanding access to nutritious food outside of school, supporting transportation for students and parents, and increasing the amount of time children spend in learning environments."

Increasing the amount of time children spend in learning environments sounds like a polite way of saying keep them away from their parents as much as possible.

81 comments:

Matthew Sablan said...

Why not worry about efficient funding? There have to be programs that are working -somewhere- in the country. Why not see how they are working?

Bob said...

When they even have more than one "parent" to begin with.

Shouting Thomas said...

You've inadvertently entered into Steve Sailer territory here.

He's written often about the "nice white lady" educational initiative.

I.e., taking black and hispanic kids out of their dysfunctional homes and passing them off to the nice white ladies for proper rearing. Pre-school and after-school programs, enrichment programs, school lunches, etc.

He's also noted that long, term, this will backfire, and he points to the "Lost Child" controversy in Australia. Literally, aborigine children were taken from their parents to be raised by "nice white ladies." This is now viewed as almost a form of cultural genocide.

ricpic said...

Gaps are bad? Only to mad, as in crazy, egalitarians who refuse REFUSE to acknowledge that everything is hierarchical. Everything.

Renee said...

Parents are an asset, even one parent. Even if a parent can't speak English. Some parents may never be engaged enough at a basic level, but don't disengage those who are willing.

Freeman Hunt said...

In some cases, everyone agrees to pretend that the emperor is dressed.

EMD said...

"expanding access to nutritious food outside of school"

Ah, yes, the Nutrition Bureau will be along shortly to make sure your pantry is stocked "properly."


edutcher said...

Fly now, pay later.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"expanding access to nutritious food outside of school, supporting transportation for students and parents, and increasing the amount of time children spend in learning environments."

Expanding access to nutritious food outside of school? How is he going to do that. Come into the kitchen, raid the fridge and pantry and throw out the junk food. Supervise the cooking or non cooking of meals? He's gonna need a bigger army.

Transportation. YES. Chevy Volts for everyone.

Learning environment? What does he mean by that? Just sitting in a classroom for longer hours and having an incompetent teacher drone on at you and spouting politically correct talking points at you is NOT a learning environment.

No wonder our schools are failures at education. The people at the top levels can only spout meaningless claptrap and think mushy thoughts.

Dave said...

"expanding access to nutritious food outside of school"

Um, isn't feeding kids the parents' responsibility? And now nutritious the food that parents feed the kids is isn't a matter of money. It's a matter mostly of convenience/laziness - nutritious food generally requires a bit more work than just throwing it in the microwave.

But even if you're on food stamps (and use only food stamps to buy food) for a family of 3, it's over $6000/year. That's over $500/month, which is more than I spend to feed my family of 6.

Nevermind the redundancy of food stamps and the school lunch program.

Or is he advocating universal boarding school, so the State can have full, interrupted access to kids, without parental influence, to turn them into good unthinking drones?

Maguro said...

As the Outlaw Josey Wales said...doin' right ain't got no end.

Tank said...

We could:

1. Spend hundreds of billions/trillions of dollars over the next 20 years addressing the "gap."

or

2. Pay no attention whatsoever to the "gap" for the next 20 years.

Either way, same result, and, in 20years, we can discuss it again.

Lotta commas.

cubanbob said...

lets not waste time with half measures and instead get on with it. Organize a collective and let the collective raise the kids. Let Hizzoner abolish the town and convert it in to a kibbutz.

bpm4532 said...

Sounds like a guy who is opposed to open enrollment.

If he believes his stuff he should start with one school and all those things should be funded by the education funds available to that school. Unfortunately, these big thinkers who have access to other people's money, dream this stuff up and impose it like a blanket. A hot, stifling blanket, underwhich you suffocate.

When it doesn't work, they want to expand it, coerce students from leaving and insisting that just a little/lot more money is required to achieve the goal.

Shouting Thomas said...

Here's what drives this.

In our absurd school systems, the answer for poor performance by black and hispanic kids cannot be attributed to the kids or to their parents.

Racism has to be blamed.

So, who's the racist? The teachers!

This leads to a laughable round robin of guilt tripping of the teachers, who then attend retreats and conferences to try to rid themselves of their unconscious racism. Doesn't work, so a new fad has to be conjured up to address the problem.

It's a perpetual motion machine.

Renee said...

My district in Massachusetts has a family healthy food fair last week, with government agencies present.

I didn't go.

Marshal said...

It's hard to see why non-leftists believe the left isn't responsible about spending. Baffling.

Carol said...

Maybe the Mayor can get tips from DC schools on closing the gap. Or not.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

All those proposals are doomed to failure.

I'm 5'8". You can bring in the best coach in the world, and I can be as motivated as can be, but the coach will never succeed in getting me to dunk a basketball.

All he/she will be able to do is get me to vertical jump the highest that I can, given my height, muscle characteristics, and proper technique.

With other people of different starting-gate potential and attributes, he/she will succeed - easily in some cases.

But as long as the coache's metrics are "# of persons able to dunk", rather than "each person jumping as high as THEY can", results will be disappointing, and (oh my) you may even see racial disparate impact in
results, which will also be correlated with racial difference is average height.

All that to say that - the 10000lb elephant in the room is that students come in with widely varying IQ, and so achievement metrics that can only be achieved by persons of certain IQs (like dunks for tall people), will be under-achieved by those without those IQs, despite the best coaching, the smallest class size, the longest hours, the best study habits, etc.

If you're 4'l1", you can't dunk. If you're 70 IQ, you can't reach some academic metrics.

And it is wrong to punish coaches and teachers for anything other than "getting the best, given the limits of the starting materials".

And also, grouping results by Race is NOT a good idea. You will always be disappointed at the disparate impact, because like many other attributes that have a strong genetic component, it is not evenly distributed across all the Races of Man.

Reality's a serious bitch, but there it is. Ignoring it never works.

Now, let the un-informed charges of "racism" , begin.

mccullough said...

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to hire Dads for these kids?

AJ Lynch said...

Someday, the conventional wisdom will be that not every individaul can be educated and so some people are in fact probably doomed to fail in school and in life. I find this "how do we fix the public schools" stuff so lame and tiresome.

Bryan C said...

How do you know if a program is "the best possible" if you don't consider paying for it part of making it "possible"?

Oh, that's right. Infinite money. Forgot.


bpm4532 said...

These people believe they are being rational in proposing these programs but they have no feedback gauge that tells them they have failed and should not try this or something like it again. Their feedback gauge also doesn't have a clear success mark that tells them they have succeed and shoud stop trying to improve.

Renee said...

"Wouldn't it be cheaper just to hire Dads for these kids?"

Mom's new boy/girlfriend doesn't suffice?

SteveBrooklineMA said...

Althouse is right. Check out the mayor's blog:

http://www.waxingamerica.com/2012/12/thoughts-on-education.html

The government is supposed to be there from "cradle to career".. just like parents used to be.

Seeing Red said...

Soft bigotry of low expectations.


A Northwestern University study which examined the Ceasefire model in 2008 said the Interrupters basically accepted they were dealing with damaged personalities. “CeaseFire did not make larger demands upon them; there was no expectation that the often inadequately educated and under-employed young people they largely dealt with would – or could – “go straight” without a great deal of investment in turning their lives around. ”

The message was kept simple – stop shooting and killing … CeaseFire promoted a risk management approach aimed at at harm reduction, rather than personal redemption.


The Thomas said...

The problem the Mayor seems to have is that he is confusing learning environment with the Madison Public Schools. Calling it something doesn't make it so.

Marshal said...

bpm4532 said...
Their feedback gauge also doesn't have a clear success mark that tells them they have succeed and shoud stop trying to improve.


Leftists with an inability to confront the failures of their policies simply blame failure on being insufficiently leftist. This allows them to reconcile their continuing support for failed policies. This can be referred to as "Cookism".

Rustling Leaves said...

@mccullough- Yes, it probably would be cheaper to hire dads. How about incentivizing marriage and fatherhood, rather than our current approach that incentivizes single motherhood. But that will never happen because what they really desire is power and control, not healthy families. Destruction of family is the intention, dependency on the State is the goal. Julia is her name.

Carol said...

Not to worry. They'll get the overage from federal grants, adding to the billions we've already spent trying to Close the Gap.

Beta Rube said...

We should turn urban school districts over to the care of Republicans. That way, the media would be in perpetual outrage mode, decry the obvious racism, demand sweeping changes, and monitor results.

Until then, it's just a major source of funding for the Dems, and there ain't much to see.

TMink said...

School achievement is a parental problem, not a government problem.

And from the perspective of the institutionalized poor, there is not much of a problem. Their needs are met to spare, so there is no reason to see education as a way out of poverty, they do not seek a way out from what they consider a good gig.

Children whose parents value education do quite well. Those whose parents see no value in it, not so much. The government cannot fix this problem through any intervention that they can conceive. To fix the problem the government would need to stop programs left and right and leave the healthy poor in enough poverty to make them want to escape it. And that is inconceivable to them.

Trey

TMink said...

Someone, people of basically average intelligence are the majority. IQ is set up that way as a construct.

It is not an IQ problem, it is a family problem. And the government destroys the families it attempts to help.

Trey

Henry said...

"I would suggest that we not worry about funding"

+

"expanding access to nutritious food outside of school, supporting transportation for students and parents, and increasing the amount of time children spend in learning environments."

=

Field trips to Manhattan!

Tim said...

"Increasing the amount of time children spend in learning environments sounds like a polite way of saying keep them away from their parents as much as possible."

Well, yes, of course.

See, elected Democrats are conflicted by a conundrum they face.

They know their voters better than anyone else, know how stupid, gullible, ill-prepared for real life so many of them are.

They also know, the smart ones, anyway, that their voters are superfluous to a productive economy, one that generates wealth and, not inconsequentially, tax revenues.

So, they need to strike a balance between having enough simpletons to keep them in office, but not so many as to kill off the productivity necessary to bribe the simpletons to keep voting for them.

Ergo, public schools in which kids are provided an opportunity, away from their idiot parents, to achieve and become part of the oh-so-necessary productive classes.

But, because they are public schools, the failure rate will approach, once one counts the drop-outs, 70% - especially in the larger, urban school districts like LA Unified.

So, in their minds, a success rate of 30% is necessary to maintain productivity to support the remaining 70%.

They are wrong, of course, and even if they weren't, they aren't smart enough to maintain the equilibrium necessary for them to remain in office and the economy productive enough to spin off goodies for the parasitical classes.

elkh1 said...

"Someone, people of basically average intelligence are the majority. IQ is set up that way as a construct."

It has nothing to do with the IQ set up. By definition, average is "average". Most people reside at the hump of the "normal" curve, the brilliantest are on one tail, the stupidest are on the other tail. Ergo the majority always cluster around the average.

Madison does not have a funding problem, Madison has a dumbing down problem, their IQ curve hump keeps shifting left.

Funny, the low numbers on any scales are on the Left.

John DeTombe said...

Maguro said...
As the Outlaw Josey Wales said...doin' right ain't got no end.


That was Capt Red Legs, not Josey Wales.

Bruce Hayden said...

If he believes his stuff he should start with one school and all those things should be funded by the education funds available to that school. Unfortunately, these big thinkers who have access to other people's money, dream this stuff up and impose it like a blanket. A hot, stifling blanket, under which you suffocate.

The unlimited funding is what really bothered me. He is, I think, saying that we should commit unlimited resources to his cause, because it is just, and to heck with the consequences that are inevitable with limited resources and all the inherent problems with government action, including, in the case of education, capture by the interest group most affected by funding levels - the teachers and their administrators (who are typically former teachers).

carrie said...

I wish that they stop worrying about the teacher's union and start to worry about what the black community thinks will work like that charter school that was proposed last year. When I read the article about the new sustainable charter school that was approved it just made me sick that the proposal for the black charter school was rejected because the teachers weren't going to unionized.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...the issue is "the achievement gap" in Madison schools.

That right there is the problem. If you define the issue as "the achievement gap", then the easiest way to fix it is to lower achievement at the top.

Only when you define the issue as "poor performance at the bottom" do you have any chance of improving education.

Crunchy Frog said...

Ah, yes, the Nutrition Bureau will be along shortly to make sure your pantry is stocked "properly."

Yeah, full of the same tasteless shit that the kids refuse to eat while they're in school.

That'll work.

Anthony said...

"expanding access to nutritious food outside of school"

We could start by getting rid of ethanol subsidies and farm price supports. (If we have to give handouts to farmers, which we probably do, let's do it in a way which *doesn't* increase the price of food.) Bonus savings when the school lunch suppliers can save a few pennies per lunch, too.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

For the record, the Madison achievement gap is huge, i.e. about 6 grade levels:

"the average white seventh-grader tested beyond the national average 10th-grader in reading, while the average black seventh-grader tested about the same as a national fourth-grader."

I welcome the city's attempts at doing something about it.

http://tinyurl.com/blq8ca5

Rabel said...

Soglin should look at implementing the Atlanta program. It was highly successful in raising test scores, low cost, and secured bonuses for everyone involved.

Larry J said...

@Dave

"But even if you're on food stamps (and use only food stamps to buy food) for a family of 3, it's over $6000/year. That's over $500/month, which is more than I spend to feed my family of 6.

Nevermind the redundancy of food stamps and the school lunch program."

And in many places, the school breakfast program and the school dinner program. I hear PSAs asking for donations to feed kids during the summer. What are those parents doing with their food stamps if they aren't feeding their kids?

Marshal said...

carrie said...
I wish that they stop worrying about the teacher's union and start to worry about what the black community thinks will work like that charter school that was proposed last year.


While this is the correct approach philosophically politically we should pursue precisely the opposite. Whenever reformers try to help black students they are attacked as racist, and the overwhelming response by blacks is to support those charges.

The best political path is to reform and improve poor and low performing schools without a disproportionate black enrollment. When the results are clear maybe enough black parents will push for them internally to achieve action.

Michael K said...

"And also, grouping results by Race is NOT a good idea. You will always be disappointed at the disparate impact, because like many other attributes that have a strong genetic component, it is not evenly distributed across all the Races of Man.
"

There was a proposal in California a few years ago to mandate "Equal Outcomes" for students of different races. I expect it will reappear one day soon.

roesch/voltaire said...

The Kipp Academy has longer school days that run until 5p.m and meet into July, but I guess because it is a charter school, Althouse doesn't have to worry about keeping these kids away from their parents. By now it is clear that we need to extend the school year, and increase the teaching hours, but do not want to pay the extra salary required.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

TMink said...
Someone, people of basically average intelligence are the majority. IQ is set up that way as a construct.


Well, you illustrate the problem, TMink.

You used the word "people" as if were OK to use in an IQ sense, as it is in, say, a "have two eyes, one head, two arms" sense.

For those attributes, you can lump ALL people on the planet - all Races, both sexes - and it is legitimate to do so, because THOSE charactistics know no bounds.

But other attributes, like, say, height DO vary in their means, depending on how you group "people".
Men are taller than women. Caucasians are taller than Asians. Height has a 'disparate impact' when measured versus sex and Race.

And unfortunately, IQ is more like height, than "two eyes". It's mean value varies by Race. This is a tragic situation, because it causes all sorts of problems, but it is none-the-less true. Blame the Designer, if you are so inclined.

Otherwise, Natural Selection due to environmental pressures, is also sufficient to explain things. At the most simple level, it simply took greater cleverness and resourcefulness to survive in harsh Northern climes, and so a slow steady pressure favoring cleverness, worked its way over millions of years.

But we don't have to agree on what caused it, to simply note that it exists. And the burden is on policy makers to KNOW that exists, and to offer solutions that take it into account (unspoken is best), rather than to ignore it, and thus cruelly punish, and give false hope and low self-esteem, to the 4'11" folks for not being able to dunk.

There are many wonderful and useful things you can do, though you are 4'11. Just don't let anyone tell you that, if you would only try, you too could start at center for the LA Lakers.

Marshal said...

Michael K said...
There was a proposal in California a few years ago to mandate "Equal Outcomes" for students of different races. I expect it will reappear one day soon.


Except there won't be a proposal, it will just happen. Race norming was a widespread practice in academic admissions at one time, then someone let the cat out of the bag. So now the goal is to make sure the admissions is free of non-leftists. You might call this Step One.

mccullough said...

Since Asians and whites have higher IQs than blacks, we just need them to miscegenate more with blacks in the US.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

mccullough said...
Since Asians and whites have higher IQs than blacks, we just need them to miscegenate more with blacks in the US.


OK wiseguy, I'll take the bait, only to make another point.

PUtting the 'morality of that aside for theoritical purposes, something like that WOULD, if done a billion times over many generations, produce a much more characteristic-leveling homo sapiens, with only the variances you see today among a singe Race or close ethnic group.

But it would be unwise and undesirable for us as a species, since variety is the spice of life, and survival. I personally am glad that really smart Asians and Jews totally dominate the Nobel Prizes for the sciences. All mankind benefits from their achievements. If we managed to level the IQ of humans, in the interests of fairness, to, say, 95-100, I don't think we would like the resulting planet.

n.n said...

Soglin is the product of a rarefied environment. He subordinates the rights and duties of the mother and father to the control of minority interests (i.e. "government").

As for unlimited funding, he doesn't seem to understand or appreciate the concept of finitely accessible and available resources. Ignoring this fundamental principle caused our present crisis and motivates its progress.

Anyway, he is the perfect representative for individuals who desire to exist in a low energy state while enjoying the products and services afforded by a higher energy state. He is the perfect representative for individuals who do not respect individual dignity other than their own.

Paul said...

Yea don't worry about funding. That's the Democrat way. Spend spend spend... But a time is coming soon when the checkbook will be out of checks and no matter how much they currancy they print it will do no good.

Can you imagine a depression with inflation? Yea.. The German Republic in 1930. Just before Hitler came into power.

Way to go Obamacrats.

Big Mike said...

We need a program that identifies and fires poor teachers and administrators. Costs almost nothing in hard cash to do that, but requires courageous politicians so lets all Democrats (and most Republicans) out.

Alex said...

When home meals consist mainly of the Mac & Cheese variety, then it behooves Big Nanny State to get involved!

Alex said...

Yeah, full of the same tasteless shit that the kids refuse to eat while they're in school.

It doesn't have to be. Just make them a fresh spring mix with tomatoes, onions, leeks, feta cheese drizzled with olive oil & black balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy. The kids will love it!

Calypso Facto said...

By now it is clear that we need to extend the school year, and increase the teaching hours, but do not want to pay the extra salary required.

Tell me again why we should be paying teachers more to increase the school year in order to hopefully achieve the results from yesteryear's shorter schedule?

Why has there been such a decrease in teacher effectiveness or student receptiveness? Wouldn't we be better off finding and addressing the base issues rather than just chasing the diminishing returns of using the same old methods over more hours? I'd bet the issues are behavioral based on existing incentives and not about to be solved by throwing more money at the situation.

MadisonMan said...

I'm pretty sure -- almost positive -- that Hizzoner's program can only be successful if there is a very strong Teachers' Union.

Rusty said...

I think I know why you're property taxes are so high.

Sam L. said...

Soo...they don't already have a strong core curriculum. And they've just figured that out.

Michael Haz said...

...increasing the amount of time children spend in learning environments.

My wife is a teacher in a green leafy suburb of Milwaukee. Her name is not the same as mine, should you be curious enough to look.

Her three biggest complaints are (1)The inordinate amout of time she is pulled out of her classroom for meetings, collaborations, planning, etc. She logs it, and she averages two full days per week when she is not doing what she is supposed to do - teach the subject matter. Now add the itme students are pulled out for field trips, etc.

2)The insistance of her administration that no child will be given a grade below C, no matter the lack of effort the student puts into doing the assigned work. Fail a test? We don't use the word "fail" here, we just give another test, perhaps with less difficult questions.

(3) A constant barrage of new and often ridiculous ideas and programs. She tallied them and in her school there are now 161 programs and initiatives, each with its own acronym. Often no one in administration can explain why they are being used, only that they sounded like a good idea.

Some examples: A directive that desks no longer can be arranged in rows. They have to be in groups of circles. Students in groups should do most of the teaching so that 90% of learning comes from students, and only 10% from actual teachers. Students must know their learning targets,a nd an administrator can make random stops to quiz students in the hallway as to what their learning targets are. Kid forgot? Punish the teacher.

While Mayor Soglin may have good intentions, the outcome of children spending more time in public schools is dumber kids. Dumber kids who have been taught liberalism.

My wife tells me that if we were of child-bearing age, there is no earthly way our children would be enrolled in any public school system. They crush learning with bureaucratization, lack of competition, dumbed-down course content and slavish following of unproved ideas.


wildswan said...

"the 10000lb elephant in the room is that students come in with widely varying IQ, and so achievement metrics that can only be achieved by persons of certain IQs"

Someonehastosayit. Here's a question for you - why are Milwaukee schools at the bottom nationally in terms of educating African-Americans? Now, see, it can't be IQ because twenty years ago in 1990 those same schools were at midpoint nationally. What changed? Not the gene pool, not in twenty years. No, what changed was employment. In those twenty years Milwaukee lost thousands of manufacturing jobs and African-Americans in great numbers lost their way into the middle class. And as those jobs disappeared and those parents lost their ticket out of poverty, the schools began to slip down. I believe this is cause and effect, not just a correlation in time; I believe it's the unemployed parents who are causing school decline. What say you?

TMink said...

Someone, you make good points. One confounding variable in the IQ research is single parent home status. That is another elephant in the room! Single parent homes have kids with poorer IQs and worse school achievement. Black families are completely plagued with this problem, and I believe it makes the "racial" differences appear larger than they are.

For instance, if single-parent home status is held constant, young whites and young black have the same incarceration rates.

But I appreciate what you are saying if I am not yet sure if I agree with you!

Later pal.

Trey

Rustling Leaves said...

@Alex, that sounds delicious. My son would love it. He loves salads. Tomatoes, broccoli, and hummus are three of his staple favorites. He won't touch a hot dog with a ten foot pole and refuses chocolate milk, he likes it plain. He is my is my heaviest kid. He's in the 95th percentile. My skinny minny girl won't eat much of anything but hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and chocolate milk. She is teen tiny. It is amazing how different each kid is. Before I was a parent and I thought I knew everything, I thought I would never feed my children hot dogs or chicken nuggets. Yeah, right. You live and learn. It should be an absolute requirement to gain authority as a child nutrition busybody that one has experienced parenthood firsthand.

Peter said...

Improving school performance is hardly a mystery.

Require more reading lots of reading.

And lots of writing, with feedback until it's of acceptable quality.

Of course, students aren't going to do that at home. So if you want them to do it, you have to keep them in school longer. And you have to be able to implement incentive and discipline plans so that they actually do it.

Improving student performance hardly a mystery (solvable only by those with a PhD in education?). It's just implementing effective education in public schools that is tough.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

TMink said...
Someone, you make good points. One confounding variable in the IQ research is single parent home status. That is another elephant in the room! Single parent homes have kids with poorer IQs and worse school achievement. Black families are completely plagued with this problem, and I believe it makes the "racial" differences appear larger than they are.

For instance, if single-parent home status is held constant, young whites and young black have the same incarceration rates.


First, thank you for the very civil reply. Much appreciated!

Here's the thing on what you just wrote, though. One has to be very careful to not conflate and confuse correlation and causation. It is very, very easy to do, and even the best of scientists fall prey.

You point-out that there is a relationship between single parenting and low achievement in school - and indeed there is. But it is not correct to then automatically assume 'causation' - that one of them has caused the other.

Because if you are, say, already of lower IQ, you might very well not make smart life choices, and one of those might have you winding up, pregnant and spouse-less. Your kids inherit your IQ, do less well in school. It then "looks" like the single-parenting CAUSED the doing poor in school, when, perhaps, it was, say, lower IQ that 'caused' BOTH.

That it why the "scientific method" of holding all variables static, but one, is so important - even and especially in the Social Sciences.

I'll jump to the chase and just say that, the data HAS been carefully analysed and normalized, and what looks like causation (single-parent and doing poor in school; single parent and higher crime rate) is merely correlation, and is caused by a third variable, e.g. lower intelligence.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Peter said...
Improving school performance is hardly a mystery.

Require more reading lots of reading.

And lots of writing, with feedback until it's of acceptable quality.


Improving ability to dunk a basketball is hardly a mystery.

Require more jumping lots of jumping. And lots of jumping until it's of acceptable height.

wildswan said...

Someone hastosayit said:
"I'll jump to the chase and just say that, the data HAS been carefully analysed and normalized,"

Well this is the exact point I'm speaking to when I say that in the Milwaukee schools achievement fell sharply when parents had no jobs. Same gene pool, same school buildings, better pay and perks - but when jobs were lost the schools' ability to teach African-Americans fell below that of Washington DC schools. I feel that this phenomenon needs an explanation and low IQ doesn't cut it - unless you are not linking IQ and genes as I assume you are. We live in Wisconsin - Milwaukee is our problem. So why did scores fall if not for the disruption and social chaos caused by the loss of most middle class jobs in twenty years. (Just assume I've read all the literature from Yerkes to Brand.)

Renee said...

wildswan,

Parental stress affects grades, both economic and social.



I know a few low-income single parents, by some luck have avoided being laid off, and if they are in a relationship they don't introduce the child to the new partner until it is clear it will turn into marriage. Academic achievement on par with my kids.

Calypso Facto said...

wildswan, your hypothesis appears to be that job losses caused school achievement decline, but that seems unlikely, if for no other reason than the fact that employment growth was strong throughout the '90s, until a dip with the 2000 recession, and then again until 2008. (BLS data) In contrast, Milwaukee school district test results have declined fairly steadily throughout that time period.

Even if there were a correlation, the causation might work the other way around: a poorly educated workforce might well account for job losses.

wildswan said...

Renee said
"a few low-income single parents, by some luck have avoided being laid off, and if they are in a relationship they don't introduce the child to the new partner until it is clear it will turn into marriage. Academic achievement on par with my kids. "
Yes. In my opinion, parents are the key to success for children. A while back there were studies denying this but now those studies are being challenged by all the data from the years of broken homes. However, there aren't more broken homes in Milwaukee among African-Americans than there were in the Nineties so that is why I wonder why achievement dropped sharply in the schools among the African Americans since the Nineties. My idea is that loss of jobs caused the drop so that loss of jobs in itself is a cause of massive social disruption which can't be remedied by welfare etc. I'm not committed to this because it's a new idea. But when I came out here to Wisconsin and found how badly the schools were teaching African-Americans I looked for a cause and this is the only massive social change I found. And you can see that if this is so then the crash/job loss of 2008 will cause massive social disruption in the schools beginning fairly soon. Maybe that's what is happening in Madison.

wildswan said...

Calypso facto said: "employment growth was strong throughout the '90s, until a dip with the 2000 recession, and then again until 2008. (BLS data)"
But City of Milwaukee data say that 77,000 jobs in manufacturing were lost to the suburbs and to overseas between 1970 and 2000 and that 95% of the jobs lost since then were in manufacturing; those that remain require higher levels of education. So, I take this to mean that you can't take the track through the factory to the middle class. And that loss of hope, I think possibly, leads to other losses which show up as a decline in school scores
statistics in e.g. http://city.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cityDCD/planning/plans/Citywide/plan/EconDev.pdf

mtrobertsattorney said...

The conclusion that low intelligence is the cause of crime leads to the inference that people with low intelligence are very likely to be bad or immoral people.

The more rational conclusion is that poor impulse control is the major cause of crime.

So how is proper impulse control to be taught to children? In other words, how do you shape the character of children? This question takes us back to the ancient Greek philosophers. But there's a problem: putting aside a few insignificant exceptions, early Greek philosophy is neither taught nor understood today.

Calypso Facto said...

Every city in the US has lost manufacturing jobs, wildswan:

"From the peak manufacturing employment of 19.55 million jobs in 1979, the American manufacturing workforce has shrunk by more than 40%, as almost 8 million manufacturing jobs have been eliminated over the last thirty years"

Why is Milwaukee the one with the worst schools?

wildswan said...

to MtRobertsAttorney:
Philosophy in the West teaches character; parents teach character; religious beliefs when present develop character. When these fail, some say society should step in but I think that when these fail in a widespread manner society does not exist anymore. Putting the blame on the schools makes me think of lashing hamsters to make them run their cage-wheel faster. On the other hand, the social ruin will show up in the schools as anarchy and poor achievement.

wildswan said...

Calypso Facto said: "Every city in the US has lost manufacturing jobs ... why is Milwaukee the worst?"
Hmm. Well, Milwaukee was a city more highly dependent on manufacturing than almost any other US city I've been told so maybe the loss was felt more. 40% of the jobs were manufacturing and now that's 17%. The areas the jobs left from are the areas with the worst schools for helping African-Americans so that's why I see job loss as a cause of school collapse.

wildswan said...

My main point is that I think if we are discussing schools we should try to get at the cause of the school collapse in Milwaukee. Schools went from fairly good at educating African-Americans to the worst - struggling with Detroit and Washington DC. for last place. And I think IQ is ruled out since it is the same gene pool. And I consider the question important since if it is loss of jobs which causes the problem then we are going to have a massive problem in ten years everywhere and the problem in Milwaukee is a sort of miner's canary.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

mtrobertsattorney said...

The conclusion that low intelligence is the cause of crime leads to the inference that people with low intelligence are very likely to be bad or immoral people.


No, not at all. "very likely"?? Hope you're not REALLY an attorney. If you are, what grade did you get in logic/inference class? Ha.

What is "very likely" about low intelligence folks is that that make poorer decisions, across the board. Many of those have nothing to do with crime or immorality. Their most likely and most consequential effects show up in economic areas, especially in a society like ours that tends to reward the higher cognitive skill sets. Perhaps they are more likely to end up on the dole.

But poor decisions can show up anywhere. Perhaps at the end of a close basketball game, they call time out, when the team has none left, resulting in a loss of ball possession, and the game, and their role as a starter. This is neither immoral or criminal. But a smarter player would have better situational awareness.

Perhaps they think it wise to seek respect on the street, and chose friends unwisely. Perhaps they get caught more frequently, where others more clever, get away with it. Perhaps they unwisely reject a plea deal - this would skew the average IQ of those in jail, for instance.

But to "infer" they are "very likely" to be immoral and criminal? No.

city said...

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