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  1. #1
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    The Education Gap and the red herring of Race

    "Educating a white child in Alabama confers the same disadvantage as the historical effects of massive racial discrimination and segregation."

    I just like this statement. It's from a blog post that you can read here.
    Last edited by noddin0ff; 02-14-2012 at 08:44 AM.
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  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff View Post
    "Educating a white child in Alabama confers the same disadvantage as the historical effects of massive racial discrimination and segregation."

    I just like this statement. It's from a blog post that you can read here.
    Why are you posting this, Noddin? What's your own opinion?

    Murray's results in both the Alabama and Massachusetts cases are supposedly based kids of college-educated, non-poor parents. OK, but in fact the results negate neither the inheritance nor the education hypotheses: "College-educated" and "non-poor" are pretty wide categories, thus MA white parents might, on average, be both better educated & richer and also of higher IQ. MA is a haven for both elite universities and sophisticated business operations which might explain this.

    However, IMO, in the last 30 years especially, race has been surrogate for poverty, (as though Black and poor were more or less synonymous). For example, consider the recent inane statements of Gingrich and Romney. With due consideration for the fact that a higher portion of Blacks are still be poor, the American problem is decreasingly race and increasingly poverty. It isn't "class warefare" to say so.

  3. #3
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Honestly, my opinion is a work in progress. I thought the blog post was great food for thought and might give you guys something to beat on other than religion and N. American regionalism. ;-)

    My opinion in general is similar to yours, that race has been a surrogate for poverty. And it pains me to no end that this gets coded into political pandering. My position is that if you want to bring academic achievement up and level the playing field for our children, we should be providing meals at schools, no questions asked.

    However, the blog post is also interesting because, while we can argue poverty and social structure and morality, this seems to be a pretty clear case where the state is failing to support a school curriculum. You suggest that the results fail to negate inheritance nor education hypothesis. To counter, the statement that the gap between MA/AL whites is the same as between MA/AL blacks suggests that, unless the demographics of both groups are identical between the states (which is unlikely), that the performance difference between AL and MA is due to how the states differentially implement educational curriculums.

    If itís the state then, unlike poverty or morality or the red herring of race, it should be readily fixable. If so, why isnít AL fixing it? Maybe we should be examining (and blaming) curriculum rather than blaming people for being poor.
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  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff View Post
    ....
    However, the blog post is also interesting because, while we can argue poverty and social structure and morality, this seems to be a pretty clear case where the state is failing to support a school curriculum. You suggest that the results fail to negate inheritance nor education hypothesis. To counter, the statement that the gap between MA/AL whites is the same as between MA/AL blacks suggests that, unless the demographics of both groups are identical between the states (which is unlikely), that the performance difference between AL and MA is due to how the states differentially implement educational curriculums.

    If itís the state then, unlike poverty or morality or the red herring of race, it should be readily fixable. If so, why isnít AL fixing it? Maybe we should be examining (and blaming) curriculum rather than blaming people for being poor.
    Other than that AL whites are a lot stupider than MA whites , the education system has to be the problem.

    Anyway, I don't think you have to be a Harvard professor to figure out that in today's global economy education & training are a major key to the nation's competitiveness. Why do so many Americans (and Canadians) think it's less important to fund public education than to have 3 vehicles, a 6000 sf. house, 4 HDTVs, and overseas vacations twice a year? I really haven't figured out.

    I suppose a lot of upper-middle class people, (and stupid middle-middle class people), feel, "Oh well, if public education goes south, I can send my kids to private schools; why should I care about the poor?" Hummm ... I like to point out that most upper-middle class people are that way ONLY because their less well-off customers & clients as yet have decent jobs to afford their goods & services.

    There is a cultural problem, I suspect: an ethos that says the poor are poor, in our lands of boundless opportunity, only because they are lazy or listless, and therefore are undeserving.

  5. #5
    3LB
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    cunning linguist 3LB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Anyway, I don't think you have to be a Harvard professor to figure out that in today's global economy education & training are a major key to the nation's competitiveness. Why do so many Americans (and Canadians) think it's less important to fund public education than to have 3 vehicles, a 6000 sf. house, 4 HDTVs, and overseas vacations twice a year?
    Too much waste. Conspicuous consumption still rule the day with regards to perceived success. City planners encourage building monsterous 3500sqft houses on tiny city plots to optimize maximum property tax value. The state of Washington State for example has a state lottery that was supposed to pump money into education, same with legalized gambling. So you'd think Washington's education department was swimming in money... no. So where did all that money go? As with many taxes and programs, the monies get lumped into the general fund, alegedly to cut down on legislation costs, but in the end, the funds can wind up getting cherry-picked for anything, w/o voter consent. I don't know know how other states are run, but WA state is run like a country club. The money for a stellar education is there, its just getting used elsewhere, and no one has a good answer why.
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  6. #6
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    The fundamental problem with the education system is that, unlike almost eveyr other major area of human activity, it has not moved forward in the past 100+ years, since the industrial revolution. It's pretty much the same model of a classroom with a person teaching at the front.

    Until the paradigm shifts fundamentally and there is room for innovation, nothing will change.

  7. #7
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff View Post
    ... the blog post is also interesting because, while we can argue poverty and social structure and morality, this seems to be a pretty clear case where the state is failing to support a school curriculum.
    I don't think it is a "clear" case.


    Quote Originally Posted by noddy
    If so, why isnít AL fixing it? Maybe we should be examining (and blaming) curriculum rather than blaming people for being poor.
    It's telling that the south is also the place in which most populist movements take hold and the reasons behind that are the same reasons that affect lower academic scores. It's self perpetuating.

    In cultures that rebuke the virtues of education in favor of good ol' fashioned, god fearin' values it shouldn't be surprising that children turn out bruised and illiterate. How's thyat fer yore fancy book-learnin', son?


    I'd be interested to see any studies done on the effects of environment on this kind of thing---and by "environment" I mean, literally, the environment. It's a lot easier to get kids to read a book or discover things on a computer when they're already inside.
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  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks View Post
    ...
    It's telling that the south is also the place in which most populist movements take hold and the reasons behind that are the same reasons that affect lower academic scores. It's self perpetuating.

    In cultures that rebuke the virtues of education in favor of good ol' fashioned, god fearin' values it shouldn't be surprising that children turn out bruised and illiterate. How's thyat fer yore fancy book-learnin', son?
    ....
    Self-perpetuating vicious circles, (pardon the redundancy), are hard to break. Any suggestions?

    Simple solutions are what got Hitler into power. Republican ideologues offer nothing but. Lower taxes (for the rich), fewer protections, "smaller government", and self-righteous religion will only accelerated US economic & social decline -- and then what? I've said for decades that the threat to America isn't socialism, it's fascism.
    Last edited by Feanor; 03-16-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  9. #9
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    Self-perpetuating vicious circles, (pardon the redundancy), are hard to break. Any suggestions?
    Yeah. I'm gonna set a good example by being educated and wealthy.

    Walk into a rap club or a heavy metal bar and try to engage the patrons in a discussion about Aristophanes. You can't teach the unwilling.

    Are there areas of the curriculum that should be tweaked? Sure. I can't help but notice that the more social studies/"feelings" classes that we teach the lower real test scores get. How about a return to core knowledge...

    ...but we could have the best schools with the best teachers and until the parents create an environment in which learning is necessary and valuable nothing is going to get better.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  10. #10
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    The real question is "How does one get out of AL?"

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