Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Monday, February 02, 2015

Not Really All That Good

Yesterday I saw (and commented) on this piece in the NY Times Which featured the following:
On the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, the average reading and math scores of eighth-grade black boys are barely higher than those of fourth-grade white girls, and Latino boys score only marginally better....Only 57 percent of young black men and 62 percent of young Latino men graduate from high school in four years, compared with 79 percent of young white men.

The teenagers in Chicago’s math-tutoring-on-steroids experiment fit this dismal profile. They were as many as seven years behind in reading and 10 in math — 16-year-olds with the skills of third graders. [my underlines]

Looking at the underlined text one sees a devastating set of facts as well as a question: How did those kids stack up to white boys and Asians (male and female)? This is particularly important because we know that Asians tend to outperform whites of either gender, particularly in STEM subjects. So if the black boys are doing that badly compared to whites, who statistically do poorer than Asians, then compared to the TOP of the pile, these boys are VERY far behind.

Now lets look at the "results":

Here’s why you should pay close attention to this experiment. After just a single year in Chicago’s intensive tutoring and mentoring program, known as Match, participants ended up as much as two years ahead of students in a control group who didn’t get this help [my underlines]
Now lets recap. The boys were originally 4 years back (and "as many as seven years in reading and 10 in math") of their grade level. After one year in the program these students were ahead two years compared to students who were not in the program (control group). That would mean the following:

7 years back became 5 years back.
10 years back became 8 years back.
4th grade level became 6 grade level, for a student now in the 9th grade!!!!

This is an improvement? Maybe some, but nothing I would be writing a glowing report about. Essentially they were REAAALy REALLY REALLY far behind in the beginning and now they are just Reaaaally, reaaaly far behind.

What this article actually does is provide ammunition against the argument that the problem with the schools are the teachers. Can we really say that a kid who is 16 reading on early grade school level is the fault of the teacher? Is a 16 year old who is 10 years back on math the fault of the school? I say it is not. Particularly when there are people in third world countries without any of the things that the poorest urban school child takes for granted (ready access to pen and paper, a library with free books on all manner of subjects and reliable 24-7 electricity) who do better than these kids.

It's time to take a non-ideological look at what is going on in Chicago and elsewhere.