Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Five Social Disadvantages That Depress Student Performance

I saw this report two days ago and wanted to address it since education is one of the issues important to The Ghost. Though this report lists 5 disadvantages I'm going to add more particularly for black folks (and not so black folks who are called African-American...ahem...I'll deal with that on another post). The short list is as follows:
This report describes how social class characteristics plausibly depress achievement and suggests policies to address them. It focuses on five characteristics for purposes of illustration:

*parenting practices that impede children’s intellectual and behavioral development
*single parenthood
*parents’ irregular work schedules
*inadequate access to primary and preventive health care
*exposure to and absorption of lead in the blood.

Leaad poisoning is definitely an external factor. A parent that has no idea that there is lead paint in their home that their kid is eating cannot be blamed for that. So lets get to the findings: I want to add something to the talked with children. If the adult is speaking street slang to their children or other forms of so called "ebonics", they are not helping their children in the least bit. In fact I would suggest that it creates a barrier to later learning as proper English has to be learned in the classroom almost like a second language rather than English being primarily improved in the classroom.

Also allow me to take issue with the following:

ECLS-K reports responses by socioeconomic status (SES), using an SES definition including parents’ income, education, and occupational prestige. Such definitions are useful but limited, missing other important social class characteristics. For example, in 2010, the ratio of black to white median family income was 56 percent, while the ratio of black to white median family wealth was 5 percent, owing largely to 20th century housing policy that barred African Americans from purchasing suburban homes that later appreciated in value, a primary source of wealth for households.
While these economic disparities do exist they do nothing to explain why a parent doesn't buy a book for their child. Anyone rolling through the 'hood will note that black folks of "poor" backgrounds have no problems purchasing expensive sneakers, spending inordinate amounts of money on vehicles and of course on weaves of all hues. Also, even within the middle class of black folks who are still behind their white counterparts in wealth, they generally have enough income to purchase books for their children but choose not to. I grew up with a wall of books of all kinds and my parent never made more than $46k/year in her entire life until well after I graduated college. Parents who are bullish on education do what they have to do.
Patrick Sharkey, for example, has shown that the quality of the neighborhood where a child’s mother was raised has a bigger influence on the child’s achievement than the quality of neighborhood where the child was raised.
This was also pointed out in the Bell Curve. Poor smart people have better chances at being successful than poor dumb ones. If you are poor but live in a home that values hard work and education, that will likely pass on to the children who generally will do better than the parent. If you live in a house of deadbeats who think living that life is acceptable, then the children of those people are going to also think that such behavior is OK. This is old news to those of us paying attention. There is something very important in this chart. It shows that on average the HIGHEST SES blacks own less books than the LOWESTSES whites. So the question would be what are the characteristics of this high SES class of black folks that they simply do not read? I would be very interested in how other groups (Asians, Hispanics of various racial backgrounds) rank.
Other research finds that parents on public assistance, unemployed, or with less than a high school education typically provide less cognitive stimulation to children.11 When reading aloud, lower-class parents provide less guidance and are less strategic in building on children’s prior knowledge to expand it.12
This is not surprising. If the parents were prone to "building on prior knowledge" they most likely would not have "less than a high school education and/or be on public assistance. Dropping out of high school is generally a good sign of lack of forward looking thinking and desire for "knowledge expansion".
By age 6, white children have typically spent 1,300 more hours engaged in conversations with adults than black children.
I'll repeat here that not only would these children be lacking the 1300 hours but the quality of the hours that were spent are per previous paragraph probably lacking as well.
How parents shape children’s choice-making, self-direction, and stances toward authority varies by social class. Middle-class parents typically give fewer direct orders, instead providing controlled choices. Lower-class parents expect more deference to authority. Lower-class children typically have more unstructured leisure time where they need not follow adult rules, while middle-class children typically have more structured schedules. [my underlines]
I think the underlined passage directly contradicts the preceding sentence. If a child is in a situation where they do not have to follow adult rules, then expectations of deference to authority (particularly male authority) moot. However; I think there is a great deal of value in "unstructured" leisure time IF it is within a set of boundaries. For example, saying to your children "go outside and play" means they are not sitting in the house watching TV. If they are in the house and told to "play" but play does not include video games, iPads or the like, forces a child to use their imagination which IS good for education. It would probably be best for the researchers to define or refine "unstructured".
Math and reading skills of entering kindergartners in the top and bottom SES quintiles differ by about 40 percentile points in normal distributions.16 Cognitive gaps do not change much from kindergarten to middle school. This does not mean that schools are ineffective with lower SES children; rather, lower SES gains resemble those of higher quintiles, and initial gaps are left mostly unchanged. [My underlines]
Meaning if your kid wasn't very bright in the beginning, he will still not be very bright in the end. Bright children will still continue to acquire and build on prior knowledge as they progress. They don't generally slow down. I brought this up in the "20 Minute Kids" post.
Parents who are more involved in their children’s educations by volunteering outside the classroom, helping their children with homework, and checking their children’s homework have children with fewer behavioral problems in the classroom.
That would be "structured time" no? If they weren't prone to doing that before...
The availability of children’s books and whether mothers read aloud, share meals with their children, use non-harsh discipline, expect their children to help keep their homes clean, are affectionate with their children, and encourage children to contribute to conversation all predict better social skills and fewer teacher-reported behavioral problems. [my underlines]
You know that "non-harsh" discipline is code for spanking right? Oh and we will definitely notice that fathers are mention nowhere. Let me suggest a different formulation:
The availability of children's books and whether mothers and fathers read aloud, share meals with their children, use proper and proportionate discipline, set high expectations of their children's behavior and are affectionate with their children...
We have seen what happens when so called "harsh discipline" is removed from the equation. Teachers assaulted in schools. Kids deciding to not go to class. Kids deciding to act a total fool in class. swift, certain and consistent discipline, sometimes "harsh" is a key factor in the proper socialization of children.
Parents with less education have fewer educational interactions with their children at home. Among low-income African American mothers, those who are less educated tend to provide less assistance and be less supportive and encouraging of their children during home-based teachable tasks like puzzle-making. [my underlines]
Aside from the complete absence of "father" in this paragraph I would like to know whether there is a recorded difference in attitude, specifically in the area of support between mothers and their male children vs. their female children. I would also like to know if any of this relatively hostile environment is the result of any hostility on the part of the mother towards their father that has been redirected towards the children.

Moving on: 51% of black children living without a father in the home?!!!


Although black children are more likely to be living with the mother alone than white children, the share of both white and black children in single-parent homes has grown, partly because falling real wages have made it more challenging for women to find marriage partners who earn sufficient incomes to support families.
Partly. How about largely because the types of jobs that guaranteed a middle class lifestyle have all but disappeared from the US. How about partly because in some professions there may as well be a "no negro allowed" sign on the door for the low numbers of black people employed but the high level of immigrants that are. You might not "need no man" but clearly your children do.
The number of years fathers work nights before children’s fifth birthdays predicts increased sexual activity for the children when they reach adolescence.
I'm going to take this with a few grains of salt. If they are saying that *Single* father's who work night shifts have these issues, then I'd be prone to believe it. If they are saying that where the mother and father live together and the father is working a night shift while the mother is at home, meaning the children are supervised, then something is very wrong. There is a linked paper so I'd have to read it to be certain.
Children with parents who work non-standard hours are heavier than those whose parents work regular schedules. Lower-middle-class children (those whose families are in the second income quartile) whose mothers have worked non-standard shifts for from one to four years have close to twice the odds of being overweight at age 13 or 14 as children from economically similar families whose mothers do not work non-standard shifts.
They did not say the age of these children, which is relevant but it would suggest that either the parents are "rush cooking" and/or the children are being left alone and therefore are prone to digging in the fridge for food.
Parents with non-standard schedules find it more difficult to spend time with children and engage in cognitively stimulating activities with them.74 For example, for low-income African American mothers of preschool children, each additional nighttime hour of work is associated with a decrease in cognitively stimulating mother–child activities of about 1.5 percentile points in a normal distribution of mothers’ engagement in such activities. Thus, mothers who work a full eight-hour night shift decrease their engagement in cognitively stimulating mother–child activities by about 21 percentile points in such a distribution.
This brings an implication for mothers who decide to pursue additional education (or make up education) after having a child. If this paper is correct and each hour costs the child 1.5 percentage points of less engagement and it doesn't matter what the mother is doing for that hour, it would mean that if she pursues an education after work, the children are losing that much more time. She may become better off financially at the end of x years but how damaging has that been to the child's development?

I'm skipping over the doctor visits and lead issues and going to the recommendations.

The employment-to-population ratio of African American men age 20–24 was below 50 percent in early 2014, the lowest rate for any demographic group.121 We can enhance outcomes for African American children by creating opportunities for their fathers to support them. This requires a national full-employment policy, including public jobs when the private sector is too weak to absorb the unemployed.122 Macroeconomic policy is education policy.
Not sure what utopia this group is living in or imagines will happen but there is never full employment in a society where one is not a farmer or hunter. Secondly, with automation gaining steam jobs are going to get more scarce, not less scarce. Furthermore the jobs that are the last to fall will be the ones that these 20-24 year old, high school drop outs cannot do as they generally lack the IQ to do them. Lastly, in the interim the high levels of illegal immigration and the jobs they perform, places they live and strains they put on the educational systems which poor black people already suffer from only means that such employment opportunities will not show up. If the authors are not willing to face up to these issues then their recommendations are extremely faulty.
Young African American men as a group are less employable because they are discriminatorily incarcerated at very high rates.
Sorry but being jailed because you shot someone isn't discrimination. And no, the white man didn't make you do it.
But when growing numbers of middle-class women are single mothers by choice, we cannot expect lower-income women to delay childbearing indefinitely when we fail to create conditions for economically viable marriages.
And why exactly are middle class women choosing to be single mothers?
With 40 percent of births currently to unwed mothers, even if programs to reduce this rate are effective, single parenthood will continue. Ameliorating single parenthood’s negative outcomes requires reforms discussed above: home-visiting programs like the NFP, high-quality early childhood care and education, and high-quality after-school and summer programs for children whose home lives are unstable and resource-starved. The federal tax code’s child care subsidy is inadequate and its availability insufficient to enable low-wage single mothers to afford high-quality child care.
Lets see...the state should provide resources like medical care. Child entertainment, an environment that is conducive to rearing a child. You know what? That sounds like what we expected fathers to do. So in essence the state should be the daddy. Let me ask you a question: You have a choice between two men to have a baby with. One has a job, some savings, car, decent place to live, BUT you never know. He might bail. The other one has millions coming in every year from recurring income and will never disappear. Which one do you decide to have a baby with? Now about that "why are middle class women choosing single parenthood..."