I’ll Be Rich If I Can Figure This Out

28 07 2015

St. Ann

P-D:

Pattonville parents urge an offensive to counter bullying

Two months removed from the sometimes-vicious halls of sixth grade, Rachel McCormick took her seat at the Pattonville School Board on Tuesday night unsure if she would speak.

Rachel, 12, had been bullied all year, she and her mother said — despite the district’s anti-bullying policies. Despite the emphasis on character education. Despite the meetings with school administrators.

None of it did much good, Rachel said. At the start of the school year at Holman Middle School, she was shunned on the bus. She said she just wanted to sit next to someone. A few days later, someone shoved Rachel away with their foot.

In October and November, students stole her lunch. Then there was the name-calling.

Each time she was bullied, she and her mother told school officials. But what her mother called a “Band-Aid” approach wasn’t doing Rachel any good. It was time to make their grievances public at the board meeting.

That’s not to say the Pattonville School District doesn’t work to counter bullying already, district spokeswoman Mickey Schoonover said. The Where Everybody Belongs group helps children transition to middle school. The Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports program teaches appropriate behavior, Schoonover added.

Still, about a dozen parents and students attended the meeting to show solidarity with the McCormicks. They acknowledged the district’s efforts, but urged more.

And then, yadda yadda.

Why were Rachel’s bullies never punished?  Why did the school officials respond with useless band-aids and more useless band-aids?

C’mon now.  You know which blog you’re reading.  One written by someone who can use Great Schools, and find out that Holman Middle is 53% white and 38% black.

The Pattonville district and many other districts that are similarly positioned are caught in between a rock and a hard place.  The rock is trying to cut down on bullying, violence, severe misbehavior.  The hard place is #BlackLivesMatter and school to prison pipeline paranoia, trying to reduce suspensions of black students to keep the Department of Justice and the disparate impact bean counters happy.  We already know that colleges and universities have found a way to extricate them from a similar Catch-22, getting themselves out from between the rock of high SAT scores and the hard place of NAM diversity, of its admitted classes.  So there has to be some way for public K-12 school districts with significant NAM student percentages to solve this problem.

For me, solving this problem means getting a money tree.





Big Data

18 07 2015

Washington, D.C.

On the other hand, it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder for anyone to argue that race is just a social construct.

And also, with that much race data on so many subjects so widely available, it might spark a wave of noticing.  People might start doubting that whole equality hokum.





Because Science

14 07 2015

Racial differences in brain structure.

 





It’s a Black Thang, Understand.

5 07 2015

Chocolate City St. Louis

While the crux of subprime mortgage lending and the subsequent collapse was centered on “sand state” Hispanics, locally, because St. Louis hardly has any Hispanics, subprime was a synonym for black, and it is in the black zip codes where the effects of the collapse still linger.  It’s also why the P-D only cites the national subprime statistics for blacks and non-Hispanic whites, and not for Hispanics.

If you can ignore the liberal histrionics, (you say “predatory lending,” I say “affirmative action mortgages”), then it makes for a decent article.





Bawk, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit, Bawk.

5 07 2015

Jefferson City

Steve Sailer’s War on Nice White Lady Teachers has hit home.

P-D:

Women and minorities having a tough go on teaching exams

Giant asteroid to end all life on Earth tomorrow; Women and minorities hardest hit.

The pool of prospective K-12 instructors is getting smaller in Missouri as large numbers of college students are failing the tests required to become teachers.

And while some argue that higher failure rates raise the bar for teacher quality in the long term, it’s feeding immediate concern of a shortage of women and minority instructors.

Women can’t be teachers anymore?  Now that would be news.  Or, it’s not news.  Remember that the dictionary definition of “woman” is an adult female human being, while the political definition of “woman” is an adult female human being that votes except if she is white and married.  In this case and context, “woman” means black woman.  Remember, it’s Missouri, so blacks are the only non-white minority group that really has any political muscle.

The gender gap is problematic because the tests are cutting off the very people most driven to the profession. Women represent three-fourths of the nation’s teachers.

I suspect that white women aren’t having much of a problem with these tests.

The racial disparity also is troubling because, while classrooms are becoming more diverse, the pool of available teachers is not. Research shows that students generally perform better when they share a similar cultural background with their teachers.

And other research has shown the opposite.  Of course, remember here that this doesn’t apply to whites, nobody is in a hurry to give white teachers to white students so that they can do better.  This only really applies to NAMs, and in the case of Missouri, blacks.  If black students do better with black teachers, it’s because black students with black teachers tend to occur in black schools, where there is also lots of grade and course title inflation, which standardized testing will expose.

The state’s position is that the exams are doing what they are supposed to do: ensure that only the most qualified candidates become teachers.

Isn’t that what neo-liberals and Waiting for Superman people and Davis Guggenheim want?  Only grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat teachers?  Cue Tony the Tiger:  They’re grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!!!!!

At the same time, the officials in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education say they are concerned that the exams could be discouraging diversity.

Don’t be too concerned, otherwise people are going to start noticing that there’s a necessary tradeoff between standards and blacks.

And many are pointing first to research suggesting that standardized tests often contain inherent biases, treating people as identical and not taking into account differences in race, culture, socioeconomic background and different learning styles.

Except these tests are probably gone over 50 million different ways to Sunday with a fine toothed comb to make sure they don’t have any bias.  See below.

State officials counter that Missouri’s teacher exams have been vetted extensively and don’t contain any bias.

See what I mean?  Really, though, what is meant by “bias” here is the good ole disparate impact doctrine, which SCOTUS just upheld for use in housing policy.  Racial differences in scores and passing rates are used as implicit evidence of bias, even if there actually isn’t any bias.

“The question of why do certain groups score higher or lower is a bigger conversation,” said Paul Katnick, an assistant commissioner with Missouri’s department of education. “We need to continue to think about the root causes of the gaps, but we are confident that it’s not bias.”

It’s a bigger conversation that is never held because its contents are taboo, and because J. Phillipe Rushton and Charles Murray are non-persons.

I, too, am confident that it’s not bias.  It’s the bell curve.

Of the tests required to teach in Missouri’s elementary schools, the state reported that 42 percent of white students passed all four of the tests at the same time compared with only 6 percent of black students.

If these tests are g-loaded, then I estimate that they are de facto IQ tests with around 105 as the cutoff line.

A better indicator of teacher quality is their level of grit, McBride said. The idea of grit as a determining factor of achievement is based on research from Stanford University that says self-control, resisting temptation and how well someone is able to persevere and fight through obstacles are more efficient indicators of success.

I think it’s entirely possible that this “grit” is important for teachers.  But it’s not a perfect substitute for ability. Otherwise, they’ll have to show the John Wayne movie True Grit in ed school.

Laura Howe, a spokeswoman with Pearson, said the company worked hard to come up with tests specific to Missouri. Those tests were then scrutinized by a bias committee made of practicing teachers and faculty from teacher preparation programs who look for ambiguous language, culture-specific references and other forms of bias.

Like I said, 50 million different ways to Sunday.

Cuenca, who also serves on the Missouri Advisory Board for Educator Preparation, said neither the state nor Pearson had provided enough information on the people who make up the bias committee, their backgrounds, their methods or how they were trained to spot bias.

The bias committee might be biased.  Clever way to move the goalposts.  I guess this means 50 million different ways to Sunday weren’t enough.

He also notes that a New York judge has already ruled that tests designed by Pearson in that state discriminated against minorities.

The Federal district courts for the southern district of New York are full of crackpot judges that love to whip out the disparate impact doctrine to declare everything from firefighter tests to teacher tests to prostate tests to the wrestler Test as being biased.

We all sound really stupid and we look really stupid chasing our tails and chasing illusory pots of gold because we can’t admit to simple truths.





HIV Happens

7 06 2015

New York City

Reuters:

HIV risk among young gay, bi men tied to societal issues

For young gay and bisexual men, the risk of HIV infection is linked with societal issues, a new study says.

“What we’re starting to say here, if you’re black and Hispanic you’re more likely to become HIV positive, but really this is driven by you’re low income, you live in a poor neighborhood or you live in a neighborhood with higher HIV prevalence,” said lead author Perry Halkitis of New York University.

(snip)

In previous research, behaviors didn’t explain disparities in HIV among young men who have sex with men, Halkitis and his colleagues say.

Young black and Hispanic men who have sex with men “do not appear to engage in more or riskier sexual behaviors compared with their white peers,” they write in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes

For the new study, the researchers analyzed patterns of new HIV infections among 594 young men who have sex with men.

Participants were recruited from the New York City area between 2009 and 2011 and were 18 or 19 when they entered the study. At that point they were all HIV-negative.

Over the next three years, 43 participants became infected with HIV.

About a third of black, Hispanic and mixed or other race participants became HIV-positive during the study, compared to about 7 percent of white participants.

People who described themselves as being in low to average social and economic groups were more likely to become HIV-positive than those in higher socioeconomic groups.

Also, the authors found, young age at first sexual experience with another male was tied to an increased risk of becoming HIV-positive, compared to a first encounter at an older age.

“The bigger point here is that it’s just too simplistic to (blame) everything on race,” Halkitis said. “We’re trying to get at the reason that’s happening. This paper starts to point to it.”

This means just being black or Hispanic, or not having enough money, or being around people who don’t have enough money, or being around people who have HIV, causes you to contract HIV.  Remember when the gay lobby (as they were called back then) told us not to be this paranoid and irrational about the ease of catching HIV?  I know, it has been a very long time, (hence, why I called them the “gay lobby” and not what they’re called now, their ridiculous alphabet soup acronym), and some of you may not even have been born when we were being told that.  That’s one of the good things about being middle aged now, that I can remember how they change up the party lines slowly and on the sly.  Though I can add that while they were trying to get us not to be so paranoid over how we can contract HIV, they were simultaneously and hypocritically spreading paranoia and anti-science irrationality about how easy it supposedly was to catch it via normal heterosexual sex, the good ole insert tab A into slot B.  That was to spread the notion that everyone was at risk, to distract from the truth that anal sex is by far the easiest transmission vector.

Now, it’s back to full paranoia ahead.

And also, this has absolutely nothing do with the fact that this “science” relies on people honestly reporting facts about themselves, and that certain kinds of people have a lot of trouble doing that.

Additionally, young people may not have sexual autonomy in sexual decisions – especially with older partners, said Coleman, who was not involved with the new research.

“…May not have sexual autonomy in sexual decisions…older partners…” — In my day, we called this “rape.”

They also point out that young gay and bisexual men may not be properly educated about STIs, and their heterosexual parents may not be equipped to educate on those topics.

“I think that one way we can begin to address this issue is through comprehensive sexual health education,” said Jason Coleman, an expert on HIV and STI prevention at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

This study was done in New York City.  What kind of anti-science religious fanatic knuckledragging retrogrades control the schools in New York City?

 

 

 





With Equality and Democratic Republicanism, the Unbelievable Is Believable.

5 05 2015

Coventry, England

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?

(snip)

Once he got thinking, Swift could see that the issue stretches well beyond the fact that some families can afford private schooling, nannies, tutors, and houses in good suburbs. Functional family interactions—from going to the cricket to reading bedtime stories—form a largely unseen but palpable fault line between families. The consequence is a gap in social mobility and equality that can last for generations.

(snip)

In contrast, reading stories at bedtime, argues Swift, gives rise to acceptable familial relationship goods, even though this also bestows advantage.

‘The evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t—the difference in their life chances—is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t,’ he says.

This devilish twist of evidence surely leads to a further conclusion—that perhaps in the interests of levelling the playing field, bedtime stories should also be restricted. In Swift’s mind this is where the evaluation of familial relationship goods goes up a notch.

You may be wondering how this jives with the new party line consensus being spouted in the NYT that the black-white and black-nonblack gaps in everything from education to income to museum attendance is rooted in the fact that black parents don’t use enough words at, toward and around their newborn and toddler and infant children.  It’s easy, really — If Aquanetta won’t read to little D’Leisha and Shitavious, then the way to make things equal is not to allow white parents to read bedtime stories to their white children.








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