The Hispanic-white gap—just as intractable as the black-white gap
I thought you would find this, from the Orange County Register, interesting. Some quotes:
The U.S. Department of Education report, released June 23, shows the achievement gap between white and Hispanic students has not closed at all since the early 1990s, with the overall difference between the groups remaining above 20 points, or roughly two grade levels, on a scale of 0 to 500.
And finally this:
Also, Hispanic students are making gains—it’s just that they’re making those gains at the same rate as white students, said George Farkas, a UC Irvine professor of education.
“It’s a moving target to narrow the gap,” said Farkas, an expert on the achievement gap among ethnic and socioeconomic minority groups. “To narrow the gap, the minority children have to gain more than the white middle-class children, and that’s a tall order when you’re already starting with a disadvantage.”
Farkas said that given higher poverty levels and other challenges with the U.S. Hispanic population, it’s commendable that federal and state officials would even aspire to close the achievement gap.
“No other nation has set as a public policy goal to narrow achievement gaps by income or race and ethnicity,” Farkas said. “The fact that we have made it such an explicit public policy, and put unbelievable—perhaps unfair—pressure on teachers and principals, is to our credit.”
So the fact that we are insane is to our credit. ‘Nuff said.
Let me modify Farkas’s last quoted statement in order to get at what is even more to our credit than pressuring teachers and schools to do the impossible:
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“No other nation has set as a public policy goal the mass immigration of a foreign population that is permanently two grade levels in intellectual achievement behind the host country’s majority population, with the ultimate end of making that immigrant population the country’s new majority group. The fact that we have made it our public policy, thus demonstrating our commitment to non-discrimination, is to our credit.”
Alan M. writes:
That’s bracingly clarifying.
James P. writes:
To paraphrase John F. Kennedy,
“We choose to bring tens of millions of Hispanics to this country and to close their achievement gap with whites not because it is easy, but because it is hard. That goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills. That challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win.”
After all, if we can aspire to put Muslims in space “to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science,” as no other nation has done, can’t we aspire to narrow achievement gaps by income or race and ethnicity, as no other nation has done? Only America’s inherent racism prevents us from achieving these noble goals!
We need to collect more paraphrases like this, famous historical statements of courage and determination combined ironically with modern statements about our utopian determination to do the impossible with regard to immigration and race.
Matthew C. writes:
George Farkas’s comment “To narrow the gap, the minority children have to gain more than the white middle-class children, and that’s a tall order when you’re already starting with a disadvantage,” is irrational in my opinion. The group starting out with the disadvantage is at an advantage when it comes to narrowing the gap. This is what people often refer to as the “law of diminishing returns” in action.
For example, imagine two bowlers, one with an average of 250 and another with an average of 150. Though the second bowler is at a disadvantage when compared to the first initially, ask yourself which would have a harder time raising his average by 50 points.
Interesting. But I think we could say that the statement is logically fallacious or at least silly and redundant in another sense. Saying, “To narrow the gap, the minority children have to gain more than the white middle-class children, and that’s a tall order when you’re already starting with a disadvantage,” is like saying, “The people who are behind have to catch up with the people who are ahead, and that’s a tall order when you’re behind.”
Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 18, 2011 08:54 AM | Send