Lion of the Blogosphere

Jaime Escalante postage stamp

Story at NBC news.

Once again, my take on Jaime Escalante is that (1) AP calculus is less g-loaded then people realize; and (2) Escalante had extraordinary powers of persuasion to motivate students to study and memorize a subject that otherwise they would find extremely boring.

There will never be a Jaime Escalante of reading comprehension because that’s more g-loaded.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm

Posted in Biology, Education

55 Responses

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  1. Another possibility is that he was able to get the best and brightest students from a weak school.

    Knowing how the students did on their SATs / ACTs would probably help to clear things up.


    January 4, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    • There are smart blacks like Calvin Johnson (who got a 41 on his Wonderlic). He went to Georgia Tech. I wonder what he got on his SAT.

      Aaron Rodgers got a 1310 SAT and a 35 on the Wonderlic. Aaron Hernandez (I hope gets pardoned by Obama) got a 17 Wonderlic.


      January 4, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      • What is your “thing” with Aaron Hernandez (a good example of a Guidospanic who killed a black guy)?


        January 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      • I feel sorry for Aaron Hernandez. I also like how he appears on camera, and when he is playing.


        January 6, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    • Latias

      January 4, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    • His students were highly selected. They weren’t picked at random at all. If we assume an IQ of 110 is adequate for understanding calculus fairly well and we take the average US Hispanic IQ to be 93 about 13% of Hispanics would appropriate for a calculus course.


      January 5, 2016 at 12:20 pm

  2. AP calculus is less g-loaded then people realize

    True. It merely takes sufficient intelligence to comprehend. After that it’s all about practice. A lot of things can be mastered by people of average and even below average intelligence through hard work and practice. Chess is another one. Not that chess isn’t a good mental exercise. But I question the wisdom of spending an inordinate amount of time mastering something that is ultimately just a game.

    It’s also worth pointing out that not everyone could enroll in Escalante’s calculus class. It was the last in a series of classes. One had to have taken several years of prior classes designed by Escalante to enroll in it.


    January 4, 2016 at 5:46 pm

  3. OT: There’s been a Dairy Holocaust! Oh, the bovinity! THE BOVINITY!!!


    January 4, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    • That makes me a lot sadder than hearing about 30,000 people killed by a Tsunami in Indonesia, or whatever. But I don’t like humans very much.


      January 4, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      • This is going from bad to worse. But I think the rule is that a person who has no mercy on animals will not have mercy on people. Also, exaggerated concern for animal welfare comes at the expense of proper concern for people. To find the balance we have to turn to religion. Moses before being send to redeem Jews from Egypt was tested three times for his moral fiber:

        1. When he saw an Egyptian beating a Jew, he killed the Egyptian.

        2. When the shepherds were preventing the daughters of Jethro from watering their flocks, he chased away the shepherds and watered the animals. You should know that those shepherds really wanted to rape them and Moses saved them and watered their flock. So here you have Moses defending non-Jews and taking care of non-Jews’ animals.

        3. When a little sheep was lost, just a little insignificant sheep, Moses went looking for it in the boiling desert and God revealed himself to Moses after he had demonstrated these qualities of mercy and compassion.

        Think about it, Moses grew in a royal house, he didn’t know how to be a Shepherd, he never worked with his hands, he didn’t even know Hebrew until later on in life (Lion, pay attention), but when he needed to, he learned and he demonstrated with his actions, not words, his love for all living things: Jews, Gentiles and animals. All alone, he stood for what’s right and merited the greatest Divine revelation of all times.


        January 4, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      • peterike, I know how you feel. I wish I could feel more for humans than I do..I guess that is one reason for religion, to make you confront one’s own misanthropy. Judeo-Christianity in particular, since I don’t know much about the others.

        Mrs Stitch

        January 4, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    • What’s so funny? I feel for these cows. You don’t need to worship them, but you have to be an animal to rejoice over these things perishing like this.


      January 4, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      • @ Yakov — My phrasing may have been light-hearted but I’m not laughing about the cows dying. I find the magnitude of the carnage horrific. That’s why I linked the story.


        January 4, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      • OK, it wasn’t clear. I apologize for calling you an animal.


        January 4, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      • No worries. I tend to be irreverent when discussing serious things. Which sometimes belies the seriousness with which I take them.


        January 5, 2016 at 11:56 am

    • “Holocaust?” Really? If you were a normal person with a conventional sense of morality, you would be thinking of the countless lives that will be saved now that these feral beasts are dead and no longer able to murder.


      January 4, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    • I worked outdoors today, but even if I hadn’t, I would sympathise with the cows and other animals that froze. We see in the book of Jonah, for example, that God had mercy on the animals of Ninve. I don’t really warm up till the morning when I work the whole day outside like an animal.


      January 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    • My bet is that rather than processing them for beef and leather, like any sane and judicious farmer would do, these cows will be incinerated because they weren’t killed in an “approved” plant. Such waste.


      January 4, 2016 at 8:13 pm

  4. LOL, why does this guy get a postage stamp?

    From my personal experience in AP BC Calculus, it was way harder than anything else I had done in high school, and I say this as someone who went to a private school that offered many AP/IB classes.Maybe reading comprehension is harder than Calculus, but AP English Lit didn’t require genius level reading comp abilities. On top of that, no one really knows what “genius-level reading comp.” abilities even mean. Does it make you a really good lawyer or professional reader something???

    On the other hand, genius level math abilities will make you a genius physicist or mathematician or engineer. In other words, there is a direct correlation between math abilities and real-world success in certain domains


    January 4, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    • English seemed easy to you because you’re smart. Calculus seemed hard because it’s NOT g-loaded but rather requires a lot of studying.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 4, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      • Nah…English was a lot of work (even for the smart kids) because there was so much reading/writing, but no one found it hard. On the flip side, there was a vast gradation in time spent studying and achieved results in my AP Calc class. Some people spent minimal amounts of time on practice problems and still did fine; some people like me studied hours nightly just to get a B.

        I say this as someone who was 800 Verbal, 720 Math on the post-1995 SAT.


        January 4, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      • Did get a 5 on the actual BC exam, though.


        January 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      • Correct, Western philosophy is a great subject that measures strong reading comprehension, and not studying. Many Calculus buffs would cringe reading Aristotle and dissecting Platonic dialogues (besides the long, yet easy flowing, Republic).


        January 5, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    • The “absent minded”, linguistically incoherent scientist/mathematician is an invention of jealous liberal arts types. There is no such thing as a good mathematician or engineer without excellent prose and writing skills. Everybody of note in the highly regarded math department could move on over to the philosophy or comparative literature department and be widely published if they decided they wanted to. While the reverse is obviously untrue. What I think you don’t get is the kids who did well in math yet struggled with literature just weren’t that smart.


      January 4, 2016 at 8:08 pm

      • This is true. I had a math professor that even said as much


        January 4, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      • They can write but often their historical and philosophical knowledge is limited, for good much time spent with difficult subjects.

        Mrs Stitch

        January 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      • Ludwig Wittgenstein- Engineering to Philosophy
        Hubert Dreyfus-
        Physics to Philosophy
        Edmund Husserl-
        Mathematics to Philosophy
        Those are the ones off my head.
        Please don’t lump philosophy with the other liberal arts.


        January 4, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      • Obvious only to twits.

        Philosophy students test with the engineers in the GRE math section, and blow physicists out of the water in the verbal and logic.

        A top philosophy student is assumed to have about a math major studied on his own. Most have an additional 2-3 majors.

        I’ve never heard of a comparative literature department.

        Like art, philosophy has hobby students and serious ones. I’ve learned a healthy respect for the serious philosophy multi-majors.


        January 5, 2016 at 10:41 am

      • Grinds would study Mathematics, but shun anything that requires reading comprehension and verbal ability.

        Most East Asian students dislike anything “liberal arts” that many self actualizing Whites would take up.

        I’ve been to a few Philosophy meetups. They weren’t many math majors, or any East Asians for that matter.


        January 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      • I think Lion is talking about vocational grinds in STEM, not naturally gifted students who could read and write in science-speak.

        Japanese American, Michio Kaku is an exception rather than the rule.


        January 5, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      • Mathematics is not a “grindy” subject…the only reason Asians flock to it is because of it’s perception of utility. Famous non-asian Mathematician G.H. Hardy asserted the subject was to be studied purely on aesthetic grounds……not something a grind would say.


        January 6, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      • Breakdown of GRE scores by major, Classicists, Philosophers, and Linguists are in a class of their own, sui generis.


        January 6, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      • Who’s stupid, according to the chart, is perhaps as interesting as who’s smart.

        However, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, who graduated with a double math/physics major from Brown University, must be pretty smart.

        “Computer programming” majors of the second-worse verbal scores of all majors, only beating out “Physical Education” majors. That’s because smarter students major in “Computer Science” or “Computer Engineering” and not “Computer Programming.”

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 6, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    • LOL, why does this guy get a postage stamp?

      It speaks poorly of the students if the only way they can pass high-school calculus is under the inspiring tutelage of a Superman teacher.


      January 6, 2016 at 8:20 am

  5. Audrey M. Shuey deserves a stamp far more than Escalante. She was a pioneer in the HBD field and her classic work, “The Testing of Negro Intelligence” (1958) has stood the test of time.

    Lewis Medlock

    January 4, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    • Looks interesting,just bought it in amazon. Tnx.


      January 4, 2016 at 8:23 pm

  6. The funny thing about calculus is that one is perfectly capable of solving a problem without having the slightest idea why or of what use it is. It’s just a puzzle after a while. I have to go through these steps to get some sort of answer, but it has no connection to anything physical or concrete. Why did I do it? To get the right answer.


    January 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    • well algebra is even more abstract. At least with calculus I had an inkling that it could be used to predict planetary orbits, and the like.

      Mrs Stitch

      January 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm

  7. Chess is a game of genius at the highest levels…among grandmasters.

    Math becomes heavily g-loaded once you start doing proofs.

    You are right about reading comprehension.

    The problem is that standardized tests of any kind will only be able to test for computational ability. Computational ability comes through mechanical practice and repetition. Even word problems are nothing more than methods of setting up formulas. Memorize the formulas, know how they are applied, then practice and you will do well on almost any standardized test. You can even get an engineering degree with that.

    Reading comprehension, on the other hand, is something that cannot be fixed once it is broken. Poor math skills can always be improved with practice. Poor reading skills cannot.


    January 4, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    • >>Math becomes heavily g-loaded once you start doing proofs.

      Writing mathematical proofs is akin to writing terse, flawless, incisive, meaty prose.


      January 5, 2016 at 3:47 am

      • Or writing math textbooks (where there is a paucity of authors with East Asian surnames).


        January 5, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    • ‘Even word problems are nothing more than methods of setting up formulas. ‘

      Many students simply cannot do word problems. Word problems in calculus are probably a lot more g-loaded than non-word problems. Math teachers bemoan the poor performance often shown on word problems. Why are they so hard for so many students? Sometimes we wonder if the students are perhaps illiterate.

      This is a popular joke:

      Everytime I see a math word problem, it looks like this:  If I have 10 ice cubes and you have 11 apples … How many pancakes will fit on the roof?
      Answer: Purple because aliens don’t wear hats.

      How do people who can’t interpret a simple word problem function in their daily lives? How do they catch the bus and feed themselve? Math teachers wonder this a lot.


      January 5, 2016 at 6:21 pm

  8. One more note. Problems with calculus usually boil down to problems with algebra.


    January 4, 2016 at 7:39 pm

  9. Isn’t this pretty much par for the course with NAM’s today? Our media and government tend to praise and fetishize the most minor of NAM achievements that would be pretty routine and nondescript for whites.


    January 4, 2016 at 7:45 pm

  10. Is homonym confusion G-loaded? (then/than)


    January 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    • I would think not, but I would expect that understanding when it is appropriate to use “then” or “than” for an English speaker is somewhat g-loaded. Making mistakes in typing or reading does not seem to be “g-loaded” (as decoding is not heavily g-loaded).


      January 4, 2016 at 8:46 pm

  11. Y’all are missing the point. Jaime did it after having his face ruined by acne. In the immortal words of Jim Bouton, “looks like his face caught fire and somebody put it out with a track shoe.” Nobody who ever bore such a burden ever was ever enstampified before.

    Sid Storch

    January 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    • I noticed a long time ago that Mexicans seem to have more of a problem with acne than any other group.


      January 5, 2016 at 6:31 am

  12. The value of the stamp would be about the same if a cow were depicted on it for teaching AP Calculus to young cows. How much persuasion and motivation would it take to have all cows get 5?


    January 5, 2016 at 4:32 am

  13. No one here mentioned the fact that this guy’s early success (particularly the scores of 5) appears to have been achieved with cheating. The Wikipedia entry says that the kids later scored “high enough” to have their scores reinstated. This implies that the burden of proof may be lower on a retest. Is a retest score of 4 (or even 3) high enough to get a score of 5 reinstated?

    There was a movie on Escalante, Stand and Deliver, which was parodied in an episode of South Park. In the South Park episode, the success was achieved 100% with cheating. I’m not sure if the South Park guys were in the know on this guy’s life, or if this was pure comedy.

    Scoring a 5 in the AP Calculus test is probably more g-loaded than scoring a 3, which could probably be achieved by anyone of average intelligence, a solid work ethic, and good instruction.

    I scored a 750 on the post-’95 math SAT but only a 4 on my AP Calculus AB exam. This was probably a result of poor instruction/studying (I remember seeing concepts on the exam that I had never seen prior). I was a high IQ student but my work ethic was roughly average for a college-bound high schooler. To achieve a 5, I would have had to work harder and had better instruction, which tells me that IQ ~100-110 types would find it more or less impossible without cheating.


    January 5, 2016 at 9:22 am

    • You are mostly correct.


      January 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      • Let me explain why I said “almost correct”. The article says 12 of the 14 accused of cheating retook the exam and passed the exam. Well, you cannot not to pass AP Exam. AP exams do not have the passing score. There are universities in the US that place the students that got 1 or 2 on AP Calculus exam. The article is written the way to acknowledge some controversy, but to make the Jamie’s “achievement” feel real. So, what is the lesson here? The lesson here is that you need to compromise your integrity and cheat to have your face on the US stamp. I do not even think he came up with the scheme. It probably came from the top. It is hard to motivate the underclass, so a special effort is spent to create fake role models.


        January 5, 2016 at 5:17 pm

  14. Where’s Jack-O-Lantern, Pumpkin face, to comment on your post on the subject of g-loaded?


    January 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm

  15. One thing that everyone forgot to discuss about Stand & Deliver is that the movie serves no agenda to the liberal narrative, because it’s NOT about underachieving blacks. Certain readers here think I’m pro-Hispanic.

    Liberalism in Meriprolestan is all about making blacks happy, especially black men.


    January 6, 2016 at 1:59 pm

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