Lion of the Blogosphere

Vouchers bad for students

This was in the NY Times last week, somehow I missed it.

Upshot column reports on MULTIPLE studies, children do worse on math and reading tests when they use a voucher to attend private school.

This is what I always predicted would happen. Math and reading tests are heavily g-based, and going to private school doesn’t change children’s genetically predetermined intelligence.

Since No Child Left Behind, the public schools have been doing an amazing job of training students to do well on these tests through endless drilling. It’s my opinion that such endless drilling is actually not beneficial because it sucks all joy out of education while it only temporarily boosts test scores and doesn’t actually make children smarter or even make them more educated in any practical manner.

Until the truth of HBD can become part of the conversation, it’s not only a waste of time, it’s extremely counterproductive for conservatives to try to improve education with conservative ideas like vouchers and charter schools and other nonsense. Give it up.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 28, 2017 at 10:46 PM

Posted in Education

60 Responses

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  1. “…Surprise researchers…”

    ROFL. I wonder where dey researchers dun send dey kidz fo’ skool…


    February 28, 2017 at 10:54 PM

  2. This is war. Break the Teacher’s Unions and thus severely weaken the evil Democratic party.

    Andrew E.

    February 28, 2017 at 11:00 PM

  3. Sounds like left collectivist propaganda to me. Also “conservative ideas like vouchers and charter schools and other nonsense….”…No, the Libertarians came up with them, and the idea is to provide customization and choice FOR THE INDIVIDUAL. They may get better results for the group and often do, but it’s not the point. Many schools cater to the low-IQ/special needs, so if they’re included in the study…and many states give vouchers to Homeschoolers with High-IQ’s, which I would be surprised if in the study…

    The left always makes the same moves leaving out the same data in their ‘studies’ since Lenin. Sigh.


    February 28, 2017 at 11:31 PM

  4. Where are you getting this “endless drilling” thing Lion? What do you mean by it? The math I see going on in schools these days is group work and problem solving.

    February 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM

    • Lots of teachers complained about “drilling” and “teaching to the test” after NCLB but I suspicious about how many actually did it, especially in ghetto schools. Account for the poor quality of teachers there and I highly doubt they are inherently better. If it’s a real effect, I think it’s more likely that it’s caused by internal motivation. The kids move from being in a classroom in which they are among the smartest to one in which they are mediocre, and lose motivation as a result.


      March 1, 2017 at 12:57 PM

  5. Since No Child Left Behind, the public schools have been doing an amazing job of training students to do well on these tests through endless drilling. It’s my opinion that such endless drilling is actually not beneficial because it sucks all joy out of education while it only temporarily boosts test scores and doesn’t actually make children smarter or even make them more educated in any practical manner.

    This contradicts the title of the post. If parents use vouchers to transfer their children to schools that don’t teach to the test, how is that bad for students?


    March 1, 2017 at 12:07 AM

    • Furthermore, since Lion thinks robots will be doing all the jobs Real Soon Now, freeing up humans to engage in self-actualizing pursuits, why shouldn’t everyone be able to get a self-actualizing education?


      March 1, 2017 at 2:44 PM

  6. What I really want to know is what Neogaf thinks about all this. That’s the main reason I read this blog — to learn what’s going on on Neogaf.


    March 1, 2017 at 4:49 AM

    • Are you getting smart with me?

      NeoGaf is the number site for the Woke Left. These are the people who make up the base of the Democratic party and it is important to know what they think.

      If you don’t know what is going on at NeoGaf, you are as ignorant of your enemy as Progs who don’t read Sailer are.

      Otis the Sweaty

      March 1, 2017 at 2:04 PM

      • I love the NeoGaf updates even though I still don’t understand why a videogaming website is a hangout for extreme leftists.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        March 1, 2017 at 2:05 PM

      • Same reason why leftists don’t understand why the alt right and new right movements started out on another type of gaming forum…

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

        March 1, 2017 at 2:06 PM

      • Yeah the neogaf reports are always interesting, keep em coming Otis.


        March 1, 2017 at 10:54 PM

      • Me, too. I can’t stand reading the stuff so thanks, OtS. Are they blaming the DNC chair thing on Haim Saban? They should be.


        March 2, 2017 at 4:29 AM

      • I haven’t been reading your survivalist forum or any other one. So I don’t know what kind of dumb stuff you’re talking about. But one should keep a few things in mind. First, most people are dumb. Second, one shouldn’t confuse the dumbest people on a forum as being representative. The rest of the readers might also think they’re dumb. And. third, it might not be so much a case of them being “dumb” as their being emotionally compromised. For example, look at how many otherwise intelligent people on the left are nuts.

        Like you, I’m not a survivalist but find some of the survivalist topics interesting. It’s really a matter of degree i.e.obsession. I think it’s wise to have some basic preparedness in case of emergency, natural disaster, etc. Just like it’s wise to have insurance in case of fire. A lot of it can be done without spending too much time or money. But some people take it to extremes and make it look crazy even though basic preparedness is a smart thing to do. The problem is when one becomes obsessed with something happening rather than just having some preparations for ‘just in case’.


        March 2, 2017 at 12:56 PM

      • Most Gaffers wanted Perez. Gaffers generally hate anybody that is anti-establishment like Ellison.

        Otis the Sweaty

        March 2, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    • There are lots of online fora out there that lean liberal. NeoGaf is probably just the one that Otis gravitated toward for whatever reason. I myself have a liberal site I can’t look away from, that I find disproportionately informs my view of what liberals think: the Straight Dope Message Board.


      March 1, 2017 at 2:48 PM

      • Straight dope is just a less insane version of DailyKos. Average age is prob in the 40s. NeoGaf is number one site for the woke-Left.

        Otis the Sweaty

        March 1, 2017 at 7:12 PM

      • I can understand why Otis reads that forum. I’m on a survivalist e-list, not because I’m a survivalist, but because they do know a lot of practical stuff that’s interesting, about water purification, wood stoves, guns, etc. But on the whole they are plumb dumb. It hurts me to say this but wow are they dumb. The discussions about “are we in a civil war” are really painfully stupid.

        But they do know a lot about guns….


        March 2, 2017 at 4:32 AM

  7. Vouchers give parents and failing students another place to hope. Scholastic Darwinism requires 12 years of fading memories to prove it’s not genetic.


    March 1, 2017 at 5:04 AM

  8. I’m surprised more liberals aren’t in favor of vouchers. Use it as a Trojan horse to integrate blacks and browns into mainly White majority schools with a smattering of Asians. At that point everybody will be equally stupid.

    New Major

    March 1, 2017 at 5:05 AM

    • If private schools that take vouchers can maintain objective admission standards, eventually you’d get a better stratified set of schools in an area. I fail to see the problem. I guess admissions test compromise would inevitably happen, though. Do disparate impact laws come into play? I don’t know how things work at the moment in places with vouchers, or with regard to middle/high schools with admissions tests generally.


      March 1, 2017 at 5:54 PM

      • I agree. WIth an admissions process vouchers are probably the easiest way to the get tracking, which is the most important reform. As far as I can tell none of the voucher programs work that way though.


        March 1, 2017 at 11:25 PM

  9. “Until the truth of HBD can become part of the conversation, it’s not only a waste of time, it’s extremely counterproductive for conservatives to try to improve education with conservative ideas like vouchers and charter schools and other nonsense. Give it up.”

    I have a serious suggestion to Lion. Lion is clearly very smart, and clearly has a following. He is well aware of the problems facing America and that many of the problems are a result of faulty assumptions.

    Have you ever heard of Jerry Coyne? He is a professor of Biology, and an author. His latest book Why Science and Religion are Incompatible is a pretty decent survey and refutation of Gould’s NOMA.

    However, Coyne is a “leftist” who said he will always be a “leftist.” He is fine with this, yet he mocked a creationist for saying “no evidence will ever change my mind about evolution.”

    What evidence would change Coyne’s mind about leftism however?

    Since leftism is a (perverted?) religion, and since HBD denial is a kind of creationism (social creationism or constructivism) Coyne is kinda like those Christians who, while not evolution deniers, believe in the faith for XYZ reasons.

    Coyne knows the truth about HBD; indeed he often criticises the “blankers”.

    So, my request is for Lion to “reach out” and point out that he is no better than Francis Collins and he is giving succour to not only anti-science positions but a position that is actually harming Children, especially African American children.

    My reasoning is that Coyne could maybe help bring attention to this nonsense, and use his contacts and prestige to bring other scientists into opposing this nonsense. However, I also want to see this very smart man actually confront a proper challenge to his belief system. I would like to see him write a book on how Leftism and Science are (not) Incompatible.

    Well anyway, I thought I would give it a shot because Lion has the cred and smarts to do it.



    March 1, 2017 at 8:54 AM

    • I used to read Coyne’s tweets but gave up due to his liberalism. I noted the same discrepancy.

      I have a modification of your suggestion, taken from a commenter here (sorry, forgot). Don’t ask someone “What evidence would change Coyne’s mind” about something. That’s frankly rude, and it just won’t work. What evidence would change YOUR mind about something?

      Coyne is a serious scientist, so ask him, “What evidence would falsify your position on….X Y Z?”

      I wouldn’t say to someone, “You’re no better than Francis Collins” if I were reaching out to someone.

      It’s like Trump offering the olive branch to the rabid dogs of the Democratic Party in his speech. I was a little dismayed by the concessions to the usual pomposities that our gang dislikes. We didn’t vote for a conventional pol. But I realized that he’s not reaching out to us. We are already on the team. The situation was getting out of hand, and he realized he had to upstage the oppo. For the first time, I really got what Scott Adams keeps talking about, that master persuader stuff. The speech was a brilliant tactical move. It reset the battlefield positions. Bravo, Trump.

      You will never persuade Coyne of anything, but you might get him, as a scientist, to admit that his position as a leftist is inconsistent with his scientific conclusions, by forcing him to admit that the left’s position is falsifiable.


      March 2, 2017 at 4:41 AM

    • Insofar as leftism is a subjective value system, as opposed to a set of beliefs about objective reality, no evidence can “disprove” it. It’s perfectly possible to believe that third-world immigration will destroy our society while still believing it’s the “right thing to do”. Of course, this recognition would be enough to dissuade some casual leftists, but not the committed core.

      The only way to really cut through ideology with facts is to demonstrate that something will really ruin someone’s personal quality of life. In fact, his subconscious will make the political change for him, and his conscious mind will just serve to justify the change. But valuing American society, say, over the quality of life of potential African migrants is arbitrary and abstract. Facts can’t disprove it.

      As long as you can believe that your bubble will somehow be OK and the people hurt will mostly be badwhites with low fences, your subconscious won’t worry much about it either.


      March 2, 2017 at 8:17 AM

      • Good reply, thanks.

        The persuasion strategy is sound. However, I would also add in facts that contradict one’s moral identity can perhaps sometimes help.

        As for leftism. Leftism, like religious systems, have both facts and value elements. Crucially, they have core assumptions about how the world works. One of them is the “blank slate.”


        March 2, 2017 at 10:39 AM

      • ” no evidence can “disprove” it.”

        I get that. I’m suggesting using falsifiability as a debating tactic. With Coyne, who really is bright, you might even have a chance of making an impression. Not with most leftists. I don’t care about them. It’s the upper 1% in cognitive ability that I’m concerned about.


        March 2, 2017 at 2:24 PM

  10. School is not just about test results, its about kids socializing with a peer group. Poor parents of nerdy kids should have the oppurtunity to take their kids out of inner city schools where they will be bulied by ghetto sociopaths.


    March 1, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    • Also to keep their kids away from negative influences such as drugs and gangs.


      March 1, 2017 at 9:04 AM

      • Away from drugs? Where is this magical place?

        A Reader

        March 1, 2017 at 5:26 PM

  11. I agree that scores and math and reading test ultimately depend on intelligence of the students, but that is only true when all the students have received equivalent education. Clearly if you never teach math to students, they are going to do really badly on a math test. So comparing comparing schools based on standardized test scores has some validity, provided you can control for the intelligence of the students. That is the problem. You cannot control for the IQ of the students well enough to draw conclusions from these kinds of comparisons.

    I’m waiting for Saudi Arabia to fund voucher based schools in inner city neighborhoods that also teach Wahhabist Islam.

    Mike CA

    March 1, 2017 at 9:47 AM

  12. The best thing they could possibly do for inner city schools is have a lot of emphasis on music and sports and less emphasis on science and math.

    Two in the Bush

    March 1, 2017 at 11:42 AM

    • Also laboratory science. Let the ghetto kids play with liquid nitrogen… The kids will quickly learn through Darwinian experience that you don’t fuck with science or else science fucks you back.

      The misbehaving will quickly stop once kids realize not paying attention can cost them their lives.

      Given that AA’s have higher average T levels they probably need a more masculine approach to teaching than the current crop of fru fru bullshit.

      We also need more investigation into what kind of work is possible at each IQ level. It’s not enough to simply write off everyone with an IQ below 100.. Is someone with an 85 IQ perfectly suited to being a plumber or do they have to dig ditches or do they have to sweep floors. How can we make such work appealing to such people? Maybe restoring the dignity of the working man, maybe taking out cash pay benefits and turning them into fringe benefits so people feel important, etc…

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

      March 1, 2017 at 1:03 PM

      • ALL boys need a more masculine school environment. I send my sons to boys schools and my daughters to girls schools. Boys and girls need different school environments. It also cuts down on the social BS. I’ve had people tell me they need the socialization in order to cope in the real world. But there’s nothing about public schools that’s like the “real world”. And the socialization they’d get in public schools s BAD socialization.

        I think schools should create a strong trade option. The idea that everyone is college material is crap. Most people would be better off learning a trade.


        March 1, 2017 at 8:33 PM

      • “We also need more investigation into what kind of work is possible at each IQ level.”

        You may find this useful:

        Ice Hole

        March 2, 2017 at 12:36 AM

      • It shows that the ONLY occupation that requires a minimum IQ greater than 100 is medical doctor.

      • It’s worth pointing out that IQ isn’t all there is. The average IQ 87 black (i.e., the average black) is much more mentally capable than the average IQ 87 white. The black in this case probably has much better social awareness and improvisational abilities. Just like the white person, he struggles with math problems and reading comprehension, and he can’t really write anything coherent beyond a few words. But he is much better at sizing up a situation. He would beat the white guy at poker every time.

        Then, relevant to Lion’s table, that black will also get a leg up via affirmative action. As a white police officer with IQ 90, there’s a good chance you’ll be fired or never hired in the first place. But if the department is forced to hire more blacks, then you’ll have to settle for some IQs in the low 90s.

        That said, Lion’s table does do a lot of grouping together — look at “legal occupations”. I suspect passing the bar with IQ < 100 is near-impossible, and exceptionally difficult even a few points above 100, but there is plenty of light office work at a law firm that an IQ 95-100 person might be able to do.


        March 2, 2017 at 8:38 AM

  13. >>It’s my opinion that such endless drilling is actually not beneficial because it sucks all joy out of education while it only temporarily boosts test scores and doesn’t actually make children smarter or even make them more educated in any practical manner

    Well, what’s the alternative approach. Better to have the rudiments drilled into the kids’ heads so that they can be productive at age 18 than to have had them spending their years pursuing their middling IQ muse. A middling student who masters the rudiments of geometry and trigonometry can develop into a master carpenter who knows how to layout a flight of stairs and can read a master blueprint and will serve society and himself quite well.


    March 1, 2017 at 2:47 PM

  14. Reading is apparently much more g-loaded than math is. Verbal IQ is also more heritable than non-verbal. Should we be focusing on math skills then? It seems that math education is much more susceptible to coaching/teaching.


    March 1, 2017 at 3:47 PM

    • Why do your people hate Jews so much?

      Otis the Sweaty

      March 1, 2017 at 7:13 PM

      • Iran has a lot Jews.


        March 1, 2017 at 7:51 PM

      • They don’t, but the Iranian and Israeli governments are enemies.


        March 1, 2017 at 9:36 PM

      • Lotsa Jews are in Iran for a Middle Eastern-Muslim country — about 30K, that’s quite a number for an Islamic country. Try Saudi Arabia — zilch so it seems!


        March 1, 2017 at 11:30 PM

      • The Arabian Peninsula has always been a backwater. Persia used to be a great civilization, so it attracted many non-Persians to it, and some of them stayed after it too became a backwater. That said, there’s been an exodus since ’79. There are more Persian Jews in LA County than in Iran.


        March 2, 2017 at 8:49 AM

  15. Vouchers will backfire as our multicultural society balkanizes further with spread of madrassas, yeshivas, Spanish language schools, Christian fundamentalist schools, and hippy dippy liberal schools.

    We should encourage everyone to go to their local public schools and interact and meet other Americans. We need to make this country cohere and develop a sense of collective identity.


    March 1, 2017 at 7:12 PM

    • Nah. Let the various identities come forward and announce themselves. Transparency and truth is better than pretending we’re all the same. Besides, eventually madrassas will be shut down, English will be the official language, yeshivas don’t evangelize and spread, the country was built by Christian fundamentalists and hippy dippy liberals won’t procreate and will thus never become a demographic threat.

      Andrew E.

      March 1, 2017 at 9:48 PM

    • There is no cohesion when blacks are in the kettle.

      non-white immigrants both legal and illegal are part of a plan to push blacks into a corner and render them as useless, where proles are also backed to a corner in the same predicament. There is no other way. White America is set to implode after years of ignorance and delusional think.


      March 1, 2017 at 11:38 PM

  16. “Until the truth of HBD can become part of the conversation, it’s not only a waste of time,”

    Sure it’s a waste of time, if your goal is naively to make students learn more. If your goal to to take power away from the public school establishment it’s not a waste of time.


    March 1, 2017 at 8:26 PM

    • The best private schools also have liberal biases. Transferring public school influence to private schools will not take away the Left’s power.


      March 1, 2017 at 10:21 PM

      • It will fracture he teachers unions, which is enough. Haven’t you ever heard of a collective action problem? No collective organization means no problem. The libs will be running around like chickens with their union heads cut off.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

        March 1, 2017 at 11:25 PM

  17. Level of education does affect tests, even IQ tests, I think the problem with private school is that their main purpose is to create a social circle rather than catering for any type of student and trying to uplift the low and average up. It might be that those students would benefit more by going to a good public school.


    March 1, 2017 at 8:54 PM

  18. It’s not my idea, but better teaching will increase black-white (and Asian-white gaps) for the simple fact that if you impart more info…smarter people will take up more of it, proportionally.


    March 1, 2017 at 9:37 PM

  19. OT: Bad news; CNN reporting “federal investigators” (i.e. Deep State) have unearthed that Jeff Sessions met with the Russian ambassador last year, which he “failed to disclose” ahead of his confirmation hearing. This is the same gambit used to fell Flynn. This is why I said it was such a huge unforced error to hand the vultures a scalp by firing Flynn.


    March 1, 2017 at 11:52 PM

    • Important people on the team wanted Flynn out, including Matthis and Pompeo who were forced to work with him closely.

      In contrast, Sessions has no conflicts inside the administration and has the support not just of Trump, but of Bannon and Miller.

      The thing with Sessions is even more of a nothingburger than the thing with Flynn was. I had believed that there might be something to these Russian allegations until I heard this one. If this story is their evidence than they are really grasping at straws.

      Otis the Sweaty

      March 2, 2017 at 1:56 AM

      • This is actually a good thing. This will be the nail in the Russia coffin. Jeff Sessions is probably someone Trump and a bunch of others care about deeply and on a personal level (if physiognomy is real, sessions looks like a likeable grandfather). Trump loves to crucify those who go after genuinely good people. Flynn is a good guy but he can defend himself as a tough military man and hence doesn’t need paternalism from the big boss, however going after grandpa is another matter.

        Trump is about to crucify someone the way Jeb was crucified in the primaries. Do not piss this man off… He will destroy you. Slow to anger, but quick to kill. Trump is a true Saxon at heart.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

        March 2, 2017 at 1:05 PM

  20. Lion, the press has gone beserk over Trump’s taste in steaks …and the commenters are denouncing him as a glitzy NYC prole–horrors!



    March 2, 2017 at 7:03 AM

  21. As a Democrat, if I have to live through Jeff Sessions, least you guys could do is get on board with Devos. I like Devos and hate public unions (any unions actually). Public school education needs to be hit with a wrecking ball.

    Devos and Tillerson and EPA guy are only ones keeping me sane with this administration. Love the treasury guy too.


    March 2, 2017 at 4:05 PM

    • We are on board with DeVos, we just think she is stupid and that education won’t fix NAM dysfunction.

      Otis the Sweaty

      March 2, 2017 at 5:07 PM

  22. Couldn’t it be the case that voucher-utilizers are taking more difficult tests covering more and more difficult material which is graded with higher standards than in their previous public schools? Especially so if the students are transferring from majority-minority public schools (which engage in social promotion and have low standards) to a majority-white private school with higher standards.

    In any event, among minority voucher-utilizers I think one of the major attractants is physical safety relative to majority-minority schools and I think this is probably responsible for much of the reported satisfaction of the parents and students.

    El Cid

    March 2, 2017 at 9:47 PM

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