Lion of the Blogosphere

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Comment about (primary/secondary) education at the NY Times

with 29 comments

Link to the article.

The comment posted by “L”:

I’m having to manage a modicum of Schadenfreude in an attempt to provide an equitable perspective on this situation. Having taught Americans, Europeans and Asians, I can’t help but think that now that they are confined with their own children for the bulk of the day, American parents are having to face the consequences of their own practices first hand, practices they’ve long asserted with the force of certainty and which aren’t producing largely self-motivated kids in need only of guidance. Teachers should not have to deal with the degree of indiscipline I found in American students. From a lot of them, I got the feeling they felt quite sufficient already without having to demonstrate any commitment. This is arrogance, not to be confused with self-esteem. It is something I hope never to deal with again. The qualities of focus and self-discipline have to be instilled at home. Generally speaking and of course with exceptions, I have noticed that since the 90s Americans are raising children to have less discipline, humility, respect and consideration than previously, and than I found in other nationalities. Make these qualities important and there is a higher likelihood they will be self-motivated and mature. Teachers are treated like underpaid staff without authority, and yet parents have abdicated responsibility for instilling qualities that set kids up to be self-sufficient. Teachers are quitting in droves. Parents have to raise your own children even if schools do reopen.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 30, 2020 at 11:38 AM

Posted in Education

あ い う え お

I can’t even remember the five vowels of Hiragana, only one of two alphabets plus kanji which has 2000 characters. How am I supposed to learn Japanese? I must be too old to learn anything.

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OK, I think I actually remember them now, but that’s only 5 characters out of 80 between the two alphabets, this will take forever.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 10, 2019 at 11:17 AM

Posted in Education

New York Times denies science, again

If you are trying to gauge the effectiveness of schools, making international comparisons without taking race into account is useless. But because the fakestream media denies the scientific truth of racial differences in IQ, you get junk articles like this.

American test scores ought to be declining because school-age white children are being replaced by lower IQ Hispanics and “other.” (Also Asians who are smarter, but the Asians are outnumbered by the Hispanics and the “other,” especially among the school-aged because Asians aren’t as good at making babies as Hispanics.)

But actually, no country is better than the United States at training low-IQ children to score higher on tests, because of massive drilling and teaching to the test. Which is why test scores have held “stagnant” since 2000 (as reported in the article) instead of declining.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 3, 2019 at 7:39 AM

Posted in Education

Social-emotional learning

While I find nothing specifically to disagree with in this Quillette article criticizing “social-emotional learning”, the latest dumb educational fad, I disagree that any problems can truly be solved without pushing the Overton window so that we can address the elephant in the room which is HBD.

Because of genetic difference between races, the average black kid is not as intelligent as the average white kid, and the average difference, usually stated to be one standard deviation, is pretty darn large.

Without acknowledgement of HBD, and acceptance of the false belief that there are no differences between races, then the liberals’ goal of trying to solve the problem makes sense, especially given their belief system that racism is the greatest of all evils.

Without different races involved, I don’t think liberals would care that much that some white students perform much worse in school than other white students.

Another failure of the Trump administration is to move the Overton window on HBD. Suppression and censorship of HBD has become much worse during the last three years.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 25, 2019 at 11:02 AM

Posted in Education

Tattoos at Ivy League universities?

This is a repeat of an old post, but the question is worth asking every five years or so, and I didn’t get a good answer the first time around.

Do any students at Ivy League universities have tattoos?

When I was at Penn in the late 1980s, I don’t recall encountering a single person with a tattoo.

Does this mean that Ivy League students don’t have tattoos? Or does this mean that the late 1980s was before the tattoo craze?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

October 3, 2019 at 2:54 PM

Posted in Education

Advice for taking your kids to visit colleges

I wish I could say that you should never do this. It’s a scam by the educational-industrial complex to get your kid to fall in love, for totally irrational reasons, with a school that’s bad for them because it’s overpriced and/or not the best school they could get into. It’s totally bogus that your naïve 17-year-old kid can make any useful judgments based on a three hour tour of some campus. (Colleges also push the bogus notion that there’s a special college, no doubt one that has very expensive tuition but doesn’t offer any great prestige, that’s a special “fit” for your kid.)

However, the reason to visit a college is that it’s a plus on the application because it shows interest. So unfortunately, you should take your kid to visit Cornell if your kid has a legitimate shot of getting into Cornell, and your kid should definitely go to Cornell if that’s the best school they get accepted to, but no way should you let your kid fall in love with Cornell and go there if Princeton also accepts him (or her). Princeton is the better school, regardless of whether the person who gave the campus tour was an ***hole or if the campus looked ugly that year because a building was under construction.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 11, 2019 at 12:39 PM

Posted in Education

Advice to parents of children about to go to college

Ivy or near Ivy schools are worth it, so do whatever it takes to send your kids there.

But if your kids aren’t Ivy material, don’t let them trick you into wasting your money and their future money on a mediocre private school or out-of-state tuition at a crappy state school. Send them to the in-state state school. If they aren’t smart enough to get admitted to an in-state state school, you probably aren’t a blog reader.

Unless you’re rich and the tuition at a place like Trinity College is no big deal, then you should send them there, but not to Trinity College specifically because that place is dropping in the rankings like a brick.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 11, 2019 at 9:54 AM

Posted in Education

Truth about college admissions and fake news in the NY Times

I am totally outraged by the misinformation and HBD denialism in this NY Times article about college admissions.

The only part of it that’s probably true is that even though colleges claim their admissions are “need blind,” secretly they are trying to rig things to get wealthy students whose parents can not only afford to pay full price, but are also more likely to donate extra money on top of that.

The implication is that the worst demographic to be in is a poor white person. Because the colleges have quotas for each race, if you’re in the white race you are competing against the rich whites. Based on the way that colleges measure “diversity,” a poor white person adds no diversity, just a burden on the college’s finances.

The article does demonstrate the truth of the phrase “get woke go broke.” After Trinity College implemented the woke Hispanic admissions director’s more woke admissions guidelines, their ranking among national liberal arts colleges dropped from 38 to 46.

By the way, doesn’t everyone know that the purpose of mid-tier and below liberal arts colleges is to be a place for less academically gifted rich kids to go to school? I don’t think that a degree from Trinity College is any sort of magic ticket to a good job. I never heard of the place before reading the NY Times article. So if poor kids can’t get into that place, they are not missing out on that much.

I do believe that a bunch of professors wrote a letter saying they loved the students admitted by the more woke admissions policies. That’s what SJW professors would say even if it wasn’t true. You can’t believe anything that SJWs say.

The article is pushing the falsehood that SAT scores only measure how rich the test-takers parents are. In fact, SAT scores are pretty unbiased measures of genetic ability, especially when all test takers have relatively the same opportunity to prep for the test. What has happened in the United States is that a century of meritocracy has caused all of the smart people to rise into the higher classes, and then they pass on their high-IQ genes to their children. The elite in this country, consequently, are genetically smarter than the non-elite. On average, of course. There are still kids, like myself, who came from prole parents and aced the SAT.

Actual scientific research shows that the article is dead wrong. The College Board research report, which was mentioned in the article, but which the author of the article either didn’t read or didn’t understand, has a lot of interesting information.

Historically, it has been known that high school GPA (HSGPA) alone predict first-year college GPA (FYGPA) better than SAT scores alone. And the NYT article repeats that, but actually that’s no longer true. When the writing-section score is included with the SAT score, then the SAT score alone now predicts FYGPA better than HSGPA alone. This is new.

The biggest surprise to me in reading the College Board research report is that the writing section (SAT-W) alone has the highest individual predictive power for FYGPA over either of the other sections alone. Given that the writing section has the least precise grading, two humans read it and each assign it a score of 2 to 8, I figured it would be less predictive than the more precise scores on the other sections of the SAT. Also, of all sections, the writing section seems like it would be most subject to prepping, because the test-taker must learn the “correct” way to write an SAT essay which isn’t necessarily obvious. And the only way to know if your practice essays are good or bad is to have an experienced human grade it, which costs money, while you can know how well you are doing on multiple choice tests based solely on self-grading your work. So if there’s any advantage to having rich parents, I would assume that the writing section would be the section on the SAT where that advantage would manifest.

I thought about this, and concluded that for people who take college classes where the grades are based primarily on essay exams, then the SAT-W is the best at predicting FYGPA because scores on an essay exam are the best at predicting scores on other essay exams. I would expect that for people majoring in subjects where the tests are more objective, such as STEM and some business majors like Finance, then the multiple-choice sections of the SAT would be better at predicting grades. However, this is something that was not explored in the College Board research article.

Another thing we learn is that all of the predictors significantly overpredict grades for blacks, and also to a lesser extent they overpredict FYGPA for poor kids. This is the opposite of what liberals would think. Liberals would think that the SAT is biased against blacks and the poor, and that when they went to college their college grades would reflect their true unbiased abilities and they’d do better than predicted by the SAT. But the opposite happens and they do worse. Because the SAT isn’t biased, it’s accurately showing that blacks are less intelligent than whites.

I thought about this, and I believe the reason why there is such a large overprediction for blacks is because of affirmative action and because grades are curved, so it’s much harder to get an A at Harvard than an A at Trinity college (assuming that both schools have the same percent of As, Bs, Cs, etc.). Because blacks are being accepted into schools where they have much lower SAT scores than the average white students, they are going to get lower grades.

However, I also think that there are some economic stresses that can make it more difficult for students from poor families to focus on their college education.

The College Board report also shows us that for applicants whose families are poor (have less than $40,000 per year income), their HSGPA overpredicts their FYGPA relative to their SAT scores. The obvious reason for this is that kids from poor families usually go to crappy high schools where you can get good grades just by showing up and doing the assignments. Good grades at a crappy high school doesn’t mean that the student is ready for college material.

The report also shows that SAT scores overpredict FYGPA for males, and this is as I would have expected. Girls get better grades than boys in high school because they are more conscientious and agreeable, and they carry that over into college as well.

* * *

Steve Sailer’s more satirical take on the NY Times arcticle.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 10, 2019 at 12:02 PM

Posted in Biology, Education

The NY Times article about Asians and affirmative action

The NY Times article about Asians and affirmative action is more fair and balanced than most NY Times articles. (The Asian-American author of the article once said ““I think I get assigned a lot of stories about race because I’m not white.”)

Even though the article is focused on Asian, and whether or not they should just accept that they need to be discriminated against because there are too many Asians at top schools, or whether they should be angry about it and even vote for Trump. (“Qiao Chen, despite the protestations of his [presumably more woke] son, voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Although he now regrets the choice, he told me that he did it because liberals do not care about Asian-Americans.”)

The author sort of comes off an Asian of genuine privilege, who grew up among upper-class whites, and looks down on prole Asians like the kid Alex who is profiled in the article. And then he’s forthright enough to admit that at the end of the article.

I think the most important thing said in the article isn’t specifically about Asians, but rather about the prole experience:

During that first meeting, I asked Alex if he had ever considered applying for a scholarship at any of New York City’s elite private schools, like Horace Mann, Collegiate or Dalton.

“What are those?” he asked. “Are those schools in the city?”

That could have been me giving the exact same answer when I was Alex’s age. And it’s a very unfair question, to boot. How would a kid in middle school know that that there are scholarships that he could apply at schools he never even heard of? That’s something his parents would have to know about.

In fact, I never really discovered the existence of a whole tier of schools that are way better than Stuyvesant of the Bronx High School of Science until well after I graduated college. Even though I attended Penn for three years (I transferred in from a lesser school) I managed to mostly hang out with a crowd who, although all richer than my parents who were pretty damn financially unsuccessful, none of them were from the elites who go to the best private schools. Or if they were, they didn’t talk about it. And in fact, the type of elites who attend Ivy League schools don’t talk about their elite backgrounds if they can help it.

Despite the prole cluelessness of Alex (or me when I was his age), Havard considers Alex to be “privileged” because of his skin color.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 1, 2019 at 9:35 AM

Posted in Education

False information about SATs and college admissions in Atlantic article

The article says:

Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale collectively enroll more students from households in the top 1 percent of the income distribution than from households in the bottom 60 percent. Legacy preferences, nepotism, and outright fraud continue to give rich applicants corrupt advantages. But the dominant causes of this skew toward wealth can be traced to meritocracy. On average, children whose parents make more than $200,000 a year score about 250 points higher on the SAT than children whose parents make $40,000 to $60,000.

If we learned anything from the recent news story about the rich and famous parents who paid people to take the SAT for their kids, we should have learned that wealth doesn’t guarantee high SAT scores. We should also know the SAT is only one of many factors for admission to elite schools, and we regularly hear that elite schools reject applicants with even perfect SAT or ACT scores in favor of lower-scoring students who show “leadership potential” on their application. “Leadership potential” more often than not just means kids who did the right things because they come from a wealthy background where the right things to do are well known. And then to guarantee that their kids do the right things, rich parents can hire the best college admissions consultants. Meanwhile, clueless Asian immigrant parents of modest means are duped into thinking that all their kids have to do is study and get good grades and test scores and they will be rewarded for that, but it doesn’t happen.

There would be more kids admitted from the bottom 60% and fewer from the top 1% if elite schools stopped looking at stuff other than SAT scores.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 21, 2019 at 9:39 AM

Posted in Education

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