Sunday, July 24, 2016

Women Get Better Grades at U Minnesota Than ACT Scores Predict

Studies: ACT scores may not be best indicator of student success

The results come amid regents’ debate of the role of ACT scores in U admissions.
  • Jessica Hart
June 01, 2016
As higher education leaders weigh the use of college-entry testing, University of Minnesota research has found some tests are not representative of future academic success.
Two University studies found women have higher GPAs than their ACT test scores alone would predict. The findings come amid months of discussion by the Board of Regents over the best way to approach standardized entrance exams.
Heidi Keiser, University doctoral candidate and co-author of the studies published in April’s Journal of Applied Psychology, said the studies evaluated the effects of conscientiousness and course difficulty on GPAs among men and women compared to their ACT scores.
“If we just use the ACT score alone to predict female performance in the course, their performance would be under-predicted,” Keiser said.
She said she drew subjects from an introductory psychology course between 2011 and 2012, where 59 percent were 
female and 41 percent were male. She then compared their ACT scores and GPAs to personality inventory results, like conscientiousness or neuroticism.
“By using both the ACT and measure of conscientiousness, we were more accurately able to predict female performance in the course than if we were just using the ACT alone,” Keiser said.
Conscientious behaviors play the same role in men and women, but on average females are more conscientious and perform conscientious behaviors like completing homework and attending class at a higher rate than males, Keiser said.
”[Given] a male with a 30 on the ACT and a female with a score of 30 on the ACT, on average … that woman will do more of these conscientious behaviors that lead to higher performance in college,” Keiser said.
Nicole Sward, a junior at Bethel University, said she got an ACT composite score of 22. Sward said 
she currently has a 3.90 GPA and has been on the dean’s list each year she’s attended Bethel, which she started as a full-time PSEO program high school student.
“I had above a 4.0 in high school but struggled to even get a 22 on the ACT. I had to have an ACT tutor, but even that didn’t help me much when it came to scoring high on the ACT exam,” Sward said.
Theatre arts, film studies and mass communication sophomore Jennifer Shaw and journalism sophomore Olivia Iverson both said they received ACT composite scores of 26, which was below the University’s average. Shaw has a 3.9 GPA, while Iverson has a 3.8 GPA.
“I don’t think it accurately depicted me because it didn’t get a sense of how I am as a student,” Shaw said. “I don’t think that this one little number means everything about how someone is going to do for these four years of their life.”
Keiser said her second study focused on course difficulty between men and women by creating a course difficulty index that expanded over hundreds of colleges with 150,000 male students and 180,000 female students.
She said things like subject matter, grading standards and competition all play parts in determining course difficulty. 
Keiser said women choose easier classes on average, which helps their GPAs. But she said this relationship is less important than the one between female students and conscientious behaviors. 
Importance of ACT debated
In recent months, regents have considered the importance of ACT scores in enrollment decisions. The ACT is currently used heavily to determine acceptance for freshmen, said Regent Michael Hsu. 
One topic regents have discussed, Hsu said, is changing admissions decisions to test-optional, which would give prospective students the option to exclude ACT scores from their applications.
Hundreds of insititutions, like George Washington University and the University of Texas, have adopted this policy, he said.
“It disadvantages a certain percentage of the population; many of those are students of color and rural Minnesotans,” Hsu said. “I think … requiring the high ACT for the purpose of admission basically excludes a large percentage of our population.”
He said schools that have gone test-optional have increased admittees, average ACT scores, the diversity of applicants and the number of applicants.
“People are more concerned with maintaining the average 28 ACT than filling up a college and educating more Minnesota students,” Hsu said.
The University could be accepting more applications and increasing the number of enrolled students, he said. Adding this would fill up college classrooms and lower tuition costs because money would be more spread out.
Hsu said the main concern over becoming a test-optional university is that the school could be overwhelmed by applications.
He said the Board currently has no plans for talks on ACT testing,but said it is a topic that should be discussed in the future. 
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Parents Who Find Marriage Matches For Grown Children

Parents Who Find Marriage Matches For Grown Children


CreditTom Bloom

Some mothers — and some fathers, too — will do just about anything to see their marriage-age offspring settle down, even if that means going where parents ordinarily should never go — online and into their children’s posted dating profiles.
“It’s almost like outsourcing your online dating to your mom,” said Kevin Leland, chief executive of, a Jewish matchmaking site and one of several Web sites that have arisen to cater to parents, some with more money than patience, who want to see that ideal match made.
Some Korean-American mothers who claim that it is their prerogative, or at least it should be, to be granted the right of first refusal on their children’s marital selections, are known to search the Web for mates on sites like Duo.Duo is a traditional matchmaking service based in South Korea that also has a Web site designed to cater to the hopes and ideals of the parents first and the children second. Some 80 percent of the site’s clients are mothers inquiring on behalf of their sons, according to Julia Lee, whom Duo refers to as a couples coordinator. Often, she said, “the parents pay for the service and give them as a surprise gift for the children.” That gift involves filling out a 160-question survey of a candidate’s characteristics, which is then entered into the company’s matching system.
With Duo, where annual fees can range from $2,000 to $5,000, and include seven to nine introductions, parents monitor the dating progress of their children. “Parents project their lives onto children,” Hyae-Jeong Kim, Duo’s chief executive, said in an e-mail. “Also, parents think that they are one of the decision-makers because they think that the marriage is not only a union between a man and a woman, but also two families.”

... . “Of course it will be my own decision who I ultimately end up marrying,” he said in an e-mail, “but I value and respect my mother’s suggestions on women I might like to date.”
His mother, naturally, also had some thoughts on this. “If your parent is assertive or too involved in your life, this is not what they should be doing. It’s only if there is respect for the child, and the child doesn’t mind.



Rita and Deepak Sarma of Shaker Heights, Ohio, fell in love but married only after both their families approved. CreditMichael F. McElroy for The New York Times
WHETHER arranged marriages produce loving, respectful relationships is a question almost as old as the institution of marriage itself. In an era when40 to 50 percent of all American marriages end in divorce, some marriage experts are asking whether arranged marriages produce better relationships in the long run than do typical American marriages, in which people find each other on their own and romance is the foundation.
Experts also ask whether there are lessons in how arranged marriages evolve that can be applied to nonarranged marriages in the United States. Among them is Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology in Vista, Calif., and author of a new study, “How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages.”
He found that one key to a strong arranged marriage is the amount of parental involvement at its start. The most important thing parents of the couple do, he said, is to “screen for deal breakers.”
“They’re trying to figure out whether something could go wrong that could drive people apart,” Dr. Epstein said.
Some couples who have entered into satisfying arranged marriages do attribute the success of their unions to the involvement of their parents. A. J. Khubani was 25 in 1985 when his parents tried to get him to visit Inder Sen Israni and Maya Israni in Jaipur, India, friends of the Khubani family, and meet the couple’s daughter Poonam.
“I just refused,” said Mr. Khubani, who was not keen on settling down because he had just started Telebrands, a company in Fairfield, N.J., that sells inventions via infomercials on late-night television. “I didn’t see why it was so important that I had to fly across the world to see one girl,” Mr. Khubani, now 52, remembered.
Ms. Israni, now Mrs. Khubani, was not ready, either. At the time she was a soap opera star and rising Bollywood actress.
Getting them to meet took some prodding: Mr. Khubani’s father, knowing that his son was going to Asia on business, offered to pay his way if he stopped in Jaipur. The young man and woman both relented, with the casual assumption that they would just please their parents “and that would be the end of it,” Mrs. Khubani said.
When they finally met, neither was impressed. Mrs. Khubani recalled, “It wasn’t love at first sight at all.”

Monday, May 23, 2016

What are the [politically correct] reasons for test score gaps?


What are the reasons for these gaps?
Many researchers say that an “opportunity gap” leads to an “achievement gap.” Socio-economic factors including income levels, educational attainment, employment rates, housing options, neighborhood crime rates, and resources available to schools, are worse for African Americans and Hispanics, on average, than for Whites. These circumstances often lead to fewer opportunities for African American and Hispanic children to access a wide range of activities and experience an enriched educational environment from birth onward.
African Americans and Hispanics often do not have the educational advantages that more wealth brings. More White students than Blacks and Hispanics have parents who went to college – the mother’s education level is a major test score predictor. For tests like the SAT, affluent students can pay for private coaching.
Many Hispanic children live in households where English is not the first language, sometimes giving them access to fewer educational resources.
As for the higher scores, on average, by Asians, a recent study concluded that “Asian and Asian American youth are harder working because of cultural beliefs that emphasize the strong connection between effort and achievement. Studies show that Asian and Asian American students tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that can be developed through effort,” rather than being inborn.
[Obviously white and black beliefs about effort and achievement must be the same, only Asians are different.]

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thailand smartwatch exam cheating scandal

    Thailand  smartwatch exam cheating scandal
    Thai smartwatch exam cheats force resitBBC News3 days ago

    Thailand students caught in high-tech cheating scamAl Jazeera via Yahoo UK & Ireland News12 hours ago

    Students snared in Thai cheating scam | Myinforms
    Four prospective medical students in Thailand have allegedly been caught cheating on an exam using some high-tech…

    Thailand students caught in high-tech cheating scam - AJE News
    A leading private university in Thailand is calling for a change in the law to prosecute students who cheat and criminals who help them. The call comes after the ...

    Thailand test cheating: Students caught using camera in ...
    Four medical students in Thailand have allegedly been caught cheating on an exam through sophisticated technological means.

    Thailand students caught in high-tech cheating ...
    University calls for laws to prosecute students and criminals who use gadgets such as smartwatches to cheat in exams. A leading private university in Thailand is ...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Race Quota IQ Tests Increase Black Hispanic Gifted Students

Race Quota IQ Tests Increase Black Hispanic Gifted Students

"Had you read the study linked carefully, you will see the facts omitted by the article, which is that Black & Latino students were not held to the same standards in the screening test. The testing is universal, but the scoring thresholds are manipulated to achieve the desired outcomes, requiring a standard deviation lower performance from the group whose numbers were to be boosted. To Good To Be True usually turns out to be just that."
Why Talented Black and Hispanic Students Can Go Undiscovered
Public schools are increasingly filled with black and Hispanic students, but the children identified as “gifted” in those schools are overwhelmingly white and Asian.

The numbers are startling. Black third graders are half as likely as whites to be included in programs for the gifted, and the deficit is nearly as large for Hispanics, according to work by two Vanderbilt researchers, Jason Grissom and Christopher Redding.

New evidence indicates that schools have contributed to these disparities by underestimating the potential of black and Hispanic children. But that can change: When one large school district in Florida altered how it screened children, the number of black and Hispanic children identified as gifted doubled.

That district is Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale and has one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the country. More than half of its students are black or Hispanic, and a similar proportion are from low-income families. Yet, as of 10 years ago, just 28 percent of the third graders who were identified as gifted were black or Hispanic.

In 2005, in an effort to reduce that disparity, Broward County introduced a universal screening program, requiring that all second graders take a short nonverbal test, with high scorers referred for I.Q. testing. Under the previous system, the district had relied on teachers and parents to make those referrals.

The economists David Card of the University of California, Berkeley, and Laura Giuliano of the University of Miami studied the effects of this policy shift. The results were striking.

The share of Hispanic children identified as gifted tripled, to 6 percent from 2 percent. The share of black children rose to 3 percent from 1 percent. For whites, the gain was more muted, to 8 percent from 6 percent.

Why did the new screening system find so many more gifted children, especially among blacks and Hispanics? It did not rely on teachers and parents to winnow students. The researchers found that teachers and parents were less likely to refer high-ability blacks and Hispanics, as well as children learning English as a second language, for I.Q. testing. The universal test leveled the playing field.

...lower expecations...

The gifted program was not a panacea. The researchers found that the district’s specialized classes had little effect on the academic achievement of students who had been specifically identified as gifted, through I.Q. tests [continues at link above]


Steve Sailer America April 9, 2016
It's important to understand that there was a quota system that required Spanish-speakers and free lunch students to only score 115 on the test, while everybody else had to score a standard deviation higher of 130. From p.2 of David Card's paper:

"In response to these disparities the District introduced a universal screening program in spring 2005. Under this program, all second graders completed a non‐verbal ability test, and those scoring above a threshold of 130 points (for non‐disadvantaged students) or 115 points (for ELL [English Language Learner] and FRL [Free / Reduced Lunch] participants) were eligible for referral to a District psychologist for IQ testing."

Charlie B USA April 9, 2016
"It shows that there is a fairer way to identify gifted children."

No, it shows there is a way to select a group of children who are more balanced racially. That was the goal, and the testing was changed until the results were as desired. Perhaps the new pool was as gifted - whatever that means - as the old; perhaps not.

Eliminating vitally important verbal skills from the criteria is only "fair" to those who don't have them. I don't argue with the social utility of the program, but let's not pretend it's science.

OMC Brooklyn, NY April 9, 2016
As the parent of an African American adult daughter whose k-9 years were in academic magnet or gifted and talented public school programs, I find this article absolutely correct regarding how recommendations from school personnel fail to identify gifted students; and, that too many parents do not know how to navigate the system; often having been victims of the systems themselves and deferring to "authority figures." This continues to be problematic. It is my view that my daughter's academic success was parental advocacy. I was always present at her schools. I witnessed too many Black and Brown children not succeed in these settings because their social skills or behaviors were not deemed appropriate or acceptable, by white social structures or values, a totally subjective conclusion, having absolutely nothing to do with academic abilities. This continues to be the legacy and practice of racism and classism in America.

Regular Joe Virginia April 9, 2016
Half Truth. If you go the linked study, it is clear that the increase in numbers of black and brown kids is not due solely to eliminating parental or teacher bias. The study says that "disadvantaged" kids only needed to score 115 on the initial screening test, whereas "non-disadvantaged" kids had to score 130. Assuming this test was normed to 100 being average, that means the presumably black / brown kids only had to score in the top 16%, whereas the presumably white/ asian kids had to score in the top 2%. Subjective bias in the screeners in the old system was probably a part, that is why standardized testing and the SAT's are so important But clearly, as with all attempts to 'close the gap' to date, a large chunk of the result is achieved with Affirmative Action double standards. The new system if more objective, in that clear standards are set, but they are still separate standards, and not clearly any more fair than the old subjective method.

Maria Suarez Espanola, New Mexico April 9, 2016
As the mother of two Afro-Latino sons, I saw the biases described in the article too often. Their scores in national tests brought the attention of programs such as Johns Hopkins but individual teachers had the power to stop requests from other teachers to provide gifted or more challenging educational experiences. I saw how parents of non-white children had to advocate constantly with the system to get the recognition and attention their children deserved in every school my sons attended. Children that lack parental advocacy go unnoticed at best and more often suffer the consequences of the low expectation cycle of our educational systems. This article brings up the urgency in changing structural practices that serve to preserve the status quo of great disparities in educational outcomes.

Brian Santa Barbara April 9, 2016
Overlooked in this article is a very important subtext - the use of a nonverbal math based metric for evaluating people for the gifted program.

Most people invariably judge others based on how they speak, but that is loaded with so many issues of identity and personal history that it's bound to be rife with bias. The same is true of verbal exams. I remember I was evaluated for my language skills as a child and I was to put in a room with a psychologist and told to identify farm implements!

Math can be a powerful tool for racial equality if we give it the respect it deserves. Invariably though it will be difficult for some people, particularly influential people to accept. A system free of prejudice is invariably to the disadvantage of those with in power.

April 9, 2016
I have 3 adult kids, the oldest was obviously gifted when he was a toddler, the middle one was a very slow starter (later found out she was bored to death), the youngest had severe dyslexia, severe ADHD, and other disabilities. The oldest was in gifted programs from the start and saw them as extra work until he was in high school and started their new gifted program with a gifted teacher and mentor. The middle kid wasn't recognized as gifted until we moved to a different school district and her brilliance in Math and Science were recognized and she was allowed to take University classes and accelerated H.S. science classes. The youngest, with many interventions and Individual Education Plans was found to be gifted as well but formal testing would never be able to show this due to his severe learning disabilities.

The 1 characteristic they all shared was to never give up because their parents expected them to keep trying. We also exposed them to many different experiences and encouraged them to try different things to see if this was their "area." The oldest is now a University Prof and published author, the middle is a Chemical Engineer (who had to fight a low IQ test score in 1st grade) and the youngest is an owner operator Semi Truck Driver and owns and runs the family farm, he is also very creative and mechanical genius. They had their setbacks but they learned from them......the youngest took awhile with repeated lessons. The point is they got a chance to bloom

luke Tampa, FL April 9, 2016
Truly gifted children are usually discovered early in school and someone keeps their eyes on them. There are not as many truly gifted children as is commonly thought. It is difficult to keep such children from being noticed. Like LA Mom says they also need to work hard too.

DSM Westfield April 9, 2016
This is an important reminder for opponents of the SAT and other standardized tests that such tests have historically been the best way for bright Jews, Asians, poor whites, Hispanics and blacks to prove their merits.

roje New York April 8, 2016
I like test-based admission for programs like this, similar to New York City's SHSAT, but so much of this comes down to parental involvement. Whether or not an 8-year-old is placed in a special class, the highest returns to elementary and secondary education will go to those students whose parents are demanding and involved. In many places, for complicated reasons, these students are not black or Hispanic.

New York City is illustrative. Asian-Americans in NYC have the highest rate of poverty among any ethnic/racial group, and at Stuyvesant High School, which is only 12% black and Hispanic, and over 50% Asian, around 50% of students qualify for a free or subsidized lunch. So what's the difference? I posit it's a cultural ethic that demands significant commitment from children at an early age. And so much of this commitment happens outside of the classroom, whether it's homework, reading books, keeping the TV and iPad away, finding free mentorship and tutoring programs (which are definitely out there)...the list goes on.

Will Chicago April 8, 2016
We Asians value education and if other group values education as much as we do than we long longer have to make excuse for their short comings. Too many excuses.

As Jerome write "Ask any Asian male applying to elite colleges and you will hear about real, genuine racial bias."

MTL Vermont April 8, 2016
I was once PTA president of a suburban New York school. I was horrified at what I learned. There was certain group of moms who were able to hang around the school in the daytime as volunteers. Their children inevitably seemed to fill the gifted and talented, extra tutoring, Suzuki violin, etc. programs before the working moms even uncovered the crumpled flyers in their children's lunch boxes and backpacks. It was an inherently unfair system, and I discovered how naive I was...


Garlic Toast is a trusted commenter Kansas April 8, 2016
The smartest guy I know, now probably retired, dropped out at 12 because he was ready for college and his middle school material bored him out of his mind. His parents were teachers, lower middle income, I suppose. He went on to become a chess master. He once beat Bobby Fischer in a simultaneous exhibition game. But chess is only a hobby for most, not a career. He spent his later years doing factory work. He could have been an executive, journalist or professor.

The job market destroys people when it doesn't give people a chance too. After a gifted person gets an education, his or her career can destroyed by a recession, divorce and joblessness. That happened to more than one person I heard of. How much is talent valued?

Lynn in DC um, DC April 8, 2016
I don't know what "gifted" or "genius" means but I can understand how allowing parents and teachers to select who should take these so-called tests would be problematic. Why not allow everyone to take the test and let the chips fall where they may? On a curious note, are there any Asians in Broward County? Whatever. I will say that Florida is not a place that I would raise children as the quality of the schools seem suspect.

Ellie San Francisco April 9, 2016
You're right to find the quality of education in Florida suspect. Within Broward county alone there is a huge disparity in school performance. However, there are incredible schools there as well. The biggest problem with schools there, from my experience as a student and working in the public school system, is that if you aren't in a wealthy area (upper-middle or above), your child could end up in a low performing or "average" school. And average in Florida is failing by, say, Massachusetts' standards.

That said, I'm happy to see them taking a step in the right direction. It will save children that are bored in their classes the pain of suffering years of stagnation.

LA Mom Santa Monica April 8, 2016
Will that gifted student identified in 3rd grade decide to put in the 3-4 hours of work every night in high school required to succeed? That is the secret to success. Nearly impossible without a good support system.

Ellie San Francisco April 9, 2016
And that's something that many public schools are working go help with. Wealthy public schools have elaborate tutoring programs, and SAT prep built into their curriculum. Non-profit programs and state initiatives are needed in lower-income programs to help supplement for that, and to motivate a child who can't help that their parent works 2-3 part-time jobs because they weren't lucky enough to be told they needed a college degree. Generational poverty happens, and the way to help break that is social support.

Kapil South Bend April 8, 2016
Every kid is gifted. But in America and in lot of other the countries the skin color is also considered as a gift. So our vision is impaired and we cannot see the gift.

Joel Parkes Los Angeles, CA April 8, 2016
What a wonderfully simple, practical idea.

My school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District, would never consider it. First of all, it does not appear that any district vendor could make obscene amounts of money off of it, and furthermore, it would surely offend someone, somewhere, for some reason. Last, but not least, it is practical and works. Nah, LAUSD would never do it.

Diane USC April 8, 2016
Great article. I repeated experienced this, even as a poor White student in the midwest. So many gifted students are overlooked, based on ... Result to society: A Loss for all.

Ardy San Diego April 8, 2016
Two weeks after I started the 8th grade, in a 95% white school in the early '50s, I was promoted to the 9th grade, but denied the opportunity to physically attend the 9th grade until the following year. I was 12 years old and my parents were told I wasn't old enough to attend classes with 9th graders so I was made to leave school. My grandmother was incensed that they would not let me go to school because I was "too smart." So she and my grandfather drove us to Flint, Michigan, and bought a brand new Buick off the assembly line. My grandfather returned to San Diego and my grandmother and I drove all over the eastern seaboard and part of the south for three months, visiting her friends, before returning to San Diego. My grandmother was, by observation, "white" so when we were in the south, she'd go into "white only" restaurants to get us food "to go" and we'd find a park and have a picnic. It was one of the most educational experiences of my life. That is how this racist country treated gifted black students in 1954.

a girl Rawalpindi April 8, 2016
All human beings are created equal and there is no differentiation on the basis of color. It is too superficial to judge a child's capacity based on a few millimeters thick skin...

Ana KCMO April 8, 2016
This has been going on forever. I experienced it as a kid in the '80s. The teachers look for a 'type' and those are the ones in the advanced classes (white or Asian, nerdy, play video games, male). I am a Hispanic female. I had this all the way through Junior High, until the teachers got so frustrated that I had all the answers and was 'disturbing' the class that they placed me in the AP classes in High School. I graduated 3rd in my class with the most difficult classes (Cal II, Linear Algebra, AP Chem, AP Physics, AP Biology, etc). (I was so lucky to have amazing high school teachers!)
As I said, going on forever. The loss of talent at a young age is enormous.

April 8, 2016
My sons are now 32 and 28, both extremely "gifted". In what? Math? Science? Writing? Not any one thing, really. but they are gifted in the only thing that matters in the real, adult world: self-worth and self knowledge. Any child who is given the rudiments of math and reading can wind up teaching themselves as far they want to go.

My sons both had a few friends from Hunter when they were growing up. One girl said by the time they were in 2nd grade, each child knew the IQ of everyone else in their class (and their own—BAD BAD BAD IDEA!), and where they stood in the "hierarchy". UGH!

Jacob handelsman Houston April 8, 2016
When the cold, hard numbers of white and asian proficiency and black and latino deficiency remain unchanged after decades of billions of dollars spent trying to improve scores, the last remaining refuge is one more 'theory' attempting to explain away reality.

Regular Joe Virginia April 9, 2016
Had you read the study linked carefully, you will see the facts omitted by the article, which is that Black & Latino students were not held to the same standards in the screening test. The testing is universal, but the scoring thresholds are manipulated to achieve the desired outcomes, requiring a standard deviation lower performance from the group whose numbers were to be boosted. To Good To Be True usually turns out to be just that.

Brian Monterey, CA April 9, 2016
"Cold, hard numbers" is hardly appropriate, as our methods for measuring 'intelligence' are pretty primitive.

Siobhan is a trusted commenter New York April 8, 2016
What an interesting and important idea. One thing not covered here, but in the original report, is the potential for negative peer pressure to affect gifted minority children in regular classes, resulting in underperformance.

It is also interesting that the gifted classes used the same textbooks and covered the same materials as the regular classes. But the gifted classes moved through the required material faster, because the children were more capable than the non-gifted of absorbing the material and then covering extra or enrichment materials.

We can only wonder how many of those children might also simply be bored in regular classes, which the nongifted found challenging, but they simply found too easy.

It would be good to see the practices discussed here used throughout the country.

Union City New Jersey Hispanic District Outperforms National Average

Union City New Jersey Hispanic District Outperforms National Average
 Union City, N.J., students consistently performed about a third of a grade level above the national average on math and reading tests even though the median family income is just $37,000 and only 18 percent of parents have a bachelor’s degree. About 95 percent of the students are Hispanic, vast majority of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

ocioeconomic status captures income, the percentage of parents with a college degree, the percentage of single parents, poverty, SNAP and unemployment rates. Charter schools are included in the local school districts where they are located.
Correction: May 3, 2016 
An earlier version of this article, using information from Stanford, misstated gaps in Menlo Park, Calif. and Tredyffrin-Easttown, Pa. Charter schools in those areas are located outside of the district or online, not in those communities.

Academic Achievement Gap

Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares
April 29, 2016
The New York Times

[There are no districts where blacks score above aveage]

communities with narrow achievement gaps tend to be those in which there are very few black or Hispanic children, or places like Detroit or Buffalo, where all students are so poor that minorities and whites perform equally badly on standardized tests.

In some communities where both blacks and whites or Hispanics and whites came from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, academic gaps persisted. Mr. Reardon said that educators in these schools may subliminally (with absolutely supporting evidence accusing them of racism)  – or consciously in some cases – track white students into gifted courses while assigning black and Hispanic students to less rigorous courses.

 Union City, N.J., students consistently performed about a third of a grade level above the national average on math and reading tests even though the median family income is just $37,000 and only 18 percent of parents have a bachelor’s degree. About 95 percent of the students are Hispanic, 

socioeconomic status captures income, the percentage of parents with a college degree, the percentage of single parents, poverty, SNAP and unemployment rates. Charter schools are included in the local school districts where they are located.

Correction: May 3, 2016 
An earlier version of this article, using information from Stanford, misstated gaps in Menlo Park, Calif. and Tredyffrin-Easttown, Pa. Charter schools in those areas are located outside of the district or online, not in those communities.


Sixth graders in the richest school districts are four grade levels ahead of children in the poorest districts.

We’ve long known of the persistent and troublesome academic gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers in public schools.

We’ve long understood the primary reason, too: A higher proportion of black and Hispanic children come from poor families. A new analysis of reading and math test score data from across the country confirms just how much socioeconomic conditions matter.

Children in the school districts with the highest concentrations of poverty score an average of more than four grade levels below children in the richest districts.

Even more sobering, the analysis shows that the largest gaps between white children and their minority classmates emerge in some of the wealthiest communities, such as Berkeley, Calif.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Evanston, Ill. The study, by Sean F. Reardon,Demetra Kalogrides and Kenneth Shores of Stanford, also reveals large academic gaps in places like Atlanta and Menlo Park, Calif., which have high levels of segregation in the public schools.

Click here to read full article originally posted by the New York Times.

Liberal cities have largest black-white achievment gaps
Ultra-liberal Berkeley has the largest black-white gap in the nation

Racial achievement gaps are widest in the most liberal towns writes Steve Sailer in Taki’s Magazine. Ultra-liberal Berkeley has the largest black-white gap in the nation, according to the national database of school-district test scores created by Stanford and Harvard researchers. Black students in Berkeley are 4.6 grade levels behind their white classmates. Yet, Berkeley is ferociously antiracist. It was the first to have a Black Studies Department at the high school level. In the 2012 election, Berkeley voted for Obama over Romney 90 to 5. Berkeley Unified school-district administrators obsess over any data showing that black students get punished more than other races. White kids in Berkeley averaged 2.7 grade levels higher than the national average for all students, notes Sailer. Hispanics in the district’s public schools scored 1.1 grade levels below the national average and blacks scored 1.9 grade levels below. . . . white students, who tend to be the children of professors, Pixar employees, or the idle rich, score well. Bu

t Berkeley’s blacks do poorly, even by the standards of blacks in general, averaging below African-Americans in Chicago and Philadelphia. Berkeley High School was broken into five smaller schools in hopes of closing achievement gaps. However, the two academic schools are mostly white and Asian-American, while the other three schools have drawn most of the black and Hispanic students. 

Out of 2121 school districts with enough blacks and whites to generate fairly reliable results, the largest black-white gaps are in liberal college towns and liberal big cities such as Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Oakland Seattle, Minneapolis and San Francisco, writes Sailer. 

Some Atlanta suburbs, which have been attracting college-educated black families, have “small racial disparities with middle-of-the-road overall performance,” he writes. The large town with the highest test scores in the country for both blacks (+0.7 grade levels above the national average) and Hispanics (+1.1 grade levels) is Frisco, Tex., a rapidly expanding exurb 28 miles north of Dallas. . . . The median income is in the low six figures. The Frisco school district “looks like America” more than just about any other: It’s 11% black, 14% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 59% white. That’s diversity. Frisco’s white-black gap is 0.57 standard deviations and its white-Hispanic gap is 0.43, both a little below national averages and well below most other high-scoring districts. Frisco-area voters gave 65% of their vote to Romney, Sailer points out. The white-Hispanic gap numbers are about 75 percent as large as the white-black gaps, the Stanford study found.

Seattle schools have biggest white-black achievement gap in state ...
Seattle schools have biggest white-black achievement gap in state
Mon May 09 05:09:01 EDT 2016 | The Seattle Times

White kids in Seattle’s public schools are doing great. They’re performing about two grade levels above the national average on standardized exams. That finding comes from a sweeping new Stanford study of 2009-2012 test scores from third- through eighth-grade students around the country. But for black kids in Seattle, the data from that study paint a very different picture. They test one and a half grade levels below the U.S. average. Compared with their white peers in the city, black students l..- See more at:

Seattle schools have biggest white-black achievement gap in state
Originally published May 9, 2016 at 6:00 am Updated May 9, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Among the 200 biggest school districts in the U.S., Seattle has the fifth-biggest gap in achievement between black and white students. Seattle’s white-black gap is also the biggest in Washington.

They’re performing about two grade levels above the national average on standardized exams. That finding comes from a sweeping new Stanford studyof 2009-2012 test scores from third- through eighth-grade students around the country.

But for black kids in Seattle, the data from that study paint a very different picture. They test one and a half grade levels below the U.S. average. Compared with their white peers in the city, black students lag by three and a half grade levels.

That ranks Seattle, among the 200 biggest school districts in the U.S., as having the fifth-biggest gap in achievement between black and white students.

Papers using SEDA data

Seattle's achievement gap
Seattle schools have one of nation’s largest equity gaps, new study says
Race dramatically skews discipline, even in elementary school
How a diverse yet divided school blended ‘segregated’ classes
Seattle school district considers office focused on black male students
The resegregation of Seattle’s schools

Seattle’s white-black gap is also the biggest one in Washington, and about seven times more severe than in the district with the smallest gap — South Kitsap, which serves Port Orchard and Olalla.

The difference between white and Hispanic achievement in Seattle Public Schools — about two and a half grade levels — is only a little less stark. (The study does not include Asian American students because reliable estimates were not available).

The nation’s big-city school districts that rank alongside Seattle for the widest white-black academic gaps — Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; Charleston, S.C.; and Oakland, Calif. — all have high levels of segregation. (also high levels of liberalism) This tends to concentrate kids with social and economic disadvantages in certain schools, which compounds the obstacles to achievement they face.

Seattle schools, too, have become increasingly segregated. In 29 of the city’s 98 public schools, at least 80 percent of students are black, Latino, Asian American or Native American.

,,,at we needed to pay special attention to our students of color.... Some saw Hollins’ approach aspolitical correctness run amok. That overshadowed any success she had — and during her tenure, the racial gap in standardized test scores narrowed modestly.

But complaints about her from white parents mounted, Hollins says. The district shut down her department, which a spokesperson said at the time was not related to the complaints.