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.

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