I was shocked to read the headline in the NYTimes: “Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected.” Expected by whom? These results are quite consistent with the usual one standard deviation difference between Black and White IQ—a difference that has been completely resistant to change despite decades of liberal angst and trillions of dollars aimed at correcting it.
A new report focusing on black males suggests that the picture is even bleaker than generally known. Only 12 percent of black fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 percent of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.
The report is clear that poverty is not the cause: poor White kids do as well as unpoor Black kids.
So let’s see. What else could it be? Prof. Ronald Ferguson says “we have to be able to have conversations that people are unwilling to have.” Sounds good. About genetic differences?
Of course not. Ferguson blames environmental factors that happen before the child gets to school and thinks that “really good teaching” can rectify the gap.
So the liberal dream is alive and well. And to make it even better, the article ends with a Baltimore school administrator who has turned things around so that “Hispanic kids and African-American kids this year had a lower dropout rate than white kids.” Now that’s something liberals can really cheer.
For their part, the people putting out the report advocate “more money for schools and establishing networks of black mentors”—in other words, feeding the beast of the educational establishment and providing jobs for Black men.
It’s another demonstration that data are irrelevant to the liberal zeitgeist. Biological explanations are simply unacceptable. When poverty fails as an environmental explanation, they just go on to some other environmental factor—always asking for more money to make it work. In the meantime, we’ll continue to have headlines like this far into the future.