Everything You Know About State Education Rankings Is Wrong

Minds and dollars are a terrible thing to waste.


You probably think you know which states have the best and worst education systems in the country. If you regularly dip into rankings such as those published by U.S. News and World Report, you likely believe schools in the Northeast and Upper Midwest are thriving while schools in the Deep South lag. It's an understandable conclusion to draw from those ubiquitous "Best Schools!" lists. It's also wrong.

The general consensus on education, retold every few news cycles, is that fiscally conservative states are populated by cheapskates. In those necks of the woods, people are too ignorant to vote in favor of helping their illiterate and innumerate children. Intelligent people understand that high taxes and generous pensions for public school teachers are the recipe for an efficient and smoothly functioning education system. If skinflint voters would just lighten up, the story goes, they too could become erudite and sophisticated.

Paul Krugman rehashes this narrative regularly in his New York Times column, frequently bemoaning the country's purportedly miserly education budgets. Increasingly, he perceives libertarian barbarians at the gates of state governments, brandishing axes for dreaded spending cuts. In April, he wrote that "we're left with a nation in which teachers, the people we count on to prepare our children for the future, are starting to feel like members of the working poor.…One way to think about what's currently happening in a number of states is that the anti-Obama backlash, combined with the growing tribalism of American politics, delivered a number of state governments into the hands of extreme right-wing ideologues. These ideologues really believed that they could usher in a low-tax, small-government, libertarian utopia."

In Krugman's view, which reflects the education establishment's view as well, those attempting to keep the size of government in check are a danger to your child. To support this claim, education wonks and activists point to state rankings in U.S. News, Education Week, or WalletHub—outlets that grade states according to a few key measures, such as graduation rates, education spending, and test scores. When education is discussed in the news, these rankings are often cited to illustrate the havoc that restrained budget growth and right-to-work laws can wreak.

Indeed, such rankings do seem to show that the highest-quality state educational systems tend to be in big-spending states in the Northeast or Upper Midwest. These places apparently honor and respect teachers, while Southern states inexplicably abhor them. But the cheapskates in cheap states get their just deserts: Sophisticated northern jurisdictions grow ever smarter, while stingy conservative backwaters sink into ever-lower depths of ignorance. The solution is obvious: Pay up or your kids will suffer.

There's just one problem with this narrative: Traditional rankings are riddled with methodological flaws.

Flipping the Script

To better capture the real state of play, we recently conducted a detailed investigation of state education rankings. We built a new set of rankings based on students' performance on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), a battery of standardized tests sometimes called "The Nation's Report Card." These tests are given to fourth and eighth graders as well as some high school seniors.

U.S. News and the others also generally use NAEP scores as an element of their rankings, but they use them in a misleading manner. When appropriately analyzed, the evaluation has a very different tale to tell.

We fixed two serious problems common to traditional rankings. First, we removed factors that do not measure K–12 student performance or teaching effectiveness, such as spending per student (intentions to raise performance are not the same as raising performance), graduation rates (which often indicate nothing about learning, since 38 states do not have graduation proficiency exams), and pre-K enrollment.

Rankings that include these factors distract from true student performance. For example, under traditional rankings, states with inferior test scores sometimes outrank states with better ones simply because they spend more. A June article in the Tampa Bay Times highlighted the role of spending in the state's position in one lineup: "Critics of Florida's public education funding system got another piece of ammunition Wednesday, as Education Week rated the state's school spending an F alongside 25 other states."

As recently as 2011, Education Week placed Florida fifth in the nation. Then the publication altered its methodology to put more weight on raw expenditures. Despite high test scores, the state dropped to 29th place—not because teaching effectiveness fell, but because the state supposedly spent too little!

Such a dramatic drop in an influential state ranking has the power to sway public opinion. Yet taxpayers and parents should be appalled by the pervasive and perverse notion that spending, by itself, is a positive factor. (If anything, burning more money without concomitant gains in outcomes should detract from a state's reputation.) In our rankings, merely spending more on education does not increase a ranking. To receive high marks, states must actually impart learning to their students.

Our second and more important change was to disaggregate student performance data so that we could compare likes with likes. Traditional rankings effectively reward states for not having many minority students. States do well simply because they are populated by families from more socioeconomically successful ethnic categories—not because they are actually doing a good job educating their various categories of students.

Student heterogeneity is precisely why traditional state education rankings can be so misleading. Small, largely white states in New England, such as Maine and Vermont, do very well in these rankings, but that status merely reflects their small black and Hispanic populations.

This is starkly illustrated by comparing Texas and Iowa. According to U.S. News and World Report, Texas, which ranks 33rd, is far surpassed in educational quality by Iowa, which ranks eighth. When only the test scores are examined at an aggregate level, the ranks shift somewhat but their relative positions don't: Texas moves to 35th and Iowa to 17th. But when we disaggregate student performance scores by racial categories (white, black, Hispanic, and Asian), the rankings change dramatically.

By looking at test scores for students in fourth and eighth grade in math, reading, and science, and by separating students by racial category, we get 24 different possible bases of comparison. This allows us to measure how well states do for each specific student type—Asian fourth-grade math students, for instance. (We have adjusted our rankings to compensate for the fact that not all states report scores for every student group.) Giving each type equal weight, Texas comes in fifth and Iowa 31st—a remarkable reversal.

Iowa, it turns out, falls so far because it does a below-average job of educating white students (30th in the country), black students (36th), and Asian students (40th), although it is slightly above average with Hispanic students (20th). Because Iowa has a disproportionately large share of white students, who as a group score higher than blacks and Hispanics, rankings that use aggregated test scores place Iowa's education system as above average and superior to that of Texas. Yet Texas students score higher than Iowa students in all but one of the 20 possible bases of comparison between these two states.

Think about that: White students do better in Texas than in Iowa. Black students do better in Texas. Hispanic students do better in Texas. Asian students do better in Texas. Given these facts, it is absurd for U.S. News to rank Iowa higher than Texas in terms of educational performance. And this example is no fluke. Many other state comparisons similarly reverse if you account for student heterogeneity.

Taken together, these methodological problems should disqualify mainstream rankings from use in our national discourse.

Keys to Success

It's perhaps understandable that news outlets have treated these mainstream ranking numbers as credible—they've been virtually the only game in town. Hopefully, that ends now.

Our study corrects the errors discussed above: We excluded metrics not directly related to learning and looked solely at NAEP scores; we disaggregated students by age, subject, and racial category to reflect a state's student heterogeneity; we gave equal weight to each category to produce a new average quality score for each state; and then we ranked the states by this new metric to produce the "quality" rankings in the table.

When this more appropriate method is used, the results are vastly different from the dominant narrative. Only two of the U.S. News top 10 states, Massachusetts and New Jersey, show up in our top 10 based on the quality of state education.

There are other major changes in the rankings as well, particularly in New England. Maine drops from sixth to 48th; Rhode Island from ninth to 39th; Vermont from fourth to 27th. Going in the other direction, Texas, Georgia, and Florida jump from 33rd, 35th, and 40th to fifth, seventh, and third, respectively. The Northern monopoly on top rankings disappears.

We also address another question that traditional rankings altogether ignore: How much are states spending to achieve their levels of success? New Jersey, which ranks fourth under our methodology, spends more than twice as much per student as third-ranked Florida. New York, the highest spender, ranks 30th in our lineup, only slightly below 29th-ranked Tennessee—but the Empire State spends about two and a half times as much as the Volunteer State. Surely, Florida achieves its student outcomes much more efficiently than New Jersey and Tennessee much more efficiently than New York.

Since many of the states with high expenditures are also more expensive places to live in general, we adjusted the annual per-student spending values by the cost of living to make comparisons more appropriate. We then produced an "efficiency" ranking by dividing each state's quality measure by (adjusted) per-student expenditures. All of the top five states according to this metric—Florida, Texas, Virginia, Arizona, and Georgia—are right-to-work states in the South and Southwest. They're getting the most bang for their education buck. The only state from the U.S. News top 10 that makes it into the top 10 for efficiency is Massachusetts, in 10th place.

The scatterplot illustrates the two components that go into these efficiency rankings: A state's quality score is on the vertical axis and its per-student expenditures (controlling for cost of living) is on the horizontal axis. This allows readers to see how their states compare in terms of both educational performance and educational expenditures. The upper-left corner is most desirable: good teaching at low cost. The lower-right is the worst of both worlds: poor teaching and high costs. Notice that the chart reveals no clear relationship between spending more on education and achieving better outcomes.

In order to examine the relationship between expenditures and quality more precisely, we ran multiple regression analyses on our data, which included several other variables. The regression results support the view that expenditures are not linked to student performance. It turns out that throwing more money at something isn't guaranteed to yield improvement—as Kansas City demonstrated when, under court control from 1985 to 1997, it became the highest-spending school district in the country. It also failed to increase its performance.

Our regression results revealed other findings as well. The most interesting is that union strength has a powerful negative effect on student performance. It's well-known that teachers unions aim to increase wages, which might lead to better teachers and increased test scores. But apparently, other union goals that are harmful to student performance—such as protecting poor teachers from being fired or blocking merit-based pay—have a greater impact. This may come as a shock to those who think teachers unions are a recipe for educational success.

Waste Not

Overall, our results demonstrate that existing state education rankings aren't to be trusted. When those scores are corrected, the conventional narrative is turned on its head. Students in fiscally conservative right-to-work states often perform better than their counterparts in high-tax, high-spending progressive utopias. And they don't have to break the bank to achieve their success.

Journalists and public officials should stop referencing the flawed traditional rankings. Just last April, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy cited Education Week to claim the Garden State is superior in education to Texas. Murphy was responding to an April op-ed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott inviting Jersey residents fed up with high taxes to move to Texas. Instead, Murphy should consider taking a page from the Lone Star State's playbook. Importing the policies that make Texas second on the list for "efficiency" could help maintain New Jersey's high performance while discarding its current punishing taxes

Unfortunately, mainstream rankings confirm the biases of many media outlets and the self-serving interests of education functionaries who only gain from higher spending—while also giving short shrift to minority students in predominantly white states. As a result, we suspect that the usual narrative based on those flawed state rankings will continue to predominate.

That's a shame. The time is ripe to re-evaluate education policy in this country. After all, minds and dollars are terrible things to waste.

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198 responses to “Everything You Know About State Education Rankings Is Wrong

  1. I’m shocked that Reason would print a study that correlates educational outcomes with race. More than that, I am trying to wrap my mind around why the rankings before put so much emphasis on how much money is spent. Spending a ton of money and achieving moderate student competency outcomes has never been the wise approach.
    On another note, it is depressing to see Virginia listed highest in quality and high in efficiency. I went to school in NoVa and was generally aware that they are held as some of the highest rated public schools in the country. Even in the advanced programs I thought things were dumbed down and didn’t go far enough into evaluation of the information. If that is to be held up as the model for education then I feel sorry for the rest of the country and might better understand the general population’s apparent stupidity. Still, education and roads are always the excuse every time taxes go up here.

    1. I was equally shocked to see that. Maybe they’re gonna finally stop shilling for the left! Don’t tell Ron.

    2. I was equally shocked to see that. Maybe they’re gonna finally stop shilling for the left! Don’t tell Ron.

      1. What I am really shocked by is that when progressives evaluate education more spending is good and when they evaluate health care more spending is bad. It’s almost as if their scholarly and rhetorical efforts are not really intellectual at all but rather just an effort to provide cover for insisting the state should do everything. It’s hard to believe because disingenuous behavior is so rare with the left.

    3. “Spending a ton of money and achieving moderate student competency outcomes has never been the wise approach.”

      But it has always been the progressive approach, more government spending for the sake of more government spending, thus it becomes a major factor in the rankings.

      1. I would like to see the advocates of government-union schools watch and refute the points in Coulson’s “Scools, Inc.”

    4. Using the Y axis as an input to the X axis is common practice in advocacy research, and for exactly this reason. The relationship they want to show doesn’t exist, or isn’t strong, so they juice it with a few points of 1:1 correlation. For instance, the Brady Campaign’s state report cards on gun regulations uses certain gun crime rates for (if I’m recalling correctly) about 10% of the total score. The effect is, when you plot their rankings against various gun crimes, there’s a very pronounced correlation, and its looks like their ‘brady laws’ are quite effective at reducing gun violence. Oh, they also don’t issue a report card for DC, that helps their plot quite a bit too…

    5. It blew my mind to see them actually mention the race issue. I was all prepped to come into the comment section and set them straight on why some states do better than others… But these guys actually did a competent, and valid study it would appear.

      1. Correct. It is the education study I’ve always wanted done.

        I’ve been pointing to the race factor as a consideration in quantifying education outcomes. Without adjusting for that effect, most education outcome studies are useless — LESS than useless, actually.

        It pisses off many to consider race as a factor, but it does a disservice to ALL races to ignore the disparities. Or in the case of Asians, the SUPERIORITIES.

        BTW, it’s not RACIAL differences — it’s racial CULTURAL differences. You can see this for American blacks when you look at the black African immigrants, who come to America to make a better life, and believe they can do it. They kick American blacks’ asses, and are actively disliked in much of the black community as a result. Similarly Asians — particularly 1st and 2nd generation Asians — make education a top priority.

        The different results by race are obvious, but studiously ignored by academics — perhaps because they fear blowback if they study these disparities and the underlying causes. Including the real fear of losing one’s job.

      2. If you’re going to score students based on skin color, you should be doing a separate scoring based on parents socioeconomic status.

        At least, I believe most of us expect that kids from a married couple, both of whom have college degrees, SHOULD do better in school than kids raised by a single parent w/o a college degree.

        I would bet a good deal of the hit that Iowa took was from the rather racist assumption that “all whites are equal”

    6. The thing with NoVa, is that it accumulates the elite of the elite. If you are a minority in North Virginia, you have basically escaped poverty and are working for the government or a contractor with a great paycheck. This indicates that you are going to pass on to your kids the work ethic and opportunities necessary to do well in school.

      1. I agree that Northern Virginia schools are wealthy and successfully conforming to the current national ideal because they are stocked with the children of government workers. Do you really consider this passing on a work ethic, though?

    7. It’s shocking to see honesty for a change, isn’t it? And it’s not “racist” to do a statistical analysis on this at all, as the cultural differences and expectations among the different racial groups is staggering. Asian parents expect their children to do well, and emphasize study, hard work and achievement. Black kids who do well in school are called “Uncle Tom” by their peers, and amazingly stop doing well, ultimately failing to complete high school by a ratio of 50 percent or more in most urban areas. And white kids run the gamut; in some areas of Iowa, for example, those white kids have grown up in families that have had three generations on welfare. What would motivate them to do any book larnin’ when all they have to do to get an apartment, food and cell phone is have a baby?

      When you acknowledge the real problems associated with education, then you can actually start to solve them.

      1. JF, what do cohort studies have to do with acknowledging the real problems associated with education? What they tend to show, pretty much as you suggest, is that the differing educational outcomes the cohort studies seek to spotlight have little to do with education, and everything to do with societal neglect, poverty, racism, wealth disparities, and the disorganized lives which result when people struggle with those. And the key educational takeaway from that kind of focus?the very one these authors urge with this article, is, “Don’t worry. Not our problem.”

        However radical, that could be made into a pedagogically useful notion. Here is how to do it. Accompany the study results with effort and money to mobilize unrelenting demands that the problems identified be addressed politically and solved?solved by politicians, not educators. And with “solved” measured by much better, much more equal, educational outcomes. Until you are ready to sign on for that, applauding this kind of article just gets you a high score on the crypto-racism/racism-is-reason scale. Is that where you want to be?

    8. Autodidacts need very little schooling.

  2. How does one “teach to” any specific minority anyway? And, as stated above, when the content has been consistently diluted since, oh about the late 1800’s, what’s the point of worrying about performance? Ever see high school graduation requirements for a student at the turn of the century?

    1. No…has anyone who’s alive?

    2. I’ve said this over and over again but it’s less a racial issue as it is a culture issue. One deals with inherent limitations and one deals with assumed limitations. There obviously happens to be plenty of overlap of racial and cultural identities, but not always. In the district my family teaches in ‘white trash’ issues are a major factor.

      My family members tend to turn their noses up at these problems because, being government school teachers, they live at a much higher-than-average income level. I imagine this does not generate trust or motivation on the part of the ‘kid’ experiencing the problems. While teachers cannot (and should not be expected to) solve every home situation, the way they interact with their students has an effect on outcomes within the classroom.

      I’m sure you can think of many examples where a student’s cultural situation? especially within the social hell that is government school? becomes relevant to education outcomes.

      1. Many examples. Especially at the university level. In fact, every conservative student at the university level.

      2. There obviously happens to be plenty of overlap of racial and cultural identities, but not always.

        Name a single place at a single time when the usual pattern didn’t hold.

        1. The major racial issues in America today are cultural.

          The vast majority of “racists” today would be just fine with blacks if only they would stop “acting black”.

          The number of people that hate any group of people simply because of their skin color is vanishingly small.

          1. Was this supposed to be an answer?

            1. In a way, yes; intat I agree with “There obviously happens to be plenty of overlap of racial and cultural identities, but not always.”

              But mostly as a general comment on what I believe to be the state of race relations today.

              I have no answer for your second paragraph since I don’t really get what your driving at.

              1. IOW, I understand that you are trying to make a worthwhile point but I confess that I don’t exactly know what it is.

                Beyond that, do you agree with my basic premise above or, if not, in what ways would you dispute it?

                1. I am seeking an honest dialogue here, not trying to be a prick.

                2. Beyond that, do you agree with my basic premise above or, if not, in what ways would you dispute it?

                  okay …

                  The major racial issues in America today are cultural.

                  The vast majority of “racists” today would be just fine with blacks if only they would stop “acting black”.

                  I disagree that “acting black” is mostly “cultural.” I agree that dislike of blacks in the US is mostly because of black behavior, not mere tribalism.

                  The number of people that hate any group of people simply because of their skin color is vanishingly small.

                  I think this is certainly true in the US. I hate “skin color” as a substitute for “race.”

              2. I have no answer for your second paragraph since I don’t really get what your driving at.

                I wrote one sentence.

          2. Was this supposed to be an answer?

        2. ‘Acting White’ Remains a Barrier for Black Education

          anthropologist John Ogbu with Signithia Fordham argued that black kids underperform in school partly because those who behave scholarly are teased as being “white,” such that often fitting in means letting one’s grades slip.

          Obviously white kids (especially from 99% white schools) have their fair share attempts to “act black”. This is in addition to the “white trash” culture of poor kids looking cutting on the tall poppy. Very little of this has to do with anyone’s skin color.

          The difference is inherent qualities (racists would be specifically interested in limitations) versus assumed or adopted qualities. “Dumb farm kids” might value hard manual labor and in-group membership more than intellectual rigor. Because of these choices and preferences, a teacher from a farming community might teach to them more effectively than a group of career academics, despite the fact that the academics body of knowledge may be deeper.

          1. I can confirm that this used to be the case, at least anecdotally. My high school was almost exactly half white and half black. There were many examples of equating good grades with acting white. But the most extreme was a friend who came from a wealthy family (by our standards).

            They owned a couple of radio stations. He was what Joe Biden would have termed “articulate”. He worked as a DJ on the light adult hits station. Think smooth FM voice.

            Hanging out with the rednecks in our class he would be the Tommy Smothers clone. But as soon as another black kid walked up he would switch to ebonics.

            He was really bright. But he never took any of the advanced classes.
            He didn’t want to be the only black kid in the group. He still got a full scholarship offer to Duke. But decided to attend a lower ranked historically black school because of the pressures of acting white.

            1. To finish the anecdote, I am sure he turned out to be extremely successful… He was really smart, really personable, really nice, really attractive and exceptionally athletic.

              (As a freshman football player he played running back in our preseason scrimmage against another school. They ran a sweep to him 3 times on the 20 yard line. He ran two 80 yard touchdowns and a 60 yard run… It was his only action. His mother pulled him from football because it was too dangerous. 3 kids on that team played in the NFL. And he would have been one of the best. )

              So the pressures against him were only a small handicap. A roadbump. He was going to excel in any situation. The guy was practically Harrison Bergeron.

              But there were lots of lesser mortals who could have done fine and gone on to college. But they couldn’t overcome the culture. I’m not sure if any other black guys in my class went to college.

              To be fair, not that many white kids went to college either. But it was still probably 10x more.

            2. Grades and test scores are two very different things. I became a “race realist” in high school when I realized the stoner white kids, many of whom had literally never read a book, were significantly outscoring the preppy black kids whose parents were doctors and lawyers.

            3. He was really bright. But he never took any of the advanced classes.

              Then how do you know he was really bright? (Being admitted to Duke while black is definitely not an answer.)

              1. Because I knew him. You don’t need a standardized test to know if someone is an idiot or a genius. It is pretty easy to sus out in ordinary conversation.

                I had an employee with a 170 IQ. Nobody needed to explain “oh, he is really smart”.

                Which brings to mind another employee…. She was from the wrong side of the tracks. Grew up in a panhandle trailer park. Watressed her way to her A+ certification. The greatest ambition her family had was getting on with the post office. ,… But she was bright… And motivated. Within a couple of months after starting on the help desk I had her installing mail servers. Within a couple of years she was my director of technology.

                She was trailer trash. But motivated. And bright. One day we got on the topic and she revealed that she had tested gifted with a 160 IQ. Low expectations held her back. Once she had an opportunity to grow, she proved to be excellent.

                1. So your high school brain just kinda thought he was with no evidence. Nice. I knew well about 15 black kids who matched that description, including admission to Duke tier schools. Only one even got the PSAT thing below Merit Semifinalist, which was ~ 1250 SAT IIRC. That was an immigrant son of two science PhD parents though.

                  she revealed that she had tested gifted with a 160 IQ.

                  I don’t think there’s a single IQ test used in that situation that goes to 160.

                  1. Uhhh, I dunno man.

                    I more or less consider myself a race realist, with the caveat that we may discover some of the gap is more environmental than genetic… But I still think there is a genetic component there.

                    But I would argue with the assertion that you can’t tell when somebody is bright. You can’t guess within a 5 IQ point range how smart somebody is, but anybody who can’t tell the difference between somebody with an 85 IQ, a 100 IQ, and a 130 IQ is an idiot themselves.

                    As far as things go, I was given an IQ test in elementary school because they thought I had ADD. I came out with a 156. Not sure how high the scale went on that test, but my public school in California must have gone to at least 160. I always figured I must have had a touch of dumb luck, because if Albert Einstein only had a few points on me… Boy howdy is the human race fucked! LOL 10% +/- variability is not super uncommon in IQ testing, so I like to think I’m at least a 140 🙂

            4. “…the pressures of acting white.”

              Maybe success is not all about race. Wealth, income, and high status jobs, often are associated with certain cultural behaviors. Such behaviors signal to the members of that group that you share their values and norms. So maybe instead of feeling pressure to ‘act white’, the practical matter is whether one will ‘act’ knowledgable, educated, and have wealth or are well on your way to obtaining wealth.

              If I want to learn the cattle business at the local auction, there’s a certain approach I need to adopt to get the time of day from those I would want to mentor me. Likewise I’d better have a totally different approach to being taken seriously as a pre-medical student.

              If you don’t want the success of ‘whiteness’ then by all means don’t ‘act white’. But do stop bitching about the outcome.

          2. I think one thing that gets missed is that it might be more rational for, to use your example, the farm kid to value manual labor skills and in-group membership than academics.

            We tend, in this country, to act as if testing well in academic subjects in secondary school is the key to success for all individuals. It’s not always the case financially, and often not the case at all for life as a whole.

            As schools change, testing well in high school subjects reflects less the markers that made for employment success (the ability to stick to a task, absorb information and develop skills, be in place on time and pay attention, etc.) and more the markers that make for a good modern public school student (mimic back the point of view you are given, think entirely inside the box, conform without questions, value what you are told to value, etc.).

            It has always been the case that for some, knowing how to change a tire is more useful and makes for a happier life than knowing your Latin declensions (or, these days, your correct gender pronouns).

      3. Here’s the thing you, and others like you, refuse to address:

        The racial IQ gap.

        The argument that IQ is a useless metric is bullshit. NO it doesn’t measure musical talent, or being funny, or likeable, or whatever. But for what everybody means by “intelligent” it gets a VERY good rough approximation. It is the best predictor of life outcomes, including things like crime, divorce, etc. Obviously educational attainment too.

        There is ZERO debate that large IQ gaps exist between ethnic groups. ZERO. The only question is why there are gaps.

        The fact is that any reasonable reading of the science points to it being 60-80% genetic in origin. In other words “scientific racism” as a lefty would say. But let us assume it is 100% environmental.

        Even if it is entirely environmental, it still explains PERFECTLY 100% of the achievement gaps, income gaps, etc. Black/Hispanic people make basically the exact same income as white/Asian people at similar IQ levels.

        SO if you refuse to accept any genetic component, then the A #1 goal should be to find the environmental factors that make blacks and Hispanics less intelligent on average. All their problems stem from this IQ gap, so you eliminate that, and everything else will fall into place. Until that happens ethnic groups with low IQs will never compare to whites/Asians/Jews in outcomes. EVER. So get to work.

        1. Isn’t that what most people do when they look at racial results? Conservatives will generally say “there is a break in the culture of these minority groups. Too many kids are born to wedlocked families, and too many families are overrun with drugs.” Liberals will tend to say “Institutional racism is preventing these kids from getting the opportunities to develop.” That is basically trying to deal with the environment.

          The idea that this is Genetic is brought up all the time, and frankly a distraction. You share more genes in common with a man whose ancestors evolved on the other side of the planet from yours than with your own sister. The differences in genes between races are minuscule. We have absolute proof that minorities who grow up in a culture of stability and respect for learning tend to do well.

        2. Isn’t that what most people do when they look at racial results? Conservatives will generally say “there is a break in the culture of these minority groups. Too many kids are born to wedlocked families, and too many families are overrun with drugs.” Liberals will tend to say “Institutional racism is preventing these kids from getting the opportunities to develop.” That is basically trying to deal with the environment.

          The idea that this is Genetic is brought up all the time, and frankly a distraction. You share more genes in common with a man whose ancestors evolved on the other side of the planet from yours than with your own sister. The differences in genes between races are minuscule. We have absolute proof that minorities who grow up in a culture of stability and respect for learning tend to do well.

          1. A couple things.

            Yes, politicians anecdotally mention environmental factors with their ramblings. I’m talking about science.

            Scientists have been looking for DECADES by doing studies to prove environmental factors that affect IQ. Income, single parents, drugs, etc. They’ve all been done. The problem is, they can never make the genetic component disappear. Not one study EVER.

            Every time they do a study like that, they end up reinforcing the genetic argument with their data. This is why the consensus is that IQ is 60-80% heritable in individuals. That is to say 60-80% of your IQ is determined by your parents IQ, the rest is random genetics/environmental.

            The issue there is that nobody has ever done a genetic study to see what happens if you go back to your grandparents IQs… I’d bet it ends up even higher genetically since we know many traits skip generations. But even if it’s ONLY 60%, that means those gaps are unclosable.

            And the way you talk about genetics is bullshit. The Dutch are considerably taller than Japanese GENETICALLY. We’re all human, but to have significant trait differences at the statistical level is very well founded scientifically. The entire range of skin tones is just a few genes here and there. Height. The shape of our eyes. The color of our eyes. Our hair. Our resistance to diseases.

          2. ALL the differences we have are caused by a few small gene variations. To create the ~15 point IQ gap between blacks and whites (or around 20 point gap between blacks and Asians) could be as simple as a handful of genes potentially.

            Keep in mind it’s ~4% difference between us and Chimps… Sounds small, but it’s a HUGE difference.

            So that whole “We’re really similar genetically!” argument is pointless. As a white, mostly German male, I share a lot more genes with Werner Von Braun than a Bantu from Africa… But those few genes different in him versus me made him one of the most brilliant human beings who ever lived. He’s the reason we use rocket scientist as a place holder for being a genius! Likewise between me and Larry Byrd, who is tall as shit, and I’m below average height.

            A few genes can go a LONG way in outcomes.

            As for “minorities who grow up in a culture of stability and respect for learning tend to do well.” Chicken and egg problem. Poor countries don’t have this, and their kids do poorly when they move to first world countries too… And whites, Asians, and Jews, the ones who have those traits in their cultures, happen to have the highest IQs in the world… So it could be that high IQ creates stable cultures with respect for learning. Or not. Either the way evidence is definitely NOT there for the inverse.

            1. One of the many blessings my scientist mother gave me was a trip in the early 1960s to attend a public lecture by Werner Von Braun, in Rock Island, Illinois.

              At the time I wondered why I was the only one of her four children who was invited to accompany her.

              Years later I realized she had informally assessed her children’s IQs and decided which ones were worth the price of admission to that particular lecture.

              1. That must have been a cool thing to do! Von Braun was a brilliant guy. He landed men on the moon, which IMO is probably still mans greatest achievement. He had a lot of other big ideas for space, and it’s unfortunate most of them haven’t happened by now… But I suspect they will if we ever get our act together.

                Your mother sounds like a smart, and logical, person.

                That’s one of the things that gets me about these intelligence arguments. High IQ/low IQ doesn’t make people worthless… It just changes the practical things we should encourage for some people. Telling a low IQ kid they can be a rocket scientist is a cruel lie, and ultimately I think most people self assess fairly accurately before they’re too old and realize it’s BS.

                I’m sure your mom loved all your siblings, and encouraged them to do things they would love and excel at… That may mean not everybody goes to see a rocket scientist speak, but it doesn’t mean they’re all DOOMED! It just means perhaps they should become an electrician, or plumber, or mechanic, etc instead of struggling to still fail out of a CompSci degree or whatever.

          3. The fact is that evidence leads to it being largely genetic. People don’t like the idea, I don’t either actually… I wish everybody was exactly equal. That includes individuals! It’s FUCKED UP that some people are dumb, and some people are smart, that some people are tall, and some people short, some people pretty, and some people ugly… It’s all totally unfair!

            I wish men and women were actually equal too. But men are definitely not equal to women in all traits, and the evidence points to there being huge differences between ethnicities too.

            There’s no reason evolution would have given a fuck about being politically correct. They’ve begun sequencing the genes related to intelligence. They’ve found the first several hundred. Methinks they will find them in higher/lower concentrations depending on ethnicity. It will likely be promptly ignored by Progs, just like the mountains of evidence that is already suppressed. But sooner or later people will have to accept the facts IMO.

    3. How does one “teach to” any specific minority anyway?

      Serious answers I’ve seen are: have the teacher be of that minority; use math problems “culturally relevant” to that minority; emphasize members of the minority in history, science, etc.; and teach in the minority’s language.

      1. Do any of the “serious answers” address why US minority test scores are much higher here than in countries where they’re the majority?

        1. To which minority(s) are you referring?

          1. all

            1. I believe that other minorities are doing better in the USA than those in “the old country.”

              Much is made of the performance of Sweden both educationally and economically and on health outcomes. What is miss is the fact that, as Milton Friedman once pointed out, People of Swedish extraction in the USA out perform their stay-at-home relatives on all those metrics. Likewise, Anglo-Saxons, the Irish and just about any other group in the British Isles or Europe you can bring up.

              1. To be more clear this is in agreement with your statement that all minorities are doing better than their counterparts “at home.”

                Even given the vaunted welfare states of Europe and Canada, the USA still offers better cancer survival rates and a host of other better health outcomes.

        2. One supposition would be the only the best and brightest from many places come here. Or at least the most highly motivated.

          Heck, I will take highly motivated any day.

          If your parents are highly motivated for you to succeed, you have a much better chance of succeeding. I have some friends from Haiti. They have fairly low level jobs. They fled a pretty horrible situation. But their expectations for third kids is single minded:. Excellence is the baseline. Their daughter is on track to graduate in 10th grade and finish her first two years of college while still in high school. I heard her mother discussing a grade on a math quiz the other day…. She got a B. B is not acceptable in their house. Not even on one quiz.

          That is motivated. And when you had to go to lenghts to raise your kids here, you probably have a lot of motivation to keep them from squandering the opportunity.

          1. I’ll grant the much recent Asian immigration was highly selective.

            But African slaves were the best and brightest? Vietnamese boat people were the best and brightest? Mexican stoop laborers were the best and brightest?

            1. Yes… Mexican laborers come here to work. They had to pick up and move to another country, another culture, another language…. That is self selecting for something other than average. Lazy isn’t gonna do that.

              African slave descendents don’t seem to fit the mold. But Africans who migrate to America apparently do quite well.

              Black Hatians arrived as slaves in Haiti. But my friends came to America by choice. They are doing well.

              I’ll concede that it is entirely possible that the mere act of plopping down in America as a new immigrant might be transformative. New start.. new culture… New language .. it has to be pretty scary. And fear is a pretty good motivator.

              1. Mexican laborers come here to work.

                They’re not taking tests.

                But Africans who migrate to America apparently do quite well.

                1)According to what?

                2) They’re not taking tests either.

                But my friends came to America by choice. They are doing well.

                Did they take standardized tests? (no)

                And fear is a pretty good motivator.

                Fear actually has nothing to do with filling in the correct bubble on the math test.

                1. Motivation does. If you are highly motivated you will learn math. If you are very de-motivated, you won’t.

                  Obviously, raw horsepower has a lot to do with it too. But if you have a work ethic, you will do well, no matter what the endeavor.

                  People immigrating to the US will likely skew above average on IQ, if for no other reason than you are trimming off the bottom of the curve. The bottom 20% of the IQ distribution isn’t as likely to put together everything you’d need to move to another country.

                  And if you are in a place like India where class mobility is not really possible, the very elite intellects of the lower classes are probably going to be smart enough to figure out how to come to America.

                  1. My point is that kids take tests, not your friends.

                    People immigrating to the US will likely skew above average on IQ

                    what average though?

            2. We received a lot of high quality immigrants from Vietnam.

            3. Other than illegal immigrants from Mexico/Central/South America, we do have a lot of self selection bias.

              It’s obvious as day with say Indians or other Asians, but even most of the Africans are WAAAAY above average compared to back home.

              However with all the illegals, we’re statistically actually getting mostly from the lower end of the speectrum. This shows in stats that have been collected as far as average education attained etc. It’s 8th grade BTW!

              Mexico is one of the wealthiest countries on earth, and educated middle class people there actually have it pretty damn good… So they have no reason to illegally immigrate here.

              The Hispanic immigrants we get are mostly from what would be considered working poor to lower middle class here. They’re not the totally idiotic bottom of the barrel, but only a step above. Hence dish washers to carpenters is the range of professions the majority of them fall into.

          2. The counter to the smart immigrant argument are immigrants that vote for socialist politicians here in the USA.

  3. Krugman: “teachers, the people we count on to prepare our children for the future, are starting to feel like members of the working poor”

    Let’s not smear all the working poor with such a broad brush…

    1. Deplorable

    2. Pretty much everywhere I’ve lived, beginning public school teachers have had higher incomes than the average employee, even without what they can earn extra during school’s summer vacation.

      1. Were the beginning public school teachers where you lived having higher incomes than the average college graduate? And just what do you expect these teachers to earn as an hourly wage for a summer job?

    3. Krugman: “teachers, the people we count on to prepare our children for the future, are starting to feel like members of the working poor”

      I have had plenty of contact with “teachers” and although some of them are amazing, most of them can’t be working poor …. because they don’t do much work.

      “Teachers” teaching math, they don’t know themselves. So they give assignments from the book, give tests and quizes from the book so they can grade with the teachers key. And tell students that need help they just need to study more.

      Yeah, I agree on paying GOOD teachers well. I also believe in firing BAD teachers. Unfortunately, I see way more bad teachers than good ones.

    4. Krugman has taken his Nobel in economics as license to speak as an expert on everything. He has no limits to his knowledge or wisdom. He has long ago gone off the Linus Pauling deep end (Pauling became a crackpot extolling megadoses of vitamin C).

    5. Many teachers I’ve known are neither working nor poor. . .

  4. when we disaggregate student performance scores by racial categories


    Who redirected me to V Dare?

    1. Mind blowing that a Reason article would actually look at things from a rational, instead of a feelz, perspective!

  5. Traditional rankings effectively reward states for not having many minority students.

    State education rankings are rife with systemic racism.

    1. Hardly surprising, since the Public Education Establsihment is heavily Democrat, and the Democrat party has been racially biased since before the Civl War, they’ve just gotten more subtle about it (not that being more subtle about racism th an the KKK and Southern lynch mobs is a high bar).

      1. parody?

        1. If you can’t tell, it doesn’t matter – – – – – –

        2. You are a parody account sidd.

          1. I’m onto you, @wewuzboomers

        3. Sadly, no. The Progressive Left embraced eugenics until a certain despicable Austrian put the stink on it, and their support of ‘abortion rights’ to the extent of defending ghouls like Kermit Gosnell (until he became indefensible) sure looks like eugenics by stealth. The first three incarnations of the KKK were heavily Democrat. The Democrats instinctively make race a major criteria in all policy, and if they are FOR blacks their policies have a notable lack of success.

          The Democrat establishment is elitist, racist, and severely delusional.

          1. Andrew Jackson and the shrieking harpies protesting yesterday have absolutely nothing in common. Neither do Francis Galton and Diane Feinstein. This is idiotic.

          2. You know there is nothing wrong with the theory of eugenics right?

            It’s 100% scientifically sound. The only thing is morals and all that jazz. Assuming you’re not using violence or force to achieve eugenic ends, it would actually be a positive thing. Think encouraging intelligent people to have kids, and discouraging the mentally deficient… Nothing wrong with that done in the right way. We unfortunately have the exact opposite happening right now. This trend barely started a century ago, so it hadn’t been TOO bad yet… But Idiocracy is not unthinkable should it continue for too long.

            Just sayin’.

            1. Evolution already does this without government help, even without conscious help from anyone.

              1. It DID do this. Unfortunately the structure of modern social structures, combined with things like modern medicine for the physically weak (which I would never advocate withholding from anybody anyway), create a dysgenic situation.

                We tax the middle class and wealthy so much they struggle to properly support their own kids, so that irresponsible people can receive welfare for their kids they can’t support. This makes middle class people have fewer children, because they’re smart enough to not have kids they can’t support, while making the lower IQ people have more. The exact opposite of what happened pre 1900, and the exact opposite of what is desirable.

                I think the Flynn effect has masked a fair amount of dysgenics already in the 20th century, but nothing we can’t survive and recover from.

  6. And since good schools seem to be able to get improvement out of students of any race, then the defeatist (or worse) attitude of “we can’t teach these people” seems way exaggerated.

    Of course you can’t teach someone who’s determined not to learn. And If that person has been bullied into seeing academic ignorance as a badge of racial loyalty, then that reduces the scope of what a teacher can do.

    Unless a school as a whole is sufficiently countercultural as to counteract such attitudes and inculcate an esprit de corps which is proud of learning – even, as appropriate, invoking examples and symbols of racial pride – in which case the bad peer influence might get counteracted and embolden the bright students to ignore deleterious influences from their more envious or less ambitious peers.

    1. I think a lot of your racially discrepancy can be attributed to the parents ability to prepare their children for school and help teach them at home. A child who was read too and who’s education was nurtured growing up becomes a patent who does that for their child. Of course there are a number of reasons for that disparity.

      1. Regardless of race, it has a lot to do with whether the term is parent or parents.
        Never mind the village, it takes two parents for maximum benefit to the child.

        1. Very true.

        2. I think it is unequivocal. The single greatest determining factor of educational outcome is the parents. Way more than race. Way more than economics. Way more than what school you go to.

          If Mom and Dad are invested in your education, you will learn. If they aren’t, then it takes an exceptional effort from the schools and the students to overcome that.

          At my kids school they push the parents to read with their kids. The principal puts up a graphic at every parent meeting that shows that the time kids read each day directly correlates with achievement test scores. If you read with your kids for 20 minutes per day, they will be in the top 10 percentile on the standardized tests. If you don’t read with him at all, it will be in the bottom 10 percentile.

          His pay and career or dependent on those test scores. So he has the proper motivation to get that right. And since he wants to get paid, he wants to make sure parents or doing something that is such a strong predictor of success.

          1. Parents learn how to parent and teach from their parents. If your grandparents were illiterate, there is a good chance your parents may struggle with assisisting you with your education. Many families are only 2 or 3 generations from illiterate ancestors. At some point, someone has to put forth the effort to break that cycle.

            1. Like many theories, this one sounds fine and dandy until one includes the Asians.

              1. What does that mean?

                1. A billion Asians went from illiterate farmers to full participants in 1st world economies in one generation. It must not be that hard for them.

                  1. They are now dealing with similar levels of inequality that we have here in the US. Since many top corporations in China are owned by the government, they tend to reinvest that in education (here it’s all profits for shareholders and c-level execs), but even in China, it is far from equal.

                    There was a recent Bloomberg article about the education disparity and inequality in China.

                    China’s Racing to the Top in Income Inequality

                    I can’t link here because Reason’s comment section is horrible, like something from 1991.

                    1. Does China’s income inequality lead to the poorest classes getting $20k/year educations and still having 85 IQ’s? Because that’s the situation in the US.

                      You need to use hyperlinks, unless it’s some asshole article that quotes Piketty like gospel.

                    2. Knowledge is Power: Understanding the Education Market in Chinat

                      Damn this is so much more annoying than copying and pasting.

                2. It means, that your theory sounds plausible until you encounter actual data. For example, many of the Asians who came to this country were illiterate, but their children have excelled. The parents may not have been educated, but they VALUE education highly and so insist their children work hard to excel.

                  It is THE DESIRE to learn and the EXPECTATIONS held up for the student that matter.

          2. Cyto, you’re simply factually wrong.

            The biggest factor, by far, is simply the IQ of the child. High IQ people from dysfunctional backgrounds, poor families, etc tend to excel still. Low IQ people from great environments still fail.

            Obviously encouraging environments helps, but it’s just icing on the cake. The cake itself is simply the IQ one is born with thanks to the genetic lottery.

            Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, IQ varies between races. The reason parts of Asia went from dirt farmers to 1st world in about 1 generation is because they have higher IQs than whites on average. They were being held back by horrible government policies, and the second those went away BAM they exploded.

            Like it or not the evidence points towards IQ being 60-80% genetic. Unless they find something that completely overturns about a century of accumulated evidence, and there ends up being a magic silver bullet of environmental factors, the world will likely stay distributed wealth and success wise just like it is now. Of course EVERYBODY will get wealthier than we are now, but Asians/whites will be at the top, blacks at the bottom, and others in their respective places in between. Genetic engineering could fix it though, so there’s that to look forward to!

            1. Also, the same is true within ethnic groups. The modern USA is almost an anomaly in that classes here interbred at rates far higher than most traditional societies.

              For instance, IQ studies have been done in India which show that the Brahmin caste had IQ averages in the middle teens IIRC. A study was done on IQ in different classes in the UK in the 1970s because the government wanted to show everybody was the same… Unfortunately the group that came from the nobility had average IQs in the 120s IIRC… So they buried the study. You still can’t get a full copy of the data today, but some details got leaked.

              This is all to say, that even within any given society or ethnic group, the parents IQs determine the childrens. It’s not that the parents DON’T CARE about being educated, so their kids suck at it too… It’s that their parents are low IQ, and can’t learn very well themselves, hence their kids are also low IQ.

              There’s enough randomness where dumb people have smart kids and vice versa that it doesn’t SEEM to hold true… But statistically it does. If you want to know the IQ of a child, all you need is the IQ of both parents, and the mean IQ for their ethnic group. Average the parents IQ and split the difference between that figure and the mean. The kid will almost always end up there because of reversion to the mean. Done.

              Science HAS answered these questions, people just don’t like the answers.

            2. I generally agree with you but I’m not sure how much longer we’ll have the sharp ethnic divisions we see today. Integration seems inevitable.

              1. I dunno about that. The USA is probably done for, but Europe is vastly better off demographically in terms of being homogenous.

                Most people in the US and Europe are against mass immigration of unskilled people from the 3rd world, JUST on cultural grounds. The internet has allowed millions of people to read through the mountains of evidence about race and IQ that NEVER saw the light of day in the MSM. The number keeps growing. As more people accept reality, they will demand the immigration ends. Many may actually go home or even be forced out if recent immigrants.

                They will probably then absorb in the ones that remain, but still stay primarily European. Europe ruled most of the world, and even at that time didn’t allow in mass immigration… Why could they not do it when they don’t rule said places?

                Then we can simply do it like Japan. Trade with everybody, have good relations… But there is no reason to screw up your country for the feelz. The USAs demographics make something like this really tough here, but if we stopped future immigration at large levels, we could probably pull things out well enough. We’ll end up with a lot of Hispanic/Anglo mixes (that’s what I already am!), and everybody will look Italian. But some other groups probably won’t fully integrate in, blacks likely being one. If it happens it will take centuries looking at rates of intermarriage.

    2. Race is primarily a proxy for class. Wealthy, educated parents produce children with far better school results. This is unquestionable.

      Secondly, Hispanic race is a proxy for number of children unable to speak English. They are just far more Hispanic children unable to speak English than any other minority.

      Thirdly, there are also strong cultural influences, such as Asian student’s zeal for classroom achievement.

      To ignore these is to fall squarely into Simpson’s paradox.

      1. Race is primarily a proxy for class.

        This isn’t true, at all.

        1. Do you realize how many confounding variables are present in the comparison being made in that table?

          1. Go on…

            This oughta be extra retarded.

            1. Well, off the top of my head:

              Representation of the sample itself – was this test given to all students, or only to a self-selected subset?
              Career plans of the students being tested, college bound vs. non-college-bound
              Family structure of those being tested
              Academic preparation of the students – did they attend schools that had SAT prep classes or opportunities?
              And of course there’s the test itself. Is it truly a fair, race-neutral assessment of student learning? How was this established? A biased test will yield biased results of course.

              Does your table take any of that into account?

              1. None of these are “confounding variables” to the hypothesis “Race is primarily a proxy for class.” in the context of test scores.

                How the fuck do you not know who takes the SAT? Are you from the US?

                LOL of course you think whites do more test prep thank blacks.

                How the fuck would a table take into account decades of SAT validity research?

                Thanks for not disappointing, dipshit.

                1. I’m sorry, I missed the citation to the research paper which spelled out precisely the methodology used to create those statistics. Perhaps you could provide it?

                  And no, it’s not just college-bound students who take the SAT. Many jurisdictions have chosen to use the SAT as an assessment for all of their students, college bound or not. Just one example:


                  Where did that table come from? What was the origin of the data on household income? Was it self-reported or was it correlated somehow with student SAT scores? Was it a nationwide study or localized in one area of the country?

                  1. Of course you don’t explain how any of that is a “confounding variable.” Because you don’t know WTF you’re talking about.

                    One year the College Board asked about parental income on the SAT. That’s where this comes from, genius.

                    it’s not just college-bound students who take the SAT

                    Oh, no shit?

                    was it correlated somehow with student SAT scores?

                    Explain exactly what the fuck you mean with this.

                    1. I am asking, where did this data come from? What is your source?

                    2. One year the College Board asked about parental income on the SAT. That’s where this comes from, genius.

                      So the students self-reported their families’ household incomes on the test? How can this be considered reliable?

                    3. By itself, it wouldn’t be.

                    4. So how is your table not an example of garbage statistics?

                    5. I can’t fathom how a table of SAT scores and demographic information could possibly be considered “garbage.” What on earth are you even talking about? This isn’t political propaganda.

                    6. I can’t fathom how a table of SAT scores and demographic information could possibly be considered “garbage.” What on earth are you even talking about? This isn’t political propaganda.

                      1. You have no idea how reliable the household income data is.
                      2. You have no idea where the SAT data came from, what cohort of students were chosen, how they were selected, etc.
                      3. You have no idea how reproducible this data is, whether it was an outlier or not.

                      In short, this data confirmed all your biases and so you just ran with it. It was “too good to check”.

                    7. it’s not just college-bound students who take the SAT

                      Oh, no shit?

                      So, hypothetically speaking, if in the data that you presented, all students were assessed, and not just the college-bound ones, and if there were more white college-bound students than black ones in the sample, but they were all assessed nonetheless, then what the test really measured was who was better prepared to go to college, and not some inherent racial difference between whites and blacks. And since college graduation is a marker of class difference, this is one way in which the results that you presented are really about differences in class, not race.

                2. How the fuck would a table take into account decades of SAT validity research?

                  Precisely my point. Your very limited presentation of data omits a great deal of clarifying information.

                  1. Why don’t you go look into SAT validity research if that’s what you want to know. It’s not the chart’s responsibility to make you not retarded.

                    1. Starting to think you’re Bo with this fake smart guy shit.

                    2. I am not the one presenting SAT scores as some proof of racial inequality.

                    3. I presented it as evidence that “Race is primarily a proxy for class.” is completely wrong in the context of test scores. Please try to think.

                3. And by the way, there has been a great deal of research conducted on potential racial bias in standardized exams such as the SAT. Here is one I found after just a little bit of Google searching:

        …..les/Wilson #22.pdf

                  Haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it’s probably a decent place to start.

                  Truth of the matter is, the science of assessment is not as well-developed as you might think it is. So it is not outrageous to think that the SAT might suffer from some racial bias, despite the best intentions of ETS.

                  1. There is no racial bias in the SAT. This is utterly non-controversial, despite what gender studies bullshit you’re currently reading.

                    1. There is no racial bias in the SAT.

                      How do you know this?

                      Because ETS told you?

                    2. How do you know this?

                      Because ETS told you?

                      You really have no idea how dumb you sound.

                    3. LOL at confirming that you used “confound” without having a clue what it means.

                    4. How do you know this?

                      Because ETS told you?

                      Even ignoring the reams of research on this. Imagine how dumb chemjeff has to be to ignore the many $ billions of legal liability at stake here.

                    5. As usual, you cannot address my question so you resort to insults.

                      There’s been a cottage industry of scholars looking at the racial bias in standardized exams. As the paper above demonstrates. Of course, these are exactly the scholars you refuse to read because they are from “gender studies” or somesuch.

                    6. Jeff, you’re an idiot.

                      Every single test done ever shows blacks with the lowest scores of any ethnic group. This disparity exists even after adjusting for all variables. Deal with it.

                      This is common knowledge in academia, people just don’t like to talk about it much because it’s not PC. Google Race Realism if you want to learn more. Even if you want to reject everything that such people have to say, at least you can see the bare facts laid out before you. They paint a pretty obvious picture… But if your feelz won’t allow you to accept the facts after looking into it, that’s cool.

                      Bottom line is the last 70,000 or so years of human evolution didn’t give a shit about being PC by modern western standards… People evolved in ways that suited their environment. That meant different traits for different people. We all have our pros and cons, but WE ARE NOT EXACTLY THE SAME.

                    7. Oh I know all about race realism. It’s promoted by people who never got beyond Chapter 1 in a statistics textbook. For example:

                      This disparity exists even after adjusting for all variables.

                      This is complete bullshit. There is NO WAY to adjust for all possible variables. They are all so hopelessly correlated with each other and we have no baseline uncorrelated data by which to attempt to uncover the correlation. That is a big reason on what makes this problem so vexing.

                      The race realists are people who are good at lying with numbers. For example, Jared whats-his-face with his book “The Color of Crime”. He presents FBI crime data broken down by race. Unsurprisingly it turns out, based on the data, blacks have a higher violent crime rate than whites. The race realists want to pretend that this is because blacks are inherently more prone to violence. But Jared makes absolutely no effort to try to disentangle the correlations between all the variables. He and his fellow travelers want to pretend that they are some truth tellers by presenting the data that the librulz don’t want you to see. But instead they are lying with numbers by not providing the context and the analysis that is required for a proper understanding of the data.

                      “Race realism” is the modern day version of eugenics: a pseudo-scientific way to justify one’s inner bigotries.

                    8. And I wish I could say I am surprised to see so much of the alt-right racist crap here at Reason, but I guess I shouldn’t be.

                    9. But hey, vek & Sidd, suppose I am wrong and you are right, and that blacks really are inferior to whites.

                      So what? What am I supposed to conclude from that? That equal protection of the laws should be scrapped as a result? What?

                    10. Sure Jeff, you can’t REALLY disentangle EVERY variable. But they have done it with all the major variables in most situations.

                      For instance blacks in the same income bracket as whites are more likely to commit crimes by orders of magnitude. So there goes one of the main excuses for black crime rates.

                      My personal opinion is that I hope I’m wrong… But all the evidence points in one direction, that it is mostly genetic. You gotta understand it’s not just ONE data point here. It’s everything. It’s that the hierarchy of test scores is IDENTICAL all over the entire world. It’s that crime rates are the same the world over by ethnic grouping. That Asian countries magically jumped up to being some of the wealthiest in the world in a couple decades after adopting good economic policies, while lower IQ areas languish. If it’s environmental, why do American blacks have lower IQs than half starved North Korean children? I could go on for days with both statistical, scientific, and anecdotal stuff. I’ve read a lot on the subject, and it’s endless.

                      Given that there is a very healthy amount of evidence that all points one direction, until that is overturned by equally compelling evidence, that’s probably the one to assume is correct. There is literally more evidence for race realism than there is for climate change… The only reason people won’t accept that there are differences is because of the feelz.

                    11. As for what to do about it… That’s a toughie. Obviously we shouldn’t create a two tier system legally or whatever, but if people accepted reality we would probably institute a lot of changes in laws.

                      3rd world immigration to 1st world countries would be a good place to start. If some people are always going to commit more crimes on average, have lower incomes, etc it doesn’t make sense to import millions of them. We should scrap affirmative action of all types, and let people get promoted based on their ability. Things like that.

                      As a libertarian I still take people as individuals, and the world could very much do that after accepting racial differences in averages. They’re just AVERAGES after all. I didn’t stop hanging out with my black friends when I learned about all this stuff.

                      Another thing to keep in mind is this: Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to end slavery, Abe Lincoln, who did end slavery, the British Empire which destroyed the global slave trade… They ALL thought blacks were intellectually inferior to whites… But they STILL knew it was WRONG to have slaves. This was the common opinion all the way up through at least the 1960s, and yet people still thought they should have equal rights.

                    12. Outside of the western world, people STILL don’t believe everybody is equal. In China they openly talk about how East Asians have the highest IQs. The same can be said for most other places. The Euro-centric world is the only place where anybody actually believes that there are no differences AT ALL between different ethnic groups.

                      The world still turns, and will continue to turn if the west accepts that there are differences.

                      So IMO it could/should be looked at no differently than thinking about a dumb white friend. Should your dumb white friend not have rights? Of course they should! Just because somebody isn’t a genius doesn’t mean they’re not a HUMAN BEING.

                      It would have implications, but all the idiots that jump to things like bringing back slavery, or genocide or whatever are idiots. That kind of stuff is just not going to happen. The “worst” thing that might happen is we will end up with tougher immigration laws or something… Which isn’t a bad thing anyway.

                    13. We should scrap affirmative action of all types, and let people get promoted based on their ability.

                      It doesn’t work that way. If your hypothesis is correct, then the moral imperative for affirmative action is stronger, not weaker.

                      And good heavens. If you’ve read a lot on the subject, then you must know that the results of an IQ test itself depend strongly on the environment of the test taker. This is what I mean by “lying with numbers”.

                    14. Maybe in a twisted leftists mind it is stronger… But to any sane person it would mean we should give people jobs based on their abilities.

                      Personally I think we should be pushing good paying vocational jobs to all low IQ people, instead of trying to convince them to get college degrees that are beyond their grasp. There’d be nothing wrong with more black mechanics or plumbers, but if not many of them are cut out for CompSci, why push them into jobs they can’t do?

                      As for texting itself, there are a ton of massive data sets that have been filtered a million ways. They all have the same end results. You just can’t accept the obvious conclusion because you don’t like it. There are black race realists… If they can accept reality, so can you.

                    15. Maybe in a twisted leftists mind it is stronger… But to any sane person it would mean we should give people jobs based on their abilities.

                      The moral argument for affirmative action was always that due to structural racism, minorities weren’t able to enjoy the same opportunities that whites did, and so they need government to tilt the playing field to make it more equal. But if your hypothesis is correct, then not only is white racism keeping minorities down, but their own inherent inferiority is as well.

                      Personally I think we should be pushing good paying vocational jobs to all low IQ people, instead of trying to convince them to get college degrees that are beyond their grasp. There’d be nothing wrong with more black mechanics or plumbers, but if not many of them are cut out for CompSci, why push them into jobs they can’t do?

                      This sounds a bit too much Brave-New-World-ish to me.

                    16. For instance blacks in the same income bracket as whites are more likely to commit crimes by orders of magnitude. So there goes one of the main excuses for black crime rates.

                      Let’s just take this one little factoid, which I have also heard before.

                      Does this comparison take into account the relative policing frequency of black vs white neighborhoods? After all, violent crime doesn’t show up in the statistics if it is never uncovered by the police. So your comparison doesn’t really measure who is more likely to *commit* crime. It measures instead whose crime is more likely to be reported in official statistics. And to the extent that policing strategies are racially motivated, these statistics reflect the underlying bias of policing decisions.

                      This is also what I mean by “lying with numbers”. So much context is left out of these statistics. And I believe that is *intentional*, by the people pushing this alt-right crap, in order to push a narrative of explicit racism.

                    17. You’re denying obvious stuff because you don’t like it again.

                      Black neighborhoods have more cops BECAUSE they have more crime, not the other way around.

                      I can buy that more blacks may get busted for pot because of heavy policing… But what about murder? Assault? You think cops just let white guys get away with murder when they see they’re white?

                      Have you ever lived in a minority majority area? I grew up in one. I didn’t know a single white kid, no matter how poor they were, who got caught up in an organized gang. I knew plenty of blacks and Mexicans that did though. Remember I’m part Mexican myself.

                      You can’t ignore the preponderance of evidence just because you don’t like the conclusion dude.

                    18. So instead of providing statistical evidence, you provide anecdotes and handwaving arguments. That is about what I expected from the “race realist” crowd. They have a thin veneer of out-of-context statistics, and when they are challenged even in the slightest way, they get defensive about it.

                      Instead of getting defensive, why not provide the statistical evidence which attempts to control for this confounding variable?

                      So-called “race realism” is pseudo-scientific claptrap intended to provide a veneer of scientific respectability on top of pre-existing bigoted views.

                    19. Re affirmative action. Yes, it was to counter systemic racism. This issue has mostly been resolved IMO. The reason we see gaps still is because of the inherent differences. Why do I think this? Because blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics, etc have almost identical incomes when individuals are sorted by their IQs. Blacks with 120 IQs make the same money as whites with 120 IQs. The only problem is there are a lot fewer 120 IQ blacks.

                      A good portion of the disparity back in the day, and I’d argue almost 100% today, is nothing to do with white racism. It is simply that there are fewer qualified minorities as you get into higher and higher fields of endeavor. The same argument applies to women, because of the IQ distribution differences between men and women. You don’t need a law to correct something when there is nothing wrong in the first place.

                      Everybody should accept that allowing a 90 IQ white person admittance into a medical school they can’t hardly get through with a C- is a bad idea… So why should it be any different for a 90 IQ black guy? If somebody can’t cut it, they can’t cut it. Yet that is exactly what Unis have been doing. That kind of stuff is nonsense, no matter the race or sex. We shouldn’t allow incompetent doctors to barely scrape out of medical school for the feelz, no matter what social justice goals one has in mind.

                    20. As for encouraging people to do jobs they’re well suited towards… That’s called common sense. It’s how they do it in Germany TODAY. Suggesting a brilliant student should go to college instead of becoming a dish washer makes a lot of sense. If they wash dishes they’re wasting their potential, and not living up to all they could be. It makes just as much sense as suggesting a normal or below average IQ person might want to look into the best paying jobs in their intellectual range. Plumbers make more money than a lot of college degrees pay, so it’s really doing them a service to suggest they make the most of themselves.

                      Many people just do not have the brains to get a CompSci degree, or study rocket science, or particle physics. It doesn’t make them bad people, and it ALSO doesn’t mean they are going to be subject to a life of poverty. The DUMBEST kid I was friends with in HS is doing better than half the people I went to school with. If I had to guess, he probably has an IQ that is barely 80. He’s borderline retarded. He got into construction as his father did, and since he is a nice guy, and a hard worker, he makes really solid money now.

                      Trying to force him to go to college would have given him worse results than accepting he isn’t that sharp, and doing something that he was capable of.

                      Keep in mind I’m NOT suggesting we force anybody at gun point to do anything. But making good suggestions based off of individuals talents and capabilities makes the most sense.

                    21. Finally, I’m not a scientist studying this stuff! I’m just a guy who studies lots of quirky things like economics, history, human evolution, intelligence, etc. I don’t bookmark every study or website that cites their sources that I have ever read. If you went out and spent 100 hours reading and watching videos on the subject, you would see people have cited sources, gone through the variables, and countered arguments against the position. Their arguments are logically and scientifically sound. Far more sound than any counter arguments I have ever seen, because the counter arguments always come down to feelz and not facts.

                      You’re like trying to argue with a Marxist about capitalism producing better economic results. No matter what data is cited, no matter what statistics are brought out, you will always complain about the data not accounting for XYZ variable, as if some small variable is enough to destroy the overwhelming evidence in favor of capitalism. The broad strokes are all very well understood with capitalism vs communism, and the same case is true with regard to male/female differences (do you even accept this reality?) and ethnic differences.

                      Therefore, like a Marxist, I’m not going to waste my entire day trying to prove something to you that you simply wave away.

                    22. YOU are the one who is believing without any evidence, not me. Why is it that you discount the ENTIRE body of evidence, and demand an impossible feat, eliminating 100% of variables, before you will even consider it a possibility? All evidence points to gaps. You grasp at straws to discount 100% of the evidence, which is all against your position.

                      What evidence do YOU have people are all completely identical? Anything? Ohhhh, it’s because morally you want to believe that is the case. I see. So feelz. I’m with you buddy. I want people to all be equal too. However the evidence doesn’t suggest this as a likely reality.

                      The default evolutionary position is that groups of the same species that are separated evolve differences in physical appearance and behavior… This is settled science for every species… Except humans. But humans are no different than any other animal.

                      You’re the irrational one. I have 100% of evidence on my side, including the theory of evolution itself. I want to see YOUR cites proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that there are ZERO trait differences between ANY ethnic groups. I’ll be drinking my tea and waiting for all your endless cites to appear any minute…

                      If you want to know the truth, go spend a few dozen hours reading race realist info. If nothing else giving it a fair shake, and understanding the data and other reasons, will allow you to competently argue against it. I could make a better counter argument than you, although it would still fail.

                    23. I have 100% of evidence on my side

                      You can start by actually citing some statistical study that supports your claim. You have cited absolutely zero.

                    24. I have 100% of evidence on my side, including the theory of evolution itself

                      Would you care to explain why you believe the results of IQ tests, which have questions on reading comprehension, can explain evolutionary differences between the races, when human beings have only been reading and writing for the past few thousand years or so? Evolution doesn’t work that fast. How can questions that assess a relatively recent human ability somehow *really* be assessing some primordial evolutionary difference between races?

                      You are the true believer here. You have been fooled by hustlers who lie with numbers. I know their schtick. They claim to be speaking truth to power, with forbidden knowledge suppressed by the PC librulz. In reality, all of this data that they present, are numbers that have been generated by those very same librulz themselves, but with analysis and context to try to make sense of it all. Your race realist buddies strip away all of that analysis and context, and present statistics like the table above, which looks conclusive on its face but takes only a little bit of analysis to realize the flaws in that data. They do it to push a narrative, not to try to uncover the truth.

                      So-called “race realism” is akin to eugenics, or Marxism: pseudo-scientific bullshit intended to provide a veneer of respectability on some downright awful ideas.

                    25. UGH. You’re literally going to “There’s no such thing as intelligence, so how can a test measure it?” as an argument. LOL

                      We didn’t evolve to READ specifically. We evolved the ability to THINK. Humans have been thinking since before modern humans even existed. We were smarter than Neanderthals, which is probably why we replaced them, and absorbed some of their DNA via interbreeding. Some ethnic groups consistently show higher intelligence than others. Ashkenazi Jews, then Asians, then whites, followed by others. That’s just the breaks for whatever reason. I wasn’t in charge of human evolution, if I had been I would have made us all equal, and a lot smarter overall than we are too!

                      Unless you’re literally going to try to say that the ability for somebody to do math better or worse, or the ability to read better or worse has ZERO MEANING, then you’re fucked.

                      IQ is the best way of measuring these abilities we have. It doesn’t account for being likable, or good at playing the flute… But it measures “book smarts” really friggin’ accurately. And book smarts is a very good proxy for how well people tend to do in many aspects of life. It is the best predictor of criminality, divorce rates, your educational achievement, your income, and so on.

                      So unless you’re arguing that there is no such thing as intelligence, and Albert Einstein wasn’t “smarter” than your average Down Syndrome kid… You have no argument on that front. IQ measures book smarts, and book smarts matter A LOT.

                    26. The evidence I am talking about is everything. Every standardized test , every IQ test, they all show gaps. Studies have been done that controlled for income, 1 parent or 2, etc. All major variables have had studies. As I said, I’m not going to try to line item link you to every damn thing I’ve ever read. It’s like trying to convince a Marxist about capitalism. I’m not going there, I have better things to do with my time. Google some of the things you find most interesting, like income and IQ, or IQ twin studies, etc.

                      Hell even the wikipedia page has some interesting stuff


                      OR you could check out a BLACK race realists blog


                      He believes almost all traits are mostly hereditary, which actually has a lot of proof. But I think he goes a little overboard on some of his posts, but he also has a lot of interesting stuff on there too. He cites a lot of his sources. Keep in mind he is a BLACK MAN while you are reading his calm, cool, acceptance of the VAST amounts of statistical evidence.

                    27. Finally, to flip your bullshit back around at you:

                      What evidence DO YOU HAVE that there are ZERO differences between ALL ethnic groups on earth? No scientific study has EVER showed this to be the case, by any measure. Not IQ, not knowledge based tests, nothing.

                      So why do you believe 110% that it is impossible for there to be any differences? You have ZERO evidence. NONE. You literally have feelz only. That’s it. You don’t want there to be differences, so you refuse to accept any evidence that points that way. I have evidence behind me. Look up average SAT scores by race, global PISA scores by race, IQ by race, who wins Nobel prizes, etc. ALL that info jives with the theory that there are differences. None of it jives with there being zero differences.

      2. Your confirmation bias is cute. This study should swap out race for income level and see what the results show. If it’s the same as class, you and Reason/authors get to be right.

  7. This is a very good article, but it’s poorly formatted.

    You should also publish the racial breakdown of performance and a plot of union strength versus school performance. And put it into a better format, with plots and tables inline. And get rid of the graph paper background on the ranking table: you’re going to give people seizures with all the high contrast crossing lines on that thing ? it’s hard to look at.

    You did good work here. Don’t let poor presentation hold it back.

  8. Actually, since I have made the assumption (based on long experience of watching this issue) for decades that anything put forward by the Liberal establishment about publishing c education is self-serving drivel, everything I thought nk I know about state education rankings is about spot on.

    What should happen is that parents should march into the schools, drag the staff to the gym, and tear one in ten admin drones to pieces, saying “Start teaching our kids to read and write or we’ll be back”.

    Since that is impractical, vouchers are probably the best bet.

    Oh, and naming the Techers’s Unions criminal organizations would be a nice and wholly accurate touch.

  9. Nicely done. I’d really be interested to see what the long term financial success of these students were although I’m sure that data currently doesn’t exist. After all, the goal of an educational system should be to prepare kids for life, not to pass a test, although one would hope those test were designed with that goal in mind.

    1. Read Chetty’s work with IRS data. His thing a few years ago ended up just being a race map, but I think he’s gotten better.

      1. Cool thanks

  10. Congrats! This is the first article I’ve seen on Reason in a long time that actually uses stats the way stats ethically should be used. Rather than using stats merely to reinforce a pre-existing bias. Some small quibbles (re the ‘certainty’ over testing outcomes as the measure of ‘quality’) – but basically congrats.

    1. Test outcomes are only A measure… But the question is, what is the alternative?

      Knowledge based testing is really the only way to know if people learned stuff. It doesn’t mean they’ll remember it in 10 years, or that they’ll go to Harvard or whatever, but there just aren’t any better ways I can think of to judge outcomes.

      Even if you used something like percentage that went on to college, that could just mean a certain district/state pushed a bunch of sub par idiots to go to shitty colleges that had low entrance requirements… Testing to see if kids can actually correctly do math problems, or spell words, etc is a LOT more objective.

  11. I would be interested in a few answers from the original authors.

    1. What do the results look like if they are further divided by income? Do the states with higher scores happen to be ones with higher family incomes?

    2. Any idea of what states can do that have poor “efficiency ratings” to increase education scores? Obviously, just spending more money isn’t guaranteed to help but one assumes there are some methods that are better than others.

    3. I’m not sure that I understand the need to adjust the spending by cost of living or how this is done? Can you explain? How would the results change if absolute values were used?

    1. States with high family incomes tend to be states with high cost of living. Employers have to pay more for what the progressives mislabel “living wage.”

      My daughter and son in law both had excellent jobs in Honolulu, and their employers paid significantly higher than for the same work in other parts of the country. But everything was much more expensive. They were paying $400+ each year for their car license plates, on old cars. Even though their rent was sky-high, they couldn’t afford to even look at buying any kind of home.

      So when their kids got old enough for school, they moved to Georgia. They have similar jobs, at much lower pay. But the cost of living is low enough that they can get new cars, they’ve purchased a nice, brand-new home in an excellent neighborhood, and they’re putting a lot more in savings.

      According to my daughter the company she was working for wasn’t at all surprised when she decided to leave. In fact, Hawaii HR departments figure they’ll lose most middle class, including high middle class, employees at that stage of life.

      1. That and the hlusing market in Georgia rebounded 3 years ago, so if they got in recently they will be sitting pretty on home equity.

    2. There prob isn’t a need to adjust by cost of living – unless teacher pay is assumed to be targetted at different levels relative to other people depending on the state (eg one state considers them comparable to fast-food workers while another considers them comparable to bankers/doctors). Esp since the biggest differences there are not between states but within states (like by county to see rural v suburban v urban). A better spending adjustment imo would have been to adjust by in-class spending (teachers/books) v overhead spending (facilities/interest, genl bureaucrats, etc). My guess is that there are big differences by state.

  12. You guys going to keep leaving out race when you do the “scores haven’t changed in 50 years” bit or nah?

    1. I know in the current climate I wouldn’t touch it. No one will listen no matter how buttoned up your study is.

    2. I know in the current climate I wouldn’t touch it. No one will listen no matter how buttoned up your study is.

      1. It’s their dishonest talking point. They could just not say it.

    3. The federal cohort studies on high school graduation actually do this. While I didn’t formally assess correlation to Reason’s full set of examples, at least in one the cases they mentioned specifically, Texas, it matches up well with Reason’s ranking of 5th – where Texas was 4th in a recent cohort study.

      1. I was referring to one of Reason’s talking points about education — “Despite spending blah blah, test scores are flat for yada yada.” Test scores are actually up among all races. It’s just that the composition changed.

    4. This is absolutely true.

      People talk about how we’ve slipped compared to other nations etc… Except we haven’t. White and Asian Americans are still very close to the top globally, just like we were in the 70s.

      The USA simply has a lot more students from groups that do poorly now, which dragged down our average. Back then America was ~85% white, now it’s barely above 60%.

      This cannot be left out of any serious discussion about education scores. The funny thing is that what it really shows is that education in the USA hasn’t actually got WORSE as far as test scores go at least, it’s simply remained the same, but we’re spending a lot more money.

      This study they did here jives very well with that outcome. More money doesn’t equal better education, but it doesn’t necessarily mean worse either.

      1. So your notion, vek, is that test scores are a free-floating expression of some sort of idealistic aspiration? What your comment amounts to is a demand that the educational outcomes of disadvantaged minorities be weighted at zero, to improve the test scores. That’s what the article suggests, too. So you have company.

        1. Huh?

          The fact is that all over the ENTIRE WORLD, white people, Asians, and Jews always do the best academically. ALWAYS. Other groups score lower, with Sub Saharan Africans at the bottom of the list. EVERYWHERE.

          I’m just saying that the argument our education system is the US has got worse in terms of test outcomes is false. The numbers for the USA overall include minorities, which drag down white/Asian/Jewish scores in the national average, since there are more minorities that do poorly now. Whites in the USA today are still very close to the best in the world, just as in the 1970s.

          In short, when you’re looking at overall numbers, it pays to pay attention to the details, or you can come to bad conclusions… Like that US education is worse than it used to be. There’s certainly more lefty crap in history books, but other than that we’re apparently doing as well on math, reading, etc as we were decades ago.

  13. I am waiting for the breakdown by ‘those taught by government employees’ against ‘those taught by other than government employees’.
    You know, public institutions .vs private schools, charter schools, hedgerow schools, homeschools, living on the streets, whatever.

    Maybe graduation should be when you can get a job and hold it for one year.

  14. Ranking education by state does not seem very useful. One school district within a given area may be at the top level and the one next to it at the bottom.

  15. Two instructors from a low-ranked, nonsense-teaching, censorship-shackled right-wing campus — one of hundreds of such goober factories in America — want to offer pointers to their betters on how to operate good schools?

    Carry on, clingers.

    1. These two are not from the University of Dallas, but instead from University of Texas at Dallas. The lead writer is a Heartland-Independent-Cato caliber right-winger, however, and therefore an opponent of reason-based public schools.

      1. Attack the people not the ideas again, eh? Perhaps that is why no one listens to your idiocy…

    2. When Stan Liebowitz is a bitter clinger …

      1. Did you know he’s also a Birther?


    3. Ad Hominem much?

      Care to actually dispute the findings?

    4. Jesus Rev.! Can you not be sane EVER? I mean I would expect it to happen on accident once in awhile at least. Even Hihn has his coherent moments.

  16. I think as libertarians the message is that we are not going to fix or improve your schools. What we are going to do is get the government off your backs so you can do that.

    1. Amen to that.
      At least I hope that is what the message is.

  17. Typical misunderstandings about American migration still abound.

    Parents are looking for good schools that are affordable for their budget and will provide their kids a good chance of success in life.

    More and more, the Southern schools fit the bill. Good educations with affordable costs and costs of living.

    Why pay for Harvard when you can learn as much at Georgia Tech, if you apply yourself.

    1. Who wants to go to school that has a bee as a mascot?

      1. Wasps and bees are not the same thing.

        Also, I would hire an electrical engineer from Ga Tech over Harvard every time. Just like I would hire a Harvard lawyer over a Georgia State lawyer. GaTech is an elite engineering school.

    2. The truth is that it’s entirely a status symbol/signalling thing.

      Harvard is of course top notch for certain programs, and just going there gets you in the door where another degree won’t. So if you can go to Harvard Business School, you probably should… But if you can’t afford it, even if you have the grades, then there are plenty of other Unis that you will learn just as much at… You just don’t get that signalling effect, which can be very valuable.

  18. Also, I would hire an electrical engineer from Ga Tech over Harvard every time. Just like I would hire a Harvard lawyer over a Georgia State lawyer.

    My mind is blown. I have no idea what this means.

  19. Well Reason, I’m glad these people weren’t so PC they ignored the race card. It completely explains most of the outcome differences in education nationally, and is almost completely ignored by most mainstream sources. Kudos for having the balls to actually let them publish this here.

    Now, if you would only allow people to do the same for the myriad of other statistical differences that completely disappear when race is accounted for… It’s a VERY useful metric when looking at gun deaths, as a for instance.

  20. There is so much cheap ideology packed into this article that I question whether the findings could be forthright. I would have appreciated at least some discussion about actual (as opposed to nominal, also not mentioned) test participation rates in the various states. In Massachusetts, for instance, the policy is that everybody gets included, special needs kids and all. A few districts may fudge that, but overall, I would bet money that testing of disadvantaged minority groups is more comprehensive in MA than in TX, for instance. You may think otherwise. Lots more goes into an accurate assessment regime than got discussed here.

    1. Doubt it dude.

      Minorities simply don’t do well on testing, which is what makes some states look better/worse in the generic stats from other sources.

      These people simply figured out that throwing money at shit doesn’t seem to make a big difference for white students OR minorities after you dig through the numbers.

      Money doesn’t make people better students. I lived in a lower middle class town in dysfunctional ass California when I was a kid… I still scored astronomically high in all my standardized testing, despite teachers not having tons of supplies.

      1. I agree with your core points, but are not Asians a minority? On average, they kick ass on such tests — higher than whites.

        Be careful using the term “minority.”

  21. The more money a State spends on education, the more they spend on non-educational aspects of education such as management overhead, leftist indoctrination, political correctness, staff who do NOT teach, etc., etc… Thus MORE spending correlates with LESS ability to think and worse education for our children…

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  23. The argument rages (in general, and in these comments) about whether blacks perform lower on academic/IQ tests because of their DNA, or because of cultural/environmental factors (my opinion, BTW). Or perhaps some combination.

    This disparity DOES exist. Everyone has their opinion as to the cause, but what’s missing are academic studies. Why?

    Because that’s THE third rail in academia. It is a verboten topic. One can be ostracized for even suggesting such a study. Or even raising the question. Foundations won’t fund such research either.

    As a result, the only solutions pursued involve reverse discrimination, coupled with “more money.” And so the problem continues while blame abounds.

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