Here We Go Again: US News & World Report On “Race to the Top”—Obama`s Version Of “No Child Left Behind”

[Previously
by Richard Hoste:


Ron Paul`s The
Revolution And Libertarianism`s Fatal Flaw
]


We`re

informed
that

President Obama
has set aside at least $4.3 billion
of the $787 billion stimulus for his “Race to the
Top”
initiative—which looks like his version of
George W. Bush`s disastrous


No Child Left Behind
 legislation.


Will
School Reform Fail?
asked the January 2010
cover of US News & World Report.

Well, that`s one way of framing it. We should
probably

applaud such pessimism
from the Establishment. 

The main article is
The Extreme School
Makeover
by Kim Clark.
[VDARE.COM note:

Richard Hoste is referring to the treezine—if
some titles appear differently in their web versions,
it`s not our fault, it`s a subtle plot by the editors of


US
News & World Report

to drive
our
editorial staff crazy.
]
On the page before
the text begins is a smiling Obama mingling with a
diverse set of students. Education Secretary Arne Duncan
is in the background. We`re

informed
that

President Obama
has set aside at least $4.3 billion
of the $787 billion stimulus for his
“Race to the Top”
initiative.

In general, it`s obvious that the best thing that
anyone can do for American K-12 education is—limit
immigration
. As
Jared
Taylor
has shown,

Hispanics
have the

highest drop out rate
of any demographic and do
poorly on standardized tests.

Right now, this group makes up 14 percent of the US
population. The Census Bureau

estimates
that they will make up somewhere between
21 and 31 percent by 2050. In
2007,
8.8 percent of all 16-24-year-old Americans had dropped
out of high school, compared to 21.4 percent of
Hispanics. Not considering age structure of each
population, a Hispanic increase of 17 percent alone will
push the high school drop out rate up by about 25%.

Let`s look at what

93,800,000 Hispanics
in the country—the Census
Bureau`s 2025 high migration scenario—would do from
another perspective. The IQ of this

heterogeneous group
seems to be around 90. America
will get about 34,700,000 people capable of at least
doing
basic college work
(IQ 105+), but 34,6000,000 who
can expect to at best work at fast food restaurants if
they`re employable at all (IQ 85-, see below), and of
whom 8.5 million will be retarded.

Good luck, America!

Unsurprisingly,

sealing the border
isn`t part of the Obama
Administration`s agenda and is therefore unmentioned by
US News. The
Obama panacea: The US is going to get to the top by
doing things like training better teachers.

But to be trainable one must be intelligent. And,

as I`ve shown
, the average primary or secondary
school instructor in the US has an IQ of 107—less
intelligent than a third of her (white) students.

That`s because the average teacher earns $52,000 a
year or $5,000 less than the typical holder of a BA
degree. Smart people are becoming

doctors
,

lawyers
and

engineers
. While the Obama administration wants to
link teacher pay to student performance, there simply
isn`t enough money to make the profession lucrative to a
person with an

IQ over 115. 

For example, in Hillsborough County, Florida,
teachers who agree to get special certification and

teach
in

inner city schools
get a bonus of $4,500. But that`s
hardly enough to attract someone who is in the top
decile of IQ to change what he`s doing with his life. [States
Compete for Obama School Reform Funds
,
By Kim
Clark, Posted December 9, 2009]



In their 2008 book

SuperFreakonomics

(which I reviewed

here
) Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner make
the convincing case that Women`s Liberation drew smart
women away from the teaching profession into higher
paying fields, helping to bring down the American
education system.

Considering the ethos of the opinion-making class,
rolling back this change won`t be part of any reform
either.

The other bright idea is
“raising
standards”
. A moment`s thought will show how silly
this is. If a bachelorette is unable to find an adequate
husband, she needs to, if anything, lower her standards.

In the same US News issue, a column by Zach
Miners,

The New Challenge to Find a New Standard,

tells us that the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act required
that 100 percent (yes, they meant it literally) of
primary and secondary public school students meet state
standards in reading and math by 2014. Schools get
funding based on how well they do. But the Federal
Government somehow forgot to actually spell out what
standards for each grade should be, and the states were
left to define their own. A sort of
“race to the
bottom”
was the result. According to Obama Education
Secretary Arne Duncan:
“The biggest
problem with NCLB is that it doesn`t

encourage
high learning standards”
. [Press
Release
, September 24, 2009]

The government is looking to fix that. But what
exactly are
“high”
or “low” standards?

Let`s say you were going to put the entire country on
a workout regime. You decide that all men are going to
improve their bench press. How do you determine what the
minimum goal—which 100 percent of healthy males of a
certain age will be expected to meet
, should be?

Maybe take a random sample of the population and put
them on a training regime. Whatever the bare minimum the
skinniest group of men are able to lift at the end of
the program is should be seen as your
“basic standard”.

But imagine that, instead of doing that, those
setting the fitness goals chose the national standards
by whatever was thought fair by a group of bodybuilders,
who hadn`t looked into any research on what a person is
capable of who is below average in propensity to put on
muscle.

They may decide that all males who are 16 should be
able to bench 150 pounds after six months, or that all
males at age 25 should be able to bench 180 after a
year. Any number, age, and time of training that they
picked would probably be achievable for the muscle-bound
men who designed the initiative—but completely
unrealistic as a standard that the entire population has
to meet.

As


The Bell Curve
showed, w:st="on">America is an extremely

meritocratic
society. When that is combined with
freedom of movement, people split up geographically by
cognitive abilities and they become very isolated.

Someone who is making policy at high levels in
Washington probably has an extremely high IQ. And, since
he

didn`t major in math or a hard science,
he`s never
pushed himself to the limit. Everything a very
intelligent person who studied only the social sciences
has run into in his life has been doable.

In the example above, what if all of our

bodybuilders
trained and lived only amongst
themselves before they

started coming up with schemes to train the rest of us?

They would get a skewed idea of what the average person,
or the

ninety pound weaklings
they never see, is capable
of.

Meritocracy and social separation have helped make
the ruling elite completely delusional. US News
writes that, by the time Obama is done, all high school
seniors may have to answer questions like
“If there are 8 x 10^12 hydrogen molecules in a volume of 4 X 10^4 cubic
centimeters, what is the average number of hydrogen
molecules per cubic

centimeter
?”

Yeah—seeing that in front of them every day will make
poor Mexicans want to stay in school!

What are fair standards? I don`t know. But the hard
truth is that there is a significant part of the
population unable to learn any skills that will help
them do anything beyond manual labor.

For some, the prospects are even worse.

Linda Gottfredson
has used psychometric research to come
to the conclusion
 that a person with an IQ of around
85 can expect to at best be an

assembly line worker
or in food service. [Why
g Matters: The
Complexity of Everyday Life,
(PDF)]
No less than 50% percent of blacks, and 16% of whites,
fall into that category—or below. In a conventional
academic setting such children

will always be
“left behind”
.
 

The late

Dan Seligman
 once recounted an

event
he attended in 2005 at the Teacher`s College
of Columbia University`s which brought together around
550 members of the educational establishment elite. The
president of the institution informed the audience that
all of his college`s resources were going to be used to
close the gap between
the most
and least advantaged groups in this country”
.

Seligman also brought to our attention Harvard`s

Achievement Gap Initiative
. He called educators`
crusades to equalize everyone
“gapology”. [Gapology
101
,

Forbes,
December 12, 2005]

In 2010, the

“gapology” faith is
still going strong
. US News
commissioned four big shots in the education business to
provide a short article each on
Learning From No
Child Left Behind
. Every single one mentioned,
within the first two paragraphs, the importance the law
placed on Closing Gaps. Thus
Michael Cohen,
who was a senior education official in the Clinton
administration, says that 

“The law`s
greatest achievement was insisting that data on student
achievement be broken down and reported by subgroups,
focusing the attention of educators and policymakers
right where it belongs: on the troubling and persistent
gaps in achievement among the poor, minority,
English-language learning, and special-needs students.”[
States
Must Take Lead on Improving No Child Left Behind

By Michael Cohen Posted January 12, 2010]

Why this should be a priority is never stated; that
it`s achievable never questioned.

Margaret Spelling, the

Secretary of Education
during Bush`s second term,
also raves about NCLB requiring
“accountability":

“Accountability
also makes people uncomfortable. We no longer are able
to hide from the facts, which say that only half our
minority students stand a chance of graduating from high
school on time. The discomfort this has created shows
the power of accountability that is at the core of the
No Child law. We would be loath to go back to the days
when we tested students every few years and averaged
their scores together to mask the staggering achievement
gap that plagues our country
.”[5
Lessons From No Child Left Behind
By Margaret
Spellings Posted January 12, 2010]

Indeed. What`s interesting is that one could take
those first three sentences and

use them
as a prelude to a
talk
about racial differences in intelligence.
But, by
the last sentence, it`s clear that the former Education
Secretary thinks that documenting racial and class
differences in achievement is the first step towards
ending them. Good luck with Part Two of that plan!

Spelling comes across as a member of a strange cult
that is so brainwashed by ideology that
it has lost touch with reality.

If there`s anything that should give us optimism from
the January 2010 issue of US News & World Report, it`s that full-scale federal
government tracking of racial and class differences in
achievement started only seven years ago with NCLB.

Give our best and brightest at least a few decades
and they`ll figure out with any drunk redneck will tell
you!

Sigmund Freud once

said
that, though reason`s voice may be small, it`s
persistent. Ideologies come and go and America`s
demographics may change. But no matter what, reality
will always be with us.

Once we face it, there won`t be a single issue that
doesn`t cry out for patriotic immigration reform.



Richard Hoste (email
him) writes prolifically on race, immigration, political
correctness and modern conservatism.  His articles have
appeared at

The Occidental Observer
,
The
Occidental Quarterly
and

TakiMag
among other places.  His blog is
HBD Books, where he
regularly reviews classic and modern works on these
topics.