The IQ Gap, The “Test Gap”, And Jack O`Connell


California State

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O`Connell

has figured out a way to aid students of whatever race
to come closer to fulfilling their potential.

He is denouncing

white public school teachers
as bigots.

According to O`Connell,

white teachers
contribute to the racial gap in
educational achievement by imposing excessively strict
discipline.

The Superintendent`s bizarre statements illustrate why
VDARE.COM chose to be one of the few publications to
defend the great geneticist

James Watson
: when the truth is denounced as
unthinkable, madness results.

And people get hurt.


Jared Taylor
did an excellent job

in VDARE.com on Tuesday, Nov. 13
of analyzing
O`Connell`s bullying Achievement
Gap Summit
held last week for 4,000 attendees
in Sacramento. But this episode is so illustrative of
the

pervasive dysfunctionality
that

Political Correctness
inflicts upon modern America
that it`s worth exploring further.

O`Connell, a politically ambitious white Democrat, is a
potentially significant figure. He has already received
a million dollars from the founder of NetFlix to kick
off a

run for governor
when
Arnold Schwarzenegger
is term-limited out in 2010.

This isn`t just local news.

California governors
are automatically

Presidential Possibilities.
A Governor O`Connell
could be in the hunt for a Vice-Presidential nomination
in 2012 or a Presidential nomination in 2016.

O`Connell got his political start over a quarter of a
century ago on the

school board
of then-idyllic

Santa Barbara County
. In those days, the big
challenges facing Santa Barbara schools included higher
absenteeism when

surf`s up
.

This sheltered politico was shocked to discover recently
(after five years on the job as Superintendent)
that the lower average school performance of

Non-Asian Minorities [NAMs]
can`t be explained away
by poverty.

At all income levels, there remain

substantial racial differences in average achievement.

For example,

whites and Asians
who are so poor that they are
eligible for the National School Lunch Program still
earn higher average

NAEP scores
than NAMs from families above the income
cutoff.

Maybe O`Connell has watched too many

inspirational inner city teacher
movies, like Hilary
Swank`s

Freedom Writers
, Meryl Streep`s

Music of the Heart
, and Michelle Pfeiffer`s

Dangerous Minds
—a genre memorably parodied by
MadTV
in its trailer for a fictitious film entitled


Nice White Lady
. He`s apparently decided that
the performance chasm is caused by Mean White Ladies.

According to O`Connell,

church-going black youths
are being persecuted by
Mean White Lady schoolteachers:

"O`Connell now believes that widespread cultural
ignorance within the California school system is
responsible for the poor academic performance of many
black and Latino students in school.

"He offered the example of black children who learn

at church
that it`s good to clap, speak loudly and
be a

bit raucous.
But doing the same thing at school,
where 72 percent of teachers are white and may be
unfamiliar with such customs, will get them in trouble,
he said.

"The achievement gap is `absolutely,
positively not genetic
,` O`Connell said.`All kids
can learn. I`m saying it`s racial.`"

[Summit
called to address racial disparities in academic
performance
, by Nanette Asimov, San Francisco
Chronicle
, 11/12/07]

In other words, the State Superintendent [Email
him
]is blaming the gap in part on white racist
schoolteachers enforcing

too much discipline
in

California`s public schools.

O`Connell`s statement caused a

controversy
, leading him to apologize … not to white
schoolteachers, of course (there wasn`t any media tumult
over that), but to

black churches.
[CA
Schools Superintendent Criticized For Alleged Racist
Remarks
, KNTV, November 13, 2007]

After the conference, O`Connell kept up his

attack on white teachers
, telling the Los Angeles
Times
:

"O`Connell concurred, talking of `a

cultural bias
that impedes instruction.
Well-meaning, well-educated people can unintentionally
be part of perpetuating institutional racism.` The
nation`s schooling system, he said, `developed to
educate white children and remains most advantageous to
white children.`"

[State
summit targets ethnic gap in student achievement,
By
Howard Blume, November 18, 2007]

None of this talk about "white
privilege
"
makes the slightest sense, and
everyone who lives in California knows it. California
isn`t

Mississippi
—where there are only two ethnicities and
it can be hard to know if you`re making a fair
comparison because there`s no third race to serve as the

control group
.

In California, in contrast, there are over a half
million

Asian
public school students. They now actually
outnumber black students. And their academic
achievement isn`t undermined by "white privilege".
On average, they

outperform
whites in school, just as all the
classroom lore about whose test to

cheat off
would suggest.

Moreover, if O`Connell isn`t aware that California
public school teachers are already subjected to long
hours of ethnic sensitivity training, he must have spent
his first term as Superintendent in a cave.

Finally, O`Connell`s implication that too much

classroom discipline
is holding NAM students down is just barking mad.

For example, Nanette Asimov (yes, she`s the

niece
of science fiction great

Isaac Asimov
) pointedly reported in the

SF Chronicle
on the only session out of the 125
at O`Connell`s conference where real high school
students were asked what would help them:

"`If the room is quiet, I can work better—but it`s not
gonna happen,` said Nyrysha Belion, a 16-year-old junior
at

Mather Youth Academy
in Sacramento County, a school
for students referred for problems ranging from truancy
to probation.

"She was answering a question posed by a moderator:
`What works best for you at school to help you succeed?`

"Simple, elusive quiet.

"Nyrysha said if she wants to hear her teacher, she has
to move away from the other students.`Half our teachers
don`t like to talk because no one listens.`"

After five years of Jack O`Connell as head

educrat
, California nearly hit rock bottom on the
2007

National Assessment of Educational Progress
tests.
California students` reading scores are horrible, with
the state ranking

48th
out of 50 states in 4th grade reading and

49th
in 8th grade reading.

But the performance of California, home to

Silicon Valley,
in that universal language,

mathematics
, may be even more disturbing:

47th
in 4th grade math,

46th
in 8th grade math.

California`s dim future is mostly not O`Connell`s fault.
The primary culprit is "demographic change"—i.e.,

immigration
.

I suspect that the Superintendent is babbling insane
nonsense because he`s terrified of blurting out what he
suspects is the

real reason for the gap
…and finding himself

Watsoned
out of his precious political career.

But, unfortunately, as

Richard Weaver
pointed out long ago, ideas have consequences …no matter

how stupid the ideas are
. O`Connell`s ridiculous
rationalizations have taken on bureaucratic momentum. He
hired

Glenn Singleton
, [Send him

mail
] a

black professional diversicrat
, as his racial
sensitivity consultant and wants to subject white public
school teachers to Singleton`s system of Maoist-style

self-criticism
sessions (Singleton calls them Courageous Conversations) about "white
privilege.
"

The last thing

California public schools
need is for O`Connell and
Singleton to wage a Cultural Revolution from above

against school discipline
. That would tell NAM
students, in effect, to play the race card

even more than they do now
when they get in trouble.

Now, I sent my son to a California public school and was
quite satisfied. If you can find one in a

decent neighborhood
with

entrance requirements
and an outstanding principal
(which is hard, because big city public school
principals, although they would seem the epitome of
"management"
, often have their own

principals` unions
to shelter them), a public school
can thrive for a number of years…before the educrats
downtown finally notice its excellence and stamp it out.

I`ve talked to lots of

parents and teachers
over the years and have heard
California public schools praised and damned. But I`ve
never ever heard anyone say there was too much
discipline in them.

In my son`s classes, discipline wasn`t a big issue. But
he was in the school`s exclusive

Science Academy
, which was run by a charismatic
action movie actor who was a martial arts black belt.

But with run-of-the-mill students, teachers, and
schools, discipline can be a massive problem. (For a
report from the trenches about the "pandemonium"
reigning in some schools, check out Friday`s
WorldNetDaily article

Battle-scarred `sub` in L.A. barrios speaks out

by substitute
teacher

Migdia Chinea
.)

One growing difficulty: in many schools these days, the
main discipline tool is for teachers to threaten, like
E.T.,
to phone home.

Yet when they do call the parents, it frequently doesn`t
work because:

  • Or the parents (especially the father) aren`t around
    much;

  • Or they don`t care;

If these parents were better at accomplishing their
goals, they wouldn`t be sending their kid to such an
undisciplined school, now would they?

In fact, since problem-solving has never been their
strong suit, the parents were kind of hoping, reasonably
enough, that society`s giant institutions would help
with disciplining their kids—not just try to dump their
problem with their little hellion

right back in their laps.

Sometimes phoning home works a little too well.
The kid comes to school the next day with a black eye.
Students know that`s a get-out-of-jail-free card
for the rest of the semester—because the teacher is then
terrified that if she calls Papa a second time, he`ll
smack the brat with

his bottle
and put him in the intensive care ward.

Still, on most middle and high school campuses, there
are
school employees who are reasonably good at
getting energetic, muscular young males to obey them.
They are called

football coaches.

Clearly, some of their success is due to being able to
bench or toss off the team players who

won`t subordinate themselves.
But good coaches also
have the right kind of alpha male personalities to first
intimidate and later impress young males. As

Tom Wolfe
mentioned to me a couple of years ago,
lots of men have made it their life`s study to dominate
other males through force of personality.

You don`t even have to pay them a huge amount of money
to impose their wills on students. They like
doing it.

Of course, many of the best disciplinarians were
hellraisers themselves when young. Bad boys generally
have no philosophical objection to authority in the
abstract; instead they just object to somebody else
being in charge.

That`s why wild young males are more likely to respond
positively to authority figures whom they could imagine
themselves growing up to be. They`ll never grow
up to be a Nice White Lady. So the schools have to
provide the teachers with a second line of disciplinary
defense, composed primarily of men with necks thicker
than their heads.

So, as a public service, let me offer my plan for
improving school discipline:

Hire two more assistant coaches, one for

football
and one for a

spring sport
, such as a shot-putting coach for

track and field.

Huh? That`s it?

Pretty much, but there are a few wrinkles:

  • Their day jobs will be as
    Assistant Deans of

    Discipline
    . They will trade off running
    after-school detention in the fall and spring. They
    will be hired largely because they like imposing
    order.

  • They will be encouraged to
    develop psychologically creative and effective
    punishment techniques, such as having disobedient
    students scrape gum off the underside of desks and
    other distasteful detention duties.

  • The requirement that
    administrators must have a college degree will be
    suspended for the Dean of Discipline position. Ideal
    candidates would include retiring

    Armed Forces sergeants.
    Demanding only a high
    school diploma sends the message to young
    troublemakers that they don`t have to turn magically
    into nerdy brainiacs to grow up to hold positions of
    respect and power.

I realize that there`s nothing innovative about my plan.
It`s just old-fashioned common sense.

But, in our PC era, common sense is under siege.


[Steve Sailer (
email
him) is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

for

The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com

features his daily blog.]