Arnold Kling  

File this Under Charles Murray Watch?

Match the Passage to the Book... The Puzzling Ethics of Emergen...

Sabrina Tavernise writes,

Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

The article does mention Murray.

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COMMENTS (6 to date)
George writes:

Maybe Razib Khan was right,

A perfect meritocracy would replace cultural class with biological caste.

steve writes:

Nice study. Other key points from your link.

"Second, as Greg Duncan and Katherine Magnuson note in chapter 3 of this volume, the income achievement gap is large when children enter kindergarten and does not appear to grow (or narrow) appreciably as children progress through school. "

So, it is not the schools. Perhaps Heckman is correct?

" Family income is now nearly as strong as parental education in predicting children’s achievement."

Thanks for the reference.


Steve Sailer writes:

People who read The Bell Curve carefully 18 years ago are not surprised.

CF writes:

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Chris Koresko writes:

Several things about this article seem worth commenting on here:

* The author reflexively treats the increase in the achievement gap as a problem in need of a cure. She suggests that it may be reasonable to be "blaming the problem on the richest of the rich" for spending money to raise their kids well.

* In the 1200-word long article, I don't see any mention of whether the growth in the achievement gap is due to the rich kids doing better, the poor kids doing worse, or both. Suppose the bigger gap is entirely due to rich kids' academic performance having improved. Is that still a problem?

* There's a mention -- in the second-to-last sentence -- that "less educated Americans... tend to be single parents." The article refers to this as an "equally important driver" of the grown of the gap.

* What would Bryan Caplan make of this: James J. Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, argues that parenting matters as much as, if not more than, income in forming a child’s cognitive ability and personality, particularly in the years before children start school. “Early life conditions and how children are stimulated play a very important role,” he said.

* Charles Murray... argued... the social policies of the 1960s, like welfare and other government programs... provided incentives for staying single. The article uses the word "contended" for Murray's claim. But that claim is easily testable, at least in the sense that one can compute the impact of those policies on the relative financial impact on a single mother with and without them.

* I can't help but notice that the achievement gap in the plot inflects strongly upward just as the Great Society programs kick in around 1970. This is just about the same time that the poverty rate for families stopped declining. Coincidence?

Seth writes:

I don't think Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals gets near enough attention.

He traced the roots, evolution and feedbacks of the 'low income' culture quite well in it.

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