Saturday, February 25, 2017

Test Scores: Dazed and Confused

Scott Alexander, a much beloved writer from the alt very, very light, argues that the reason "minority students’ scores [increased] by about 20%... almost entirely during the period from 1975-1985..." was due to "the general improvement in minorities’ conditions around that time, giving them better nutrition and a more stable family life." White students' test scores increased by 1.4 percent, writes Alexander.

Come on, man.

The median income of young families with children (officially) declined 26 percent between 1973 and 1986, probably more than that unofficially when gimmicks such as hedonic pricing are more accurately weighed. That was the era when OPEC, globalists, educators, neoconservatives, multiculturalists, Wall Street, New Democrats, establishment Republicans, and people born before 1950 unilaterally decided America should not be a broad middle class society. Divorce was also more common during that era. That does not sound like a recipe for improved nutrition and a more stable family life.

Many factors, pushing in a variety of directions, are going on here:

  1. increased cheating.
  2. increased teaching of test skills.
  3. changes in residential mobility.
  4. small dysgenic and eugenic effects within races.
  5. the Flynn effect.
  6. increased integration in some years, harming learning environments for whites. (People of comparatively recent African and Southwest Asian descent have excellent skills at dragging others down from where they otherwise would have been, especially gullible whites).
  7. decreased integration in other years, improving the learning environments for many whites.
  8. changes in pollution.
  9. changes in test questions.
  10. the era of open classrooms and dozens of other education fads in some schools, which resulted in students goofing off most of the day and failing to learn the basics.
  11. changes in teacher quality, including the percentage of burned out teachers.
  12. changes in school size.
  13. changes in rates of reading for pleasure over time.
  14. changes in how cultures valued education, including during the Dazed and Confused Era, which the film by the same name did not adequately re-create.
(As a general rule, contrarians whose world views differ little from establishment world views, get most of the important issues wrong.)

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