Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To improve the educational achievement of blacks, get them away from other blacks: My hunch is that blacks stay in school longer in communities with few blacks. Poor black communities generate anti-education subcultures where serious students are ridiculued for "acting white" (implying that white=smart).

Using General Social Survey data, I calculated the association between percent black and the difference between the white and black mean years of school across the survey's nine regions. You might assume I would simply look at the relationship between the black share of the population and their mean educational levels, but the problem is that there are fewer blacks in the North, and all races are smarter in that region compared to the South.

To adjust for this, I'm looking to see if the black-white gap shrinks in regions with fewer blacks. The Pearson correlation is .52. In other words, blacks get closer to white levels in places with smaller black populations. For example, the black-white gap is smallest in the Mountain States, the region that has the smallest percentage of African Americans--2.2%.

(Of course, this whole post is premised on the idea that it's good for blacks to stay in school. As you've seen in other posts, some people stay in school too long.)


  1. That isn't true of the Jim Crow segregated schools. The effect is worse than that which one observes when going from sex segregated schools to coed institutions:

    When there is only one sex present, sexual competition isn't an issue so there are fewer distractions but when there is a minority of one sex introduced it creates ridiculous sexual competition pressures that turns everyone dysfunctional. You can reduce this in one two ways:

    1) Go back to strict sex segregation.

    2) Get the ratios into something resembling natural so that the males and females are at least within design parameters.

    The racial problem is worse because you don't really have the second option since the natural environment _is_ race segregated.

  2. That's a good point about segregation. While blacks benefit from white civilization, they would respect the system more (e.g. criminal justice system) if if they were in a black society.

  3. Anonymous8:30 PM

    Sex segregation would be a great idea, but feminists would never allow it.

    I have to be honest though.........the kids of today have the internet, and if they want to learn about ANYTHING, they can do so. Im suprised (and dissapointed) that they aren't smarter than ever before now. If I could have simply went to google everytime I had a query about something growing up......I'd have probably spent an hour a night learning new things and reading. By the time one would be 18, they'd be as knowledgable as a former college graduate would be about the world and how it works....

  4. Anonymous5:18 AM

    You'd never heard of an encyclopedia while you were growing up? I couldn't put mine down.

  5. Anonymous8:08 AM

    The causality here probably goes both ways. Smarter blacks probably move to whiter areas.

    Also there is nothing wrong with staying in school "too long". School is a great way to spend one's life.

  6. "Also there is nothing wrong with staying in school 'too long'."

    There is if it's on my dime. Reading a book is much cheaper.

  7. Anonymous10:16 AM

    LOL Michael, we had an awful set of Encylopedias which had about three paragraph entries on everything. I read them quite a bit, but they were were not very useful. No, my parents who were both TV and work addicts, wouldnt buy better ones.

    I did get a good deal of mileage out of them though. I was the smartest kid in my neighborhood as far as garnered knowledge. I wasn't the best at math or the most naturally intelligent, but I did read more than the others.

    If I'd had the net' as a lad.....I'd have been read up on everything that interested me at length. However the net is much more than that. You can read about what jobs and careers are in demand, what complicated maneuvers in the market like "credit default swaps" are, both sides of the story on organizations like the UN are, both sides of political issues (you wont get that in our paper, just the same old leftist propaganda).

    The net would have been huge for me. Im hopeful that resources on the net can help kids who want to improve themselves at math and science the extra-teacher resource to do so.

  8. Anonymous3:09 PM

    A blogger named Robert Lindsey has advocated this for some time. "Spread 'em out and civilize 'em" is how he put it. How do we achieve this goal? All attempts at integration have failed miserably. We can't integrate a lunchroom--never mind a whole society.

  9. Ron --

    As someone who lived in New Orleans for three years, pre-Katrina, I can say that the issue is cultural.

    New Orleans is a majority Black City, and has been since oh, the late 1700's. Black majority rule, in the Mayor's Office, Councils, DAs, etc. has been a fact of life since the 1970's.

    It is well known that juries in New Orleans (this is pre-Katrina btw) will not indict any criminal, even when all the victims are black, as long as the perpetrator is black, the sole exception being the notorious Black policewoman who murdered her own father and White police partners (I believe her name was Annette Franks).

    It just does not happen.

    Now, New Orleans has always been notoriously corrupt and violent, and Louis Armstrong in his various reminiscence of his childhood there had nothing much good to say about it, regarding how the Black community ran it's own affairs. At a time when the Black benevolent society provided nearly every service one could imagine to Black residents. Yet even then, the willingness of Blacks to police their own society was much greater. Even under the lash of Jim Crowe (Armstrong when he returned in the 1960's for a concert was treated shamefully, in a segregated manner).

    IMHO, looking at criminality (as Obama wrote about his experience in Chicago with elderly residents of public housing longing for the days of segregation when at least Black men and women and children could walk about in Black neighborhoods in safety from their own) over time in the Black community, there has been a massive shift.

    One echoed, but smaller, in White America. But matched measure-by-measure in the White underclass in Britain. Which matches by almost every metric the social decline of Urban Core Blacks.

    Therefore, logic compels me to reject a racial component, given the matching declines over time, almost exactly the same time-frame as well, with Urban American Blacks and Underclass British Whites.

    Only a massive cultural shift across the West, driven by technology, could explain this.

    I would submit: Television, the Pill, the Condom, Welfare, and extreme personal mobility (the cheap, affordable auto) as the culprits. Creating in both groups a society dominated by single mothers and their values.

  10. Never mind that de facto "single motherhood" is pretty much the norm in the harms of the African Big Man.

  11. Anonymous7:58 AM

    "Therefore, logic compels me to reject a racial component, given the matching declines over time, almost exactly the same time-frame as well, with Urban American Blacks and Underclass British Whites."

    Yes, but I would imagine that both groups have a similar IQ. The black average is close to the white poor average. Anyways, both groups are encouraged to act out by contemporary society, as opposed to pre-1960's law and order society that tolerated no such thing.

  12. Anon -- it is the academic achievement over time of both groups.

    Prior to the 1960's, there were for example significantly MORE Black doctors, dentists, etc. than there are now. Produced by all Black institutions like Grambling or Howard etc.

    Among poor British Whites, there was far higher achievement, mostly through scholarship, in academics and far lower rates of crime. Dalrymple reports that in the 1950's in East London, his parents and neighbors left their doors unlocked.

    To me only a massive cultural shift, driven by technology, could accomplish such huge changes in behavior in only 40 years or so. Any one can "encourage" bad behavior but it takes actual incentives for that behavior to occur.

  13. That is true, if someone is educated, they're considered white. So what do the elitist illuminati think about Barack?


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