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    #76139 - 05/14/10 08:09 PM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: BaseballDad]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: BaseballDad
    In all, then, I think Block is giving a fair account of the book when he says that it argues (with respect to IQ at least) that "Black Americans are genetically inferior to Whites".



    I don't Herrnstein and Murray used terms like "genetic inferiority", and for good reason -- they understood that intelligence is only one of the human traits worth valuing. I can fairly say that my eldest son is superior in intelligence, but I would never say he is "superior as a person". What would that mean?
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    #76159 - 05/15/10 05:35 AM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: Dottie]
    BaseballDad Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/10/08
    Posts: 165
    Dottie's point seems to me absolutely right from an educational policy perspective. But as she suggests, it is precisely neutral on the question at the center of the Bell Curve debate: is the proven ability to do or not do advanced work the result of genetic differences that underlie intelligence or something else. Indeed, if you think the underlying cause of the ability (or lack) is environmental instead of genetic, then arguably you should be more likely to want to differentiate rather than less. After all, different environments will be required to bring out different kids at their best.

    In short, the idea that every child can succeed to the same degree in the same environment seems shortsighted no matter what you think the source of their abilities is.

    BB

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    #76160 - 05/15/10 06:11 AM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: Dottie]
    melmichigan Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/05/08
    Posts: 679
    Originally Posted By: Dottie
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Educational policy such as NCLB based on the assumption that we KNOW there are no innate difference and that schools MUST close the gap or be shut down do harm by misallocating educational resources and causing states to water down their standards of "proficiency".

    Our school seems to be hitting a new phase in "standards based education". In fact, the whole state of PA (and country!) seems to be in the same place, but lucky us, we get to be front runners. But a HUGE chunk of this phase is the thinking that every child can succeed to the same degree, an therefore should be grouped together, receiving the same education for pretty much the duration. And in my opinion, that's just not the case. Some children have...however you want to word it..."more intelligence". Once that difference becomes undeniable, I think it's a crime to have them blended in with kids at the other end of the spectrum for their day-to-day instruction.

    My thoughts are devoid of height, gender, skin tone, social-economical standing, ethnicity, religion, etc...only proven ability to do or not do advanced work, wink .


    I agree, no matter what the reason, all children are not going to perform at the same level. I see this just between my own children who have the same genes and the same environment. Why does it have to be such a debate when it is just so obvious?
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    #76161 - 05/15/10 06:16 AM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: melmichigan]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Btw, fwiw, in the UK poor white boys consistently do worse in school than equally poor black boys (see e.g. this recent news report) [I only know what happens for the poorest students because that's what gets reported because poverty is correlated with not doing well at school.] At the very least, it's complicated.
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    #76162 - 05/15/10 06:19 AM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: melmichigan]
    Cricket2 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/09
    Posts: 2172
    Loc: Colorado
    Originally Posted By: melmichigan
    I agree, no matter what the reason, all children are not going to perform at the same level. I see this just between my own children who have the same genes and the same environment. Why does it have to be such a debate when it is just so obvious?

    I would imagine that it is easier to acknowledge the differences when you have been blessed with being on the right side of the bell curve, so to speak. Even if our children have differences from one another, as they invariably do, most of us have children who are all significantly brighter than average.

    I can see the desire to have equal ability for all individuals being greater when you and/or your children are not obviously disabled or below average, but also are not gifted. Average children are wonderful and amazing to their parents and their parents want everything for them like most parents do. It must be, even on some subconscious level, a challenge to deal with seeing that others have opportunities that your kids do not when your kids seem every bit as worthy as any others. Gifted often gets confused with more worthy as well.
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    #76204 - 05/16/10 12:09 PM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: Cricket2]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Cricket2
    I would imagine that it is easier to acknowledge the differences when you have been blessed with being on the right side of the bell curve, so to speak.


    There are bell curves for lots of things apart from cognitive ability. Athletics springs to mind. I expect that parents of truly gifted athletes experience the same feelings of discomfort that most or all of us do when they interact with parents who mistakenly believe that their kids are gifted at running or basketball or whatever. At the same time, no one would deny that some kids are just much better athletes than most other kids.

    Originally Posted By: BaseballDad
    ...the question at the center of the Bell Curve debate: is the proven ability to do or not do advanced work the result of genetic differences that underlie intelligence or something else.


    I've re-read Chapter 13 in Bell Curve ("Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Ability"). The conclusion of the authors seemed to be that the answer is "both."

    Their evidence for population-based genetic differences in cognitive abilities seemed pretty solid to me. Their main point in support a role for genetics was that subtest scores among different ethnic groups have similar patterns.

    Here are two examples of their evidence:

    1. IQ tests have consistently shown that East Asians get higher scores on subtests measuring visuospatial abilities. The book asserts that this is why there are so many Asian people in science and engineering. But there's more...

    "East Asians" includes people living in East Asia now and in those adopted into white families here (e.g. Korean infants). It also includes people whose predecessors moved to the United States --- whether the predecessor moved here last year or via the land bridge over what is now the Bering Strait. I think this is fascinating: The Bell Curve cites a review of studies showing that subtest scores for Inuit people and other native Americans mirror those of contemporary East Asians. (Locations 5270 - 95 on my Kindle copy of the book).

    2. Another study compared two caucasian- and African-Americans with the roughly the same IQ scores. They found that even though everyone involved had about the same overall score (105 is cited), the patterns for subtest scores differed between the two ethnic groups. Caucasians had one pattern of strengths and weaknesses, and African-Americans had another. This comparison used only the overall IQ score as a criterion for entry, and members of each group were from every socio-economic class.

    The book also cites evidence for environmental factors. It seems that the gap between African-American and caucasian-American scores had closed between 1950 or so and 1990. The difference was a few points-ish. The narrowing gap was due to higher A-A IQ scores and not to lower C-A scores. A substantial portion of the first part of the chapter discusses this idea. Okay, I have to cut this short; more later.

    Overall, the authors argue that environment and genetics are both factors in IQ.

    Must go; my kids need lunch!

    Val



    Edited by Val (05/16/10 12:10 PM)

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    #76208 - 05/16/10 01:55 PM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: Val]
    Dazed&Confuzed Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/05/08
    Posts: 1815
    I think the same education for all is a no-win situation. The electrician who comes to work in my house, who doesn't have a college degree, makes as much as someone w/ a Ph.D. I think it's a fallacy that everyone needs to go to college. I do not think that everyone needs to take Alg II to graduate from high school ... or even Algebra 1 for that matter.

    This reminds me of my highschool days. We all had to take a course to graduate....it was an economics course. This class made everyone shake in their shoes. You had to make a C to graduate from high school. There was only one teacher. He was tough. It was known that the blacks didn't do as well in this course. The white kids grew up learning about their parents investment portfolios, had their own stocks, read the Wall-Street journal etc. The blacks (and poor whites I should add) were learning all this for the first time. The teacher expected a lot and he EXPECTED every student to stretch him/herself. But how did he handle this situation? For every test, he had a bank of questions. He hand tailored every single test for every single student. You got 5-6 questions and had to choose 3 of them to answer...one from each category. (not exact on these numbers, this was some time ago). Each student had to give his best effort. That doesn't mean you had to write a stellar essay on the same topic as well as the rich, white boy next to you.....you had to write a stellar essay on the topic that was slightly above your level. You just can't make up for YEARS of access to information in one semester. But this teacher equalized the playing field and gave everyone a chance to do his/her best. If you did that, you passed the class and got your diploma. I guess the short of it is...each kid has his own measuring stick....and if you measured up you passed. And believe me, you had to work hard to pass and many kids had to take his class twice. (I escaped with a B ha ha ha).

    And as far as the study that showed 3yr old IQ tests being different among the races.... Other studies have shown the difference in vocabulary development in 2yrs old based on interactions w/ parents. This most certainly comes into play by 3yrs old on an IQ test.

    I was just talking to a teacher friend about this. Some kids go to preschool and Kindergarten w/ NO sequencing skills. these kids have issues w/ reading and w/ retelling stories. Many of these kids do not interact a lot with adults on a meaningful level. You just can't test 3yrs old and totally discount parenting style.....even if you control for economics and education level of the parent.

    I was fascinated by the study of orphans in another country. Once they were placed in great foster homes, their IQs rose dramatically. When they were returned to their orphanages, their IQs began to drop.

    I'm reading the book "The Learning Gap" which looks at the difference in achievement in US vs China and Japan. One of their conclusions is that the US focus on inheritance of IQ is what holds many back whereas Asian countries focus a lot more on working hard as the key factor to success.

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    #76266 - 05/17/10 12:10 PM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: Dazed&Confuzed]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    People have spent too much time looking at numbers and not doing qualitative studies of what actually goes on in the lives of these kids, i.e. going into the homes and school and culture. A kid with Chinese parents has a vastly different view of the world and what is worth doing vs a black kid with a single mom or a Mexican kid living in the Valley.












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    #76268 - 05/17/10 12:32 PM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: Austin]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Which kid with Chinese parents are you talking about, Austin? I don't think racial stereotypes are helpful here.
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    #76272 - 05/17/10 01:28 PM Re: School funding leaves gifted students behind [Re: ColinsMum]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: ColinsMum
    Which kid with Chinese parents are you talking about, Austin? I don't think racial stereotypes are helpful here.


    Could we please stop making assumptions and taking offense so easily?

    Austin, I'm not exactly sure what you meant. Were you talking about perspectives on education as they are affected by cultural differences?

    Val

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