Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about Davidson Academy Online - for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. & Canada.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute

  • Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update Newsletter >

    Free Gifted Resources & Guides >

    Who's Online Now
    0 members (), 132 guests, and 19 robots.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    A WA parent, RickF, Mick Costigan, beGalileo, oliviaerin
    11,402 Registered Users
    February
    S M T W T F S
    1 2 3
    4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    11 12 13 14 15 16 17
    18 19 20 21 22 23 24
    25 26 27 28 29
    Previous Thread
    Next Thread
    Print Thread
    Page 1 of 28 1 2 3 27 28
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    NYT opinion piece on recent research into achievement gap:

    No (rich) child left behind

    Some of this touches upon the apparent Flynn effect discussions here lately, and also upon test-prepping (and other advantages associated with high SES).


    GT entry/testing/qualification is mentioned as an aside, but some of the comments are far more insightful. The graphical presentations of the data addressed are, IMO, not as well-presented as in some recent Times pieces. Unfortunate, that.

    Is it TigerParenting run amok? This makes it sound that way. I'm not so sure. I think that maybe the REAL explanation isn't so much that families of higher SES are giving their kids that many more advantages via buying their little Mozarts 1/16th Guarneri's and taking family vacations to the rainforest ecosystem as that we (meaning societally) have done a better and better job of creating a system which is infinitely easier to 'game' than ever before. The temptation to do so if one has the means must just be overwhelming when you consider the stakes/outcomes in play. There really is no end to the kind of rationalizing that parents will do in the service of getting their kids EVERY advantage possible. Consider the steep rise in the number of teenaged kids getting initial 'diagnoses' in the early 2000's when College Board got rid of the asterisk for testing with accommodations. Suddenly some 20% of test takers at wealthy schools "needed" extra time? Really? Statistically, that just doesn't hold water... so yeah, some of that was parenting/push to gain advantage, and I think that pretty much everyone knows it.

    Exploitative parenting practices are most effective in a system that is 'blind' to them, or disingenuously ignores that they skew outcomes. This is easiest on repeatable high-stakes assessments, where test prep is astonishingly effective at raising scores when done intensively. OF COURSE 'test coaching' is a problem in our test-crazed system. It fuels grade inflation, too, when parents have the time and energy (and clout) to insist on changes for their own children. OF COURSE that skews elite college entry, test scores, and similar measures of 'success' using numerical rubrics. No wonder rich kids look better than ever. whistle

    Anyway. My question is-- are rich kids really THAT much 'better' in a larger sense because of 'enrichment' provided by high SES? Or are they just better at the specific tools that are being used to measure children? Are their parents just plain better able to 'play the game' well?


    I'm curious now to see what applications for scholarships reflect re: the 90/50/10 incomes, too. I'm betting that in need-blind applications, the same exact trend emerges as in test-prep enrollments-- and that elite college enrollments and test scores perfectly mirror those things.


    So why post this here?

    Because in districts like mine, where every parent is vying for their kids to be ID-ed as "GT" early on... and some 25-30% of the district IS thus labeled, it tends to water the programs down so significantly for MG+ kids that the entire system just becomes pretty broad 'tracking' for college-bound kids. The vast majority are ideally intelligent (probably NOT gifted, in other words, but close) and advantaged by any definition of the term. Most of those come from the top 25% of incomes locally, and just anecdotally, a lot of them are fairly Tiger-like households.

    It also means that anyone asking to have a truly HG+ child's needs met is initially met with scorn and derision, because everyone here has had a run-in with "that" parent. The entitled helicopter parent from hell, whose special snowflake deserves only the very very bestest of everything...

    I'm interested in others' thoughts here. I have even suspected that IQ testing is starting to be viewed by some educators/administrators as proof positive that parents have jumped on that bandwagon. It explains a LOT of why parents are increasingly getting pushback re: outside testing and high scores.




    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
    Joined: Feb 2010
    Posts: 2,639
    B
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    B
    Joined: Feb 2010
    Posts: 2,639
    HK, do you really think that observed SES differences in IQ and academic achievement are *primarily* due to "gaming the system"?

    I am heartened to see that tons of NYT commenters understand The Bell Curve. I will quote just one, named ".N".

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/27/no-rich-child-left-behind/?comments#permid=2

    Quote
    There isn't a single mention of the possible (likely) role of IQ differences. IQ is heritable--the extent to which it is heritable is debated, but there's overwhelming agreement that it is largely heritable. IQ is correlated with "life outcomes," a proxy for which is often income.

    So, we would expect lower IQ members of the population to be poorer (on average) and to beget children who are (on average) of a similar IQ as the parents. From that perspective, it's completely predictable to have lower income families with children with (on average) worse academic achievement. Throw on top of that a misplacement of priorities, and the disparity isn't all that surprising.


    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 3,296
    Val Offline
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 3,296
    The situation you're describing reminds me of the situation in research science. In both areas, there are too many people competing for too few resources, and the results are predictable.

    One result is that the people who make decisions start looking at the wrong things or make errors in how to best judge a large number of competing people. As a result, people respond erratically and game the system. Then you get an arms race. This is to be expected given the stakes: when resources are scarce, people start to move toward extremes in order to be able to compete.

    IMO, each system creates its own problems. Schools mismanage their money and then complain about being broke. Universities over-hire, work new faculty to the bone, and then toss them aside if they can't get grants. Funding bodies get too many applications, fund 10% or less of them, and then articles like this one and this one appear. And yet people wonder why it happens. The former (making up results) is human nature but IMO is also driven by science's current focus on shiny dazzling positive results, and the latter (breast cancer) is driven IMO by focusing again on the wrong thing and desire for shiny results over the long and complicated slog toward real answers.

    Okay, this is a bit oversimplified here, but I have to get back to my long and complicated slog toward real answers now.

    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2,856
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Oct 2011
    Posts: 2,856
    Originally Posted by Bostonian
    HK, do you really think that observed SES differences in IQ and academic achievement are *primarily* due to "gaming the system"?

    I am heartened to see that tons of NYT commenters understand The Bell Curve. I will quote just one, named ".N".

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/27/no-rich-child-left-behind/?comments#permid=2

    Quote
    There isn't a single mention of the possible (likely) role of IQ differences. IQ is heritable--the extent to which it is heritable is debated, but there's overwhelming agreement that it is largely heritable. IQ is correlated with "life outcomes," a proxy for which is often income.

    So, we would expect lower IQ members of the population to be poorer (on average) and to beget children who are (on average) of a similar IQ as the parents. From that perspective, it's completely predictable to have lower income families with children with (on average) worse academic achievement. Throw on top of that a misplacement of priorities, and the disparity isn't all that surprising.

    The social Darwinism argument is the new divine right argument. It's just another attempt by the wealthy to rationalize away their anti-social tendencies.

    A mom who doesn't help with the homework because she's busy trying to put food on the table has misplaced priorities... sure.

    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Bostonian, I think that probably there is some truth to the notion that children born after 1975 in this country have been born in an era, at least, when such a thing is plausible.

    The problem with that assumption, however, is that it relies heavily on one very flawed series of assumptions to begin with:

    a) Ivy/Elite colleges have always admitted students upon purely meritocratic standards, and were certainly doing so from 1970 onwards in a way that perfectly captured the "brightest" students and sorted them out into elite schools in order of prestige.

    b) that there is a perfect correlation between IQ (as measured by...? Oh, nevermind) and income. That's not really so, though the trend is certainly true that the highest paying 30% of occupations as a whole tend to draw from, perhaps the highest 40% of population IQ's. But that effect largely dissipates significantly when you look at individual occupations, or even at "what does the average person with IQ 140-145 have as an occupation?" Does that make sense?
    One need not take an IQ test to major in physics, but I think that most people understand that it is certainly a proxy for high IQ. The thing is, majoring in communications isn't a proxy for low IQ, and yet the lifetime earnings of the two fields are different... but for individuals, could be identical or even paradoxically inverted from what one might expect.

    SO. Yes, I'd buy that as a complete explanation, or even a "major" one if-- and only if-- it could be demonstrated that in countries where gender equality in college admissions was NOT a factor this trend had not been observed... and that in another country where income distributions are relatively flat, that it DID still exist over the same time-frame in tandem with gender equality in higher education.

    I also don't buy it because so many studies have shown-- again and again-- that test prep WORKS for things like the SAT and GRE. It also works if you have the means to take them 4-7 times.

    Finally, it's also worth noting that in most of the highest paying (and also with overlap into highest IQ) fields, gender equality in college admissions is still not at parity yet. Engineering, physics, and computer science come to mind immediately.

    __________________________________

    Val, I think that you make a good point, but I think that it is not (as some comments at the NYT seem to indicate) that there is any kind of conspiratorial effort to keep the "great unwashed" disadvantaged in an effort to game the system so much. I think that it's a population effect whereby those with both means and perspicacity to note the nature of the game have lurched toward (as a group) the means of optimizing play. So yes, they as individuals may engage in ethically questionable activities (or worse) as a means of leveraging better outcomes, but for the most part, it's a matter of an arms race that parents justify by comparing that behavior and finding it more or less normative.

    I have mixed feelings about test prepping and ghostwriting of grants... it feels... icky. Ethically, it feels like it's a grey area to me. Brinksmanship, maybe.

    But this is real, and it's my child. Ergo, I am torn. We could play the game. We have a dream player in a fantasy league sense, after all. We have the means to do a few of the things that the rich do. We have the know-how to determine which of those trappings of upper-middle-class (and wealthy) upbringings matter later. (Country club brunch? No. Golf? Yes.)

    But will higher INCOME mean the best chance at happiness? Would my daughter want her colleagues and peers to be the 'elite?' Are they really the best/brightest? I strongly suspect not. I think that they are just the 'fittest' and I think that it isn't the same thing.

    The reason that the answer matters to me personally is that my daughter is someone who finds that ethically ambiguous super-competitive peer cohort to be abhorrent-- revolting in the extreme. I certainly don't want to groom her for that, if that is really what it is. She is troubled deeply by inequity.







    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 1,453
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Mar 2013
    Posts: 1,453
    I have to bite my tongue here - calling couples with a joint income > $165,000 rich, is well, rich! It may be a lot of money in 'Doofus, Wisconsin' but in the tri-state area it won't buy an awful lot. The whole idea that those dependent on wages (even high wages) are rich is just ludicrous.

    I found the Stapel article amusing. He saw that people would only believe what they wanted to hear (a well documented bias) so he provided it. It further lowered my already subterranean opinion of most professional acedemics today.

    Last edited by madeinuk; 04/29/13 03:02 PM.

    Become what you are
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Okay-- but consider what it says if you substitute "economically advantaged" instead-- is there a more fundamental problem with his statements?

    Because calling the top 10% "rich" and conflating "super-rich" (that is, the top 0.5% of incomes) with that top 10% is probably wrong, true-- but the advantages that come with being in that top 10% for the children in those households--

    well, I thought that part of things was interesting. I'm not sure that the attribution is correct, as it seems to be a lot more complex than just monetary factors can explain-- maybe it needs to include opportunity costs, or something, not sure...

    but I'm wondering if you can get past the semantics enough to consider that 165K is a vastly different set of circumstances than 15K, no matter the labels, and reflect on what the data indicates about those different environments?



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 2,007
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    Joined: Jul 2011
    Posts: 2,007
    What exactly is the goal of this conversation?

    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    I was simply curious-- since this tends to be a group of mostly 'high-achievers' who also are (mostly, again) parents to high-achievers...

    I thought it was an interesting attribution-- that wealth is the answer-- when such a thing completely ignores real cognitive differences and also non-monetary enrichment as a mechanistic/functional difference.

    We also-- as a community-- discuss access issues related to 'better' educational programs, etc. with some regularity. The article assumes that such barriers are monetary, which seems to run counter to what some of us here have encountered, but in some instances, it may confirm what we've experienced anecdotally.

    Mostly, I'm curious to know what others think (again, anecdotally) about how this relates to GT policies locally. Do others think it's related? It seems to be in my own location-- the more advantaged (note that I didn't use the term "rich" because I'm actually convinced that higher incomes are also only a proxy for the real causative variable) children are pushed harder, have MUCH higher levels of parental involvement, more expensive educational enrichment, etc. etc. There is a drive to make MG kids seem to be HG (but it's also painfully clear, again anecdotally, that the vast majority of those kids are near-gifted or MG, and there is this weird dichotomous effect of making the GT programming-- which is all pay-to-play anyway-- "more accessible" which means, um, 'less demanding' basically).

    So from my perspective, this is all part of the same phenomena which drive administrators to assume that the parents who post here are probably "those" kinds of parents (that is, parents of near-gifted kids who have a litany of excuses or have 'shopped' for a test score that qualifies for a program), which is obviously harmful to kids who really are HG/HG+ need differentiation.

    It also seems to be true that, as a commenter to the NYT article notes:

    Quote
    I don't buy the author's argument that the quality of public education has not declined. I am a university professor, and I am absolutely shocked by my students' lack of preparedness. They have no idea, even by their junior year, which words in a sentence to capitalize, how to use a comma, and which verb tense to use. Their knowledge of history is woefully scant. I have come to believe that the biggest problem lies in our expectations. We have set the bar so low that anyone can pass it with minimal effort. Of course people who have the resources to are pushing their students beyond the sea of mediocrity that constitutes today's education system. Those who invest in their children's education (whom the author derisively refers to as "the rich," even if they make $165,000 per year) are now being "blamed" for doing what all parents should do. Now the author wants society to pay for the shortcomings of the bloated administrations of these schools and the government departments charged with "reform." The fact is, these administrators have no incentive to solve the problem--if they did, they would be out of a job.

    I found the term "rich" when applied to a two-income household making 165K fairly inflammatory, myself. In many urban parts of the country, that income is solidly middle-class, and only in a few places would it be "wealthy" as far as I can tell.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    Joined: Feb 2011
    Posts: 5,181
    I was also interested to see what folks who follow education (and cognitive difference/development) research thought of the piece.

    I was perplexed by the apparent oversimplifications inherent in it, personally.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
    Page 1 of 28 1 2 3 27 28

    Moderated by  M-Moderator 

    Link Copied to Clipboard
    Recent Posts
    Finding 2e informed medical providers?
    by millersb02 - 02/27/24 05:39 AM
    529 savings for private high school?
    by greenthumbs - 02/25/24 12:32 PM
    Book: Gifted and Distractible (Oct 2023)
    by indigo - 02/23/24 12:15 PM
    I sent aeh a reply to an old message
    by 13umm - 02/21/24 04:11 PM
    Detracking
    by indigo - 02/18/24 04:04 PM
    Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5