June 10, 2021

"When they looked at students by race, they found that Black and Hispanic students lost the most learning because of hot school days."

"In fact, white students were able to mitigate nearly all of the effects of hot schools days.... Starting in the 1930s, the US government started to back home loans for Americans to help them build up wealth – but the US refused to back loans for Black people, or even white people who wanted to live near Black people.... In many historically redlined neighborhoods, cities built elements that trap and radiate heat, like highways and parking lots. Meanwhile in more affluent white neighborhoods, they installed heat-soaking elements, like parks and trees.... This ultimately means Black and Hispanic children are living and going to school in hotter neighborhoods, which could largely explain why hot days hurt them more.... 'If they’re never really able to cool down to a normal body temperature, then that’s an issue,' said Wolf, the heat researcher. 'We know that constant heat stress, where you don’t really get a break from this, is a really large stressor. That compounds itself from day to day.'... Park and his colleagues found that this racial disparity in air conditioning is true across the country, after controlling for how hot a region is." 

From "America's Dirty Divide/How the US lets hot school days sabotage learning/New research shows American students are losing huge chunks of learning to heat (The Guardian).


Ann Althouse said...

Temujin writes:

"If I read this right: Urban living bad. Suburban living good. Thanks for clearing this up. Now do the part where you claim the people in the North have unfair built-in advantages over the people in the South because of the heat down here."

It's my observation that Northerners do think the heat in the South causes Southerners to be less intelligent.

Ann Althouse said...

Lucien writes:

"How long until we get a story about how cold weather disproportionately affects black and Hispanic students? What percentage of school days are lost to decisions by teachers unions and Democratic politicians keeping schools closed? When students must attend school in their un-air-conditioned homes instead of air-conditioned schools, which students suffer the most? (Gee, this is fun.)"

Ann Althouse said...

Bob Boyd writes:

"I'm skeptical, but even so, this is an argument in favor of charter schools, is it not?"

Ann Althouse said...

Joe writes:

"In many historically redlined neighborhoods, cities built elements that trap and radiate heat, like highways and parking lots."

Interesting that heat monitoring stations used to track global warming (I'm old school) have been increasingly placed in cities and other urban environments. What could go wrong?


Ann Althouse said...

Birches writes:

What Temujin said.

I grew up in AZ and have been annoyed for years about the move to get rid of lawns and greenbelts in favor of rock and concrete landscaping. Lawns make such a difference in how much an area cools down at night. Shortly after I got married, we lived in an old farming area in the East Valley which still had irrigation. No rocks in sight in any of the yards. The temperature difference between our yard and my in-laws' suburban rock yarded area was very noticeable. I'd guess 5 degrees.

Yeah, but that's good isn't it? Heat up the suburbs so that white people can get overheated and stressed out and do worse in school?

Ann Althouse said...

An nameless commenter wrote:

On a related note, you might be interested in this article about attempts to reforest Detroit that were not accepted by residents:

Less detailed article here:

From the first article:

"A couple of African-American women Carmichael talked to linked the tree-planting program to a painful racist moment in Detroit’s history, right after the 1967 race rebellion, when the city suddenly began cutting down elm trees in bulk in their neighborhoods. The city did this, as the women understood it, so that law enforcement and intelligence agents could better surveil their neighborhoods from helicopters and other high places after the urban uprising. The city was chopping down trees at a faster clip at this time. And the city was flying helicopters over their homes at one point — to spray toxic DDT from above on the trees. However, the government’s stated reason for the mass tree-choppings was that the trees were dying off from the Dutch elm disease then spreading across the country. These were competing heritage narratives of the same event — the clearing away of trees in the 1960s. The two narratives are in conflict, but it was the women’s version, based on their lived experiences, that led to their decision to reject the trees today. It’s not that they didn’t trust the trees; they didn’t trust the city.... Failing to meaningfully involve the residents in the decision-making is a classic environmental justice no-no. However, from reading excerpts of Carmichael’s interviews with TGD staff members, it’s clear some of the tree planters thought they were doing these communities an environmental justice solid. After all, who would turn down a free tree on their property, given all of the health and economic benefits that service affords? Perhaps these people just don’t get it. As one staff member told Carmichael in the study: “You’re dealing with a generation that has not been used to having trees, the people who remember the elms are getting older and older. Now we’ve got generations of people that have grown up without trees on their street, they don’t even know what they’re missing.”"

Ann Althouse said...

Chris wrote:

The Guardian article has lots of numbers and graphs. Very sciencey. The race issue they are advocating (A/C for all) conflicts with the climate issue (A/C for no one). Also, I was struck with the juxtaposition of America and dirty in the article title. Dirty is an ugly word used to stigmatize. It reminded me of Trump’s alleged sh**hole comment. Dirty.

On the heat issue, when I was a pastor, I often did funerals and weddings on hot summer afternoons in sanctuaries without air conditioning, and everyone was miserable. In our rural area, the schools are not air conditioned. It is rough on students and teachers before temps begin to cool in the fall. It’s doubtful that much learning happens then for anyone.