June 23, 2022

"What is offensive to me is the insinuation that the kids who work hard to gain admission into theses schools are..."

"... somehow not deserving of their success. That they are testing/studying robots whose parents 'gamed' the process. Many of these kids come from very poor, immigrant backgrounds, and it’s telling that we would deprive them further of the one advantage they seem to possess — devoted parents. I was one of them. My parents saved to buy a set of encyclopedias for us. We never owned a television. When did good parenting become something to 'equalize'?

That's the highest-rated comment on "N.Y.C. Tried to Fix High School Admissions. Some Parents Are Furious. In an attempt to democratize schools, the city is focusing less on grades, attendance and test scores. Instead, it relies heavily on a lottery" (NYT).

From the article:

A wider pool of eligible applicants has given the lottery number of every student greater weight. The state exams, usually a determining factor in high school placements, had been abandoned during the pandemic. So, too, were attendance records. Students with grades in the mid-80s were now bundled with those who had much higher averages, meaning that an eighth-grader with an academically stellar record but a poor lottery number could easily lose out to a merely very good student with a great lottery assignation.

63 comments:

Owen said...

“Assignation”? I didn’t know that lottery numbers were assigned during covert sexual affairs. You learn something new every day!

RideSpaceMountain said...

"When did good parenting become something to 'equalize'?"

The day a certain percentage of the population realized they didn't actually have a father and only ever really had a baby-daddy.

That day.

Balfegor said...

"Democratize"? What a lovely euphemism for "weed out Asians."

Left Bank of the Charles said...

“lottery assignation”

A lottery for trysts?

Owen said...

The lottery system is a great idea. It will allow us to close down all those useless testing services, coaching and tutorial programs, and even admissions departments. Why read all those tedious essays about Why I Need To Go To Harvard So I Can Save The Planet? Just a simple roll of the dice will do it!

Enigma said...

Waiting for further middle and upper class flight in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

California (e.g., San Francisco) has been trying the same thing. MIT did away with admission tests a few years back but brought them back recently because too many new students failed their extremely tough and math-heavy classes.

The other side of the argument will become obvious very quickly.

cassandra lite said...

"Fixing" admissions suggests that the powers-that-be believe admission itself is the golden ticket to a better future. Such idiocy could only come from people who stopped observing human nature after their Soc 101 class.

You don't get more students of any race/ethnicity to work harder and do better by introducing an element of luck to the admissions process.

And unless you want to make young people prematurely cynical, you don't punish hard workers by making their hard work less important to the process.

Beasts of England said...

’When did good parenting become something to 'equalize'?’

When you voted for democrats.

Scotty, beam me up... said...

It’s all about “equity” and “inclusion”. The Regressives (TM) want the students capable of succeeding to not succeed like those students who don’t apply themselves to make everyone “equal”, in theory. Ironically, if the quote in the article is about many of the students being poor immigrants, it means the bureaucratic morons (burons) are discriminating against minority students. Apparently, the burons making these decisions, must not consider these students to be the “correct” minorities.

R C Belaire said...

If a poor student is selected by lottery, and then later flunks out, is that an acceptable outcome? Seems that space is wasted, while the previous system would most likely have guaranteed a successful educational experience. On the other hand, it does "spread the wealth" a bit, and a certain percentage of poorly-qualified students will succeed given the chance.

RideSpaceMountain said...

LBJ's "Great Society" program was the most disastrous series of policy and legislation that ever occurred in American history. Again. Still.

It is seconded only American slavery, which can't really be regarded as policy or legislation because it existed in a cultural form before the country even existed (culture is upstream from politics). Great Society beats the pants off other ill-thought laws like prohibition or the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank, hands down. It is responsible for so much more damage, especially on immigration and social welfare.

LBJ and by extension Kennedy (Kennedy chose him...he shares responsibility) were a disaster for future generations. Kennedy was nowhere close to America's Marcus Aurelius, but LBJ sure as hell was America's Commodus.

Mrs. X said...

See a recent Glenn Loury substack on how incentives and disincentives affect student performance. (Spoiler alert: it widens the gap.)

Loury McWhorter DEI

William said...

I read the article. The bias of the reporter was obvious....I've known some people who passed through NYC elite public schools. The common factors in their background were they were hard working, smart, and had mothers who nagged. They were not exceptionally privileged....Children who grow up in a stable home with conscientious parents have a leg up on other children. Not all advantages are based on money or race.

Levi Starks said...

Meritocracy to mediocrity

hawkeyedjb said...

"Democratize." One of the many things that need to be Democratized is the hiring of NYT writers and editors. No more seeking out the so-called "best" students of journalism schools; editors will not be required to rise by their so-called abilities. A lottery of the journalism students across the nation will determine who writes for the Times. Editors will be chosen via lottery from among... anyone who wants to be an editor. Let's get on with the Democratizing.

Ambrose said...

Encouraging to see pushback to the progressive agenda - in the NYT of all places.

hawkeyedjb said...

From one of the comments on the article: "It is not "equity" to discriminate against students and their families who have worked hard..."

But it is! That is the very definition and purpose of the modern concept of "equity!" How naïve New Yorkers can be.

gilbar said...

Serious Question
Will these elite schools also practice "social advancement" like other schools?
Here’s the proof a NYC high school diploma is worthless

i mean, the elite schools USED TO BE difficult, and challenging; But if access is going to be random..
Either LOTS of kids will flunk out (BAD!)
or Grade year advancement will have to automatic (GOOD!)
If you "graduate" from an elite school, does it Really Matter that you can't read The Three Little Pigs?

Krumhorn said...

It’s hard to overstate the damage to public schools inflicted by the lefties over the last few decades….not to superfluously mention the teachers unions.

- Krumhorn

Gahrie said...

It's much easier to keep everybody equally ignorant than it is to educate everyone equally.

Michael said...

Solution. Give all POC an Ivy League diploma at birth. Then they can learn or not.

Yancey Ward said...

Perhaps it is time for these students and their parents to stop supporting these public schools altogether. The trends are simple to extrapolate- within a decade, such schools will just be ordinary public schools where one's intellectual aptitude is of no matter at all.

Interested Bystander said...

R C Belaire said...
If a poor student is selected by lottery, and then later flunks out, is that an acceptable outcome? Seems that space is wasted, while the previous system would most likely have guaranteed a successful educational experience. On the other hand, it does "spread the wealth" a bit, and a certain percentage of poorly-qualified students will succeed given the chance.

6/23/22, 9:16 AM


I would sure like to see some evidence to back that up. It's unlikely an ill-prepared student is going to survive, much less thrive, when put into classes that are more comptetitive and more rigorous than the ones he/she was already failing.

GRW3 said...

Too many of the wrong people are succeeding. The solution is to knee cap their stepping stones by changing the rules in the name of equity.

Owen said...

Anyone wanting to write on this subject should be required first to read Kurt Vonnegut’s (very) short story “Harrison Bergeron.”

Bryant said...

This reminds me of the similar issue with camping reservations. When the reservations open for our local camping spots we have multiple computers setup and we strategize on what sites we can most likely get (for us it means next to the ocean but no RV hookups and not great for tents).

For both the camping and the schools you can switch to a lottery style, but then you run the risk of people winning the lottery who aren't very invested in the first place.

Seems like maybe they need a way to earn more lottery spots based on achievements to create opportunity while at the same time rewarding (at least in theory) those who work hard to get access.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

What is offensive to me is the insinuation that the kids who work hard to gain admission into theses schools are somehow not deserving of their success. That they are testing/studying robots whose parents 'gamed' the process. Many of these kids come from very poor, immigrant backgrounds, and it’s telling that we would deprive them further of the one advantage they seem to possess — devoted parents

The dirty secret here is that the VAST majority of the "racial equity" (under whatever name it's been pursued over the last 40+ years) has been for the purpose of screwing up minority kids, and keeping them from being able to compete with the kids of the rich "liberals" pushing the programs

As the Dictionary for the disenchanted put it decades ago: "black studies": A unique area of vocational training designed to install pride in non-white students as a substitute for an education that would dangerously increase their employability

This is just like law schools getting rid of the LSAT, so they can keep out the smart hard working poor kids who dont' have the connections to get in when actual ability no longer matters

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Yancey Ward said...
Perhaps it is time for these students and their parents to stop supporting these public schools altogether.

It's time for them to understand that the Democrats are their sworn enemies. There's lots of.bad Republican politicians, too.
But every single person who supports CRT / "equity" is the enemy of "PoC" who wish to succeed by individual merit, rather than by gov't handouts

n.n said...

Hah! Parental privilege. His, her, their choice, your benefit.

That said, take a knee, beg, Diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment, class-based bigotry), Inequity, and Exclusion (DIE) is forward-looking doctrine.

PM said...

In SF, Chesa Boudin's gone and merit-based admissions are back at Lowell High. At least for next year. Good signs.

Joe Smith said...

When are Asians and Jews going to realize that the Democrats are doing them no favors?

Michael K said...

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, now SAT, was invented to allow poor kids with potential to get admitted to colleges. Now it is an obstacle to the Sociology Majors who rearranging our society to suit their imaginary Utopia.

Drago said...

Joe Smith: "When are Asians and Jews going to realize that the Democrats are doing them no favors?"

Asians are figuring it out now.
Orthodox and observant Jews figured it out a long time ago.
Secular/cultural-only Jews will never figure it out as they are leftists and are too busy working towards Israel's destruction.

285exp said...

Maybe they should democratize the hiring of NYT reporters, a lottery couldn’t do worse than whatever system they use now.

Drago said...

Joe Smith: "When are Asians and Jews going to realize that the Democrats are doing them no favors?"

Asians are figuring it out now.
Orthodox and observant Jews figured it out a long time ago.
Secular/cultural-only Jews will never figure it out as they are leftists and are too busy working towards Israel's destruction.

RideSpaceMountain said...

@GRW3

"Too many of the wrong people are succeeding."

You said it first, best. But not in the ironic way you think you mean. Our society has become overly accommodating of the stupid and dumb. It has become this way because our society, being a democracy, adds points for being the loudest - and in some ways - the most vulgar.

Think Idiocracy, but this is real life.

As the narrator in the movie mentions, it is a fallacy that nature selects for intelligence. Nature selects for those who are most successful at breeding. But breeding new humans might not be the trait that happens to be most survivable in the long run. Our systems have encouraged the dumb, an being dumb shouldn't be an end in itself, just because it happens to purchase extra chits in the game of the future.

If Fermi was right, and a paradox exists with a "Galactic Filter" that permits only the most ardent of civilizations from passing...then we may very well be passing through it right now.

Ann Althouse said...

Owen begins this comment thread with: "'Assignation'? I didn’t know that lottery numbers were assigned during covert sexual affairs. You learn something new every day."

Ha ha.

You made me look it up in the OED. There are meanings other than "The appointment of a particular time or place; esp. the arrangement of the time and place for an interview; an appointment, tryst." But they don't seem to fit the assignment of lottery numbers.

The closest the OED got to that was "The action of attributing as belonging to or originating in; attribution of origin." I tried to grasp that by reading the historical examples, the first of which delighted me:

1603 C. Heydon Def. Iudiciall Astrol. xxi. 477 He concludeth against the assignation of phlegme to the Moone.

Ann Althouse said...

""When did good parenting become something to 'equalize'?""

What if we could have affirmative action for people who had bad parents?!

The competition would be fierce. Would they accept your word for it? What would it take to be a POBP.

MikeD said...

Now for some good news. The post-recall SF school board has reinstated merit for it's flagship campus.

Free Manure While You Wait! said...

"Owen said...
The lottery system is a great idea."

Worked really well for the Vietnam war.

Free Manure While You Wait! said...

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his lottery number."

Free Manure While You Wait! said...

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his lottery number."

Free Manure While You Wait! said...

"You said it first, best. But not in the ironic way you think you mean. Our society has become overly accommodating of the stupid and dumb"

Our society has become overly accommodating of the mentally ill as well. Five thousand years ago if a person was too depressed to contribute to their own survival, let alone the survival group, they would be left to die, taking their mental illness out of the gene-pool. Today however, not so much.

Not a call for eugenics, by the way.

J Melcher said...

"When did good parenting become something to 'equalize'?"

Well, I'd argue for the year 1946, and National School Lunch Act.

It was always clear that children in classrooms who appeared to be well-fed and/or brought a sack lunch from home were very often more academically successful than children who appeared to be under-nourished, neglected, or deprived. The Federal Department of Agriculture had already been buying up "surplus" food from farmers since the 1930s, and giving it away to schools that had already set up cafeterias. But the School Lunch Act, pretty much, made cafeteria duties a core duty of the school system.

Later in the 1960s School BREAKFAST programs kicked in, as well.

Not to completely discount the academic impacts of nutrition, it turns out upon closer inspection with better data collection that kids who are better supervised with "good parents" who provide scant, even inadequate, meals still academically outperform students from homes with scant or inadequate supervision and poor parents, despite good nutritional opportunities.

But cafeterias are a heck of a lot easier to run than ersatz-parenting programs.

In the Covid response, we now learn that teaching in classrooms is a non-essential mission of the public school, but that preparing and serving children with breakfast and lunch is SO essential that cafeteria workers were on duty and lunchrooms remained open while teachers were on leave and classrooms were closed.


Yancey Ward said...

"Assignation'? I didn’t know that lottery numbers were assigned during covert sexual affairs. You learn something new every day."

"Boy, your momma sure cares about your education!"

Lem said...

You want to do everything you can for your kids?

Who says you have to live in NYC?

Education Realist said...

There seems to be some confusion here--and also in the comments.

The 8 specialized schools, which are predominantly used by Asians, were not affected by this change, as the mayor can't eliminate the test.

But whites aren't interested in applying for the 8 specialized high schools, at least not if they are citizens. Whites and Asians are about the same percentage of the NYC school system, but Asians apply to the 8 specialized high schools at twice the rate of whites (and it's likely that most of the whites applying are immigrants). White and Asian acceptance rates are roughly the same.

In short, the 8 specialized high schools aren't overwhelmingly Asian because Asians do better on the tests, but because whites aren't int4erested in attending them. So they aren't actually "the best schools", just the schools that Asian immigrants go to. Hard to see why NYC should spend tons of money on schools that only immigrants are interested in attending, but oh well.

In 2002, Bloomberg allowed public schools to set standards. This is something whites found much more appealing, and that's why white attendance in the specialized schools declined. (The unappealing but accurate way to explain it is that upscale whites really, really do not like the cheating and obsession with grades that comes along in heavily Asian schools.)

This is what diBlasio changed. So the people who were most affected by this change weren't Asians, but whites. And I suspect that if the change stays in place, whites will start applying again to the 8 specialized high schools, which will reduce Asian participation.

By the way, blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented at the 8 specialized high schools for similar reasons that whites are. Yes, fewer of them would qualify to start with, but the simple truth is smart blacks and Hispanics have much better options--scholarships to private schools, and the same selective schools that whites find appealing (and they are probably still getting their first and second choices).

I go through the data here: https://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2021/08/01/white-flight-from-admissions-test-high-schools/

By the way, this is also true of San Francisco's Lowell and Thomas Jefferson High in Fairfax.

It's the underlying issue with selective schools--public schools don't want to lose the white students, but whites don't like the oppressive and unattractive (to them) Asian immigrant education culture.

Jupiter said...

I'm saddened to see that so many people still regard their children's admission to a public school as something desirable. Wait until the day she comes home with her tits cut off.

Michael K said...

The result of all this reverse racism in schools will be doubt of the qualifications of all blacks with college degrees. God help us when the current medical students graduate. Most (all?) medical schools are now all in with CRT.

Smilin' Jack said...

When did good parenting become something to 'equalize'?

Hee. The part of “good parenting” that counts here is passing on the genes for a high IQ. But of course they can’t admit that that’s what they’re really trying to “equalize”.

Ted said...

The U.S. spends an average of $15,000 per student on K-12 schools. So why does it often seem as if good education is a zero-sum game? When you give something away by lottery, you're admitting that there isn't enough of it to go around -- and that the only way to distribute it fairly is by random chance. Every child is deserving of an education that fits their individual capacity and needs, so why aren't they getting it?

n.n said...

Wait until the day she comes home with her tits cut off.

Cancer? No, correctness per chance confusion.

n.n said...

Assignation

Democratization.

n.n said...

What would it take to be a POBP.

POGP are privileged. I love you mom. I love you dad. You're my two and only.

n.n said...

"Too many of the wrong people are succeeding."

They sincerely believe that refreshed and not so novel color blocs, color quotas, and affirmative discrimination will improve... uh, perception. Can they abort, cannibalize, sequester, and have her, too?

TheOne Who Is Not Obeyed said...

"Hard to see why NYC should spend tons of money on schools that only immigrants are interested in attending, but oh well."

1. How many of the kids are immigrants?
2. Why wouldn't the Progs who run NYC and their schools not be interested in spending lots of money on immigrants? They love immigrants - the more illegal, the better.
3. Isn't the spending per-pupil? Or do these schools get extra money that isn't tied to enrollment?

Yancey Ward said...

I recommend people read Education Realist's blog. He doesn't post often, but when he does it is in deep detail from broad experience in the system.

RideSpaceMountain said...

@Yancey Ward

Education Realist added. Previewed the history. Good data and lagoon context...almost like a Astral Codex Ten but for education. Rationalist blogs are my fetish.

+100 recco.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

GRW3 said...
Too many of the wrong people are succeeding. The solution is to knee cap their stepping stones by changing the rules in the name of equity.

You win

Education Realist said...

Thanks, Yancey! I've been reading Ann's blog since at least 2007, but I don't comment much.

"The U.S. spends an average of $15,000 per student on K-12 schools. So why does it often seem as if good education is a zero-sum game?"

THat $15K is not evenly distributed. Special ed kids cost on average double, but that covers a huge range, from the aggravating parents and study hall of LD kids to two paras and diapers of the severely disabled who are only in school because it's 18 years that's cheaper than an institution. Similarly, every time a kid crosses the border or comes as a refugee or even most legal immigrants--any kid that doesn't speak English costs a small fortune. Then Title I spending, which is mostly wasted, but there you go.

This is the joke of "let the funding follow the child". If you have a child who's easy to educate and doesn't qualify for any of that funding, then the parents should not get $15K or even $10K but maybe,oh, $3K. If everyone gets the per capita cost of educating kids in a voucher situation, the states will run out of money unless they luck out and the private school seats run out first.

As I believe some have pointed out, schools don't have much to do with "good education", if by "good education" you mean test scores. You could have a school in which every single kids scores at below basic proficiency but it's a good school where kids have agency and work hard. Or you could have the same school that's a dystopian nightmare. But the idea that kids with low scores means the school failed is the great idiocy of the education debate.

"1. How many of the kids are immigrants?"

The kids in some cases are born here, but many of them aren't. That information isn't available, but it's a big number, bank on it. *Americans* (including Asian Americans of long established US presence) are not interested in the 8 specialized schools.

"2. Why wouldn't the Progs who run NYC and their schools not be interested in spending lots of money on immigrants? They love immigrants - the more illegal, the better."

Progressives aren't interested in Asians, period. That's long established. The dirty secret that no one likes to talk about is that *Americans* aren't crazy about Asian immigrants if they hit a critical mass. Asian education priorities are quite repugnant to most Americans (of any race), for good reason.

" Isn't the spending per-pupil? Or do these schools get extra money that isn't tied to enrollment?"


There's a test and an admissions process which costs a lot of money.

Scott Patton said...

"equalize admissions at desirable high schools "
Must be too much work to make more schools desirable. Or maybe the exclusivity is one of the traits that make those schools desirable.

mikee said...

A scifi writer, I forget who, opened his novel with a brief anecdote about how the protagonist gets involved in whatever the novel was about. First, the young person won a scholarship to university from a slot machine, which in that society offered everything from free vacations to large tracts of land for a coin and a pull of the one armed bandit.

Thus he started his online courses, and was surprised to receive in his inbox an email apparently misdirected to him. The contents were detailed engineering schematics for a water-based automobile fuel system, and a cover letter pleading with him to send it to the news media for publication, exposure of the government coverup/conspiracy, and free water-gas forever. After a bit of soul searching, he sent the information to a local news outlet, and was thrown out of college immediately for not realizing the gas system as described violated the Second Law of Thermodynamics. So he ended up back on the street, available for the rest of the plot.

I, for one, like this idea of Easy In, Easy Out. Online learning makes it practical and equity makes it even more desirable.

Bunkypotatohead said...

It's just more cargo cult thinking. Since many valuable, productive members of society have diplomas from good schools, we just need to hand out diplomas to the riff raff and we'll make good citizens out of them.