Economists study busing

This paper dates from 2012, but it is one of the best looks at what we know about busing, based on rigorous analysis of data, combined with natural experiments:

We study the impact of the end of race-based busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools (“CMS”) on academic achievement, educational attainment, and young adult crime. In 2001, CMS was prohibited from using race in assigning students to schools. School boundaries were redrawn dramatically to reflect the surrounding neighborhoods, and half of its students received a new assignment. Using addresses measured prior to the policy change, we compare students in the same neighborhood that lived on opposite sides of a newly drawn boundary. We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students. We also find decreases in high school graduation and four-year college attendance for whites, and large increases in crime for minority males. The impacts on achievement and attainment are smaller in younger cohorts, while the impact on crime remains large and persistent for at least nine years after the re-zoning. We show that compensatory resource allocation policies in CMS likely played an important role in mitigating the impact of segregation on achievement and attainment, but had no impact on crime. We conclude that the end of busing widened racial inequality, despite efforts by CMS to mitigate the impact of increases in segregation.

That is from Stephen B. Billings, David J. Deming, and Jonah E. Rockoff.


Rucker Johnson's new book is probably the best summary of the economic research and history of school desegregation and busing.

"We are frequently told that school integration was a social experiment doomed from the start. But as Rucker C. Johnson demonstrates in Children of the Dream, it was, in fact, a spectacular achievement. Drawing on longitudinal studies going back to the 1960s, he shows that students who attended integrated and well-funded schools were more successful in life than those who did not -- and this held true for children of all races.

Yet as a society we have given up on integration. Since the high point of integration in 1988, we have regressed and segregation again prevails. Contending that integrated, well-funded schools are the primary engine of social mobility, Children of the Dream offers a radical new take on social policy. It is essential reading in our divided times."

Interestingly, the worst white-black race gap in the U.S. on school test scores, 4.7 grade levels among sixth graders, is found in Kamala Harris old ultra-progressive Berkeley school district.

The highest black and Hispanic test scores in the country are found in the Republican exurb of Frisco, TX:

The white-black gap is bigger in Berkeley because the whites there are super geeks. This is a suburb of SF/Silicon Valley after all and the parents very likely have higher education. The white-black gap is smaller in Frisco, TX because the whites there are *ahem* more equal in achievement with the other groups.

Also, because black 6th graders in Berkeley score 2.5 grade levels worse than black 6th graders in Frisco. The national average for black sixth graders is grade level equivalent of 4.1 (ten percent of the way thru 5th grade), while in Frisco, the 10% of the public school kids who are black average 6.1. Meanwhile in Berkeley, blacks average only 3.6, half a grade below the black national average.

I'm not sure if I trust how well Texas does on the federal NAEP test, but there is some general evidence that blacks do worse in liberal environments. For example, blacks in San Francisco do worse (3.1) even than in Detroit.

I wonder how much of this is due to more progressive and “sophisticated” districts like Berkeley being more receptive to the ideas that things like merit, showing up on time, standard English (there is a long list) should be rejected as artifacts of white supremacy? There’s a guy who makes a lot of money as a consultant posting this. I think NYC schools are his latest victims.

Or even more idiotic notions about how suspending kids of the wrong ethnic group is racist. Those "school to prison pipelines" as they seem to be called, as if it was the high schools' fault that one of their students decided to rob a convenience store.

Hazel Meade Joins the Alt-Right. Details at 11.

It’s actually a perfect distillation of hazel’s politics. Her beta provider husband has no dick swagger. So she got that jungle fever.

Because hazel couldn’t land a chad 7+ incher we have to be subjected to endless screeds about inequality and po’ black folk.

Agreed. Not specific to black kids, but my father in law always felt bad that they have to get into the system now. He was a cop and said they used to be able to bring them back to their parents or just give them a smack on the side of the head and send them on their way when misbehaving. All the civil rights activists made it worse for the kids.

"We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students. We also find decreases in high school graduation and four-year college attendance for whites, and large increases in crime for minority males."

The big problem with the Establishment's growing resolve to bring back busing is that America is running out of white children to use to solve other people's problems.

Boy, sure wish someone had brought that point up during the wh*te g*noc*de planning retreat.

Not sure how you came to that conclusion. From what you quoted, white kids aren't even solving their own problems forget about solving other people's. At the end of the day everyone is responsible for their own success and failures.

The Conventional Wisdom is increasingly that the problems faced by blacks are due to "segregation." For example, Raj Chetty often cites the correlation between "segregation" and bad outcomes even though he could have a higher correlation with "percentage black."

Thus, people like Democratic presidential candidates are increasingly demanding stronger efforts to hunt down white children and distribute them more broadly to solve the problems of blacks.

But since Bill Clinton's day, leading Democrats have also celebrated the trajectory toward a white minority in the US.

That would seem to be contradictory, but the nice thing about being a Democratic presidential candidate is that it's considered in bad taste to point that out.

That's not the point. The point is that busing to achieve racial numerical parity won't work because governments are running out of white-majority school districts to which they can bus ethnic minority students unless they want to send them three counties over. There are less whites being born, and less white families living in inner metro areas.

When busing was tried the first time, the suburbs rolled out and church-schools sprouted up everywhere. Unless you plan on chaining whites to their residences and seizing their kids, busing will never accomplish its stated goal. I probably shouldn't be giving the apparatchiks any ideas.

Amusingly, Senator Harris's husband Douglas Emhoff whiteflighted to Agoura in the Las Virgenes School District as busing was forced upon the Los Angeles School District in the late 1970s.

Here's David Cole's account of his whiteflight out of LAUSD in 1978:

LAUSD had a huge wealth of high IQ Jewish students up until busing was imposed in the late 1970s. Within a few years they were almost all gone.

Allowing free choice of school would likely lead to segregated schools as well. It seems that’s worse for society, but how to square that with libertarianism?

You square it by not sending your children to public school.

How is it "worse for society"?

Good kids make bad kids a bit better.

Bad kids make good kids worse.

If you mix the bad and the good together more it will pull up the bad some and pull down the good some.

It's not clear this will be good on net. In fact there is plenty of evidence to convince one that the bad will pull the good down more than the good will pull up the bad.

"Bad kids make good kids worse." OK, your kid first.

“If you mix the bad and the good together more it will pull up the bad some and pull down the good some. It's not clear this will be good on net. “

No, no, no! It’s good on net because it reduces inequality!

Just look at Venezuela. There inequality is plummeting.

asdf wrote:
"Good kids make bad kids a bit better.

Bad kids make good kids worse."

Are you sure that is true?

I think bad kids make good SCHOOLS worse.

I am not sure good kids make bad kids better. Have you seen that in action? I have not.

I think they have a positive effect, but that its smaller than the reverse effect. So only if you didn't value the negative effects (because they were happening to white kids, so fuck em) could the positives come out ahead on net.

I don't quite understand it - minority = non-white? In a neighborhood which is >60% non-white?

It's just like calling Asians "minorities" despite them comprising literally 60% of the entire planet.

Basically, everything but white makes you a "Person of color", and no matter the population of your demographic, being non-white makes you a minority. Orwell would be pleased.

"we find that the increases in crime are driven entirely by poor minority males who are assigned to schools with higher shares of poor minority students."

So poor minority males ("minority" does not include Asian-Americans, who are lumped together with whites v. black/Hispanic in figure 4) in the U.S. apparently need whites and Asians to civilize them. That's a sad commentary on the current state of the African-American male. (Thomas Sowell isn't amused either.)

Rather, developing the "social capital" (self-discipline, showing conscientiousness and openness to new experience, valuing remunerative skills AND learning how to signal these skills among others) is a communal endeavor ("takes a village...") and also is predicated upon a great deal of parental investment (of time and money).

The fact that it's understood to be an expensive communal endeavor is revealed by people of means highly valuing their children's social environment as much as they value their investment children's individual experiences and possessions. "Who you know" is important, as is "what you know". The habits of success are a precarious achievement, not a default setting that can only be corrupted.

Perhaps the most eloquent and outspoken proponent of contemporary desegregation, Nikole Hannah-Jones, specifically speaks to this: black kids need to be afforded the opportunity to develop this cultural capital (as well as have the means to invest in their children, privately).

White America, in part by being racist and in part by promoting an economic system that allows the concentration of poor, unstable, low-social-capital families into geographically-distinct neighborhoods and schools, hoards social capital (& then, being human, blames the deprived as essentially inferior). Desegregation disrupts this hoarding, and thus improves the social and economic prospects for disadvantaged children.

Finally, on top of being both intentionally and passively deprived of "the village" that it takes to raise successful, children who grew up in the post-war years in these socially-constructed ghettos were poisoned by lead. The lead-crime hypothesis is not only increasingly-validated by research, it also -in conjunction with the criminal justice system's response to the resulting inner-city crime wave, exacerbated the atrophy of social capital.

The current state of African-Americans in the US is a commentary on America as a whole.

I'm amused by the concept of white people 'hoarding' social capital, but I honestly can't tell if this is satire or not.

I welcome a substantive critique. Argument-from-incredulity ain’t it.

Social capital is not a finite, physical substance; it therefore cannot be hoarded, at least in any rational sense of the term. Humans can acquire social capital quite easily merely by imitating the attitudes and behaviors of successful individuals. There are, of course, communities with more and fewer good role models for this, but given that people of all backgrounds (including white folks) tend to segregate by class, this is hardly a case of white people 'hoarding' anything. Perhaps if white Americans were somehow keeping a big secret about how they achieved economic success, your characterization might be valid, but that I don't think that holds any water whatsoever. Young people in this country receive quite a bit of messaging about the value of the things you mentioned (self-discipline, conscientiousness and openness to new experience, acquiring marketable skills).

Thanks Jeff R. for the thoughful response.

Access to those you would want to imitate is a finite resource. Child development theory posits that behaviors and attitudes are imprinted by observing adults at an early age. We do as our parents, neighbors, and peers do, not as they say.

You claim that acquiring social capital is easy and that wealthy white Americans don't make any secret of their formula (work hard, the "success strategy). I disagree on the first point, and agree with an important caveat on the second.

First -again, repeating myself from above- as revealed by behavior and choices, wealthy Americans work very hard at transmitting social capital to their children. Time, effort, and money are pronounced. The effort to keep their kids with "the right sort" is pronounced. For years on end, not a meal goes by without a "keep your elbows off the table, don't speak with your mouth open, "what do you think of (insert topical intellectual conversation)". This is indeed normal for (upper) middle class folks, but it's not easy, and it's not mere "imitation".

Yes, (upper) middle class norms are pervasive in the culture. But so are norms of rejecting those norms. More importantly, the messaging that matters is that coming from immediate relations (peers, parents, neighbors), not watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson on NOVA.

Access to immediate role-models (& the economic means to invest the time & $ required to absorb and immitate their example) has indeed been hoarded.

see this 17 minute video: "Segregated by Design"

I did not mean to imply that acquiring social capital was necessarily easy. What I meant to imply is that it is not dependent on one's peers or parents and that it is not exactly higher order calculus to deduce that hard work, personal responsibility, and specialized skills are an asset in life, and that these traits can be personally cultivated. Any adult can figure this out by mere observation and experience.

As such, I think the characterization that one needs access to upper middle class people in order to become upper middle class oneself is wrong. If that were true, there basically wouldn't be any such thing as social mobility, and for all the more we wish there might be more of it, there is in fact still social mobility in the US.

Also, I would add that invoking the term "hoarding" as you continue to do still strikes me as wildly off the mark, as it seems to imply some kind of obligation on the part of upper class people to lower class people or white people to black people to share their time and to model successful adult behaviors for them. I would reject that notion out of hand. No one has a legitimate moral claim to your time except your immediate family; certainly not strangers. I would be very happy to sit down and chat with, say, Charlie Munger, for example, and have him teach me about value investing so I could better manage my personal finances, but I don't see how him being much better at investing than I am obligates him in any way to teach me anything. Charlie Munger's time belongs to Charlie Munger. He is not 'hoarding' anything if he chooses to spend it in a way that does not benefit me, personally, or anyone else for that matter.

I'm glad it's clear where our disagreements lay:

As a preamble, we are talking about marginal differences and making composite generalizations of humans, whose behavior is extraordinarily complex and multi-faceted. So, yes, one doesn't need to be upper middle class to learn upper middle class mores, but imbibing the success-strategy norms of others makes a marginal difference. Any one person may go from "rags to riches" based upon nothing but their own effort and ingenuity, but we are here exploring large groups of individuals over time. Our explanations for behavioral differences must match the scale of the phenomena we are explaining.

Social mobility is in fact rare. Ironically, the greatest leaps of social mobility are meta-personal phenomena: rapid industrialization and economic growth (post-bellum and pre-WWII US, or the post-War boom that included pervasive "social engineering": home ownership policies, economic development policies, expansion and large pervasive subsidies of (higher) ed.). Most MR readers will be familiar with the research of Dutch peoples (IIRC) showing that social status is remarkably stable over time. Perhaps any one CAN simply observe and emulate successful people who work hard, are conscientious, and develop specialized skills. We therefore need an explanation for why so many of us do not emulate these strategies, and why social groups have differential propensities to do so. In other words, innate potential is not an answer to the question of differential outcomes.

Obligations are, of course, socially-constructed. They do not simply exist as forces of nature. If I am born in a certain culture, I may believe I have an obligation for cousin-marriage. In another culture, I am obligated to serve in the military.

Nevertheless, many of us identify with "Western Civilization" and celebrate cultural norms distinguished by a cosmopolitan "expansion of the moral arc of our sympathies". While a "compassion for all sentient beings" is not unique to Western heritage, this theme of expanding one's sympathies beyond kin and kind is a recurrent theme in our most-celebrated and influential texts: Jesus saying "love your enemy" and "you are your bother's keeper", Adam Smith's moral philosophy, etc... Many of us view our capacity to overcome exclusionary tribal affinities as a distinct accomplishment of Western moral philosophy, one that is a "success strategy" of its own.

As a historical fact, white Euro-Americans as a class have not been neutral observers of African-American economic and social development, much less self-sacrificing stewards of their advancement. The very policies and social developments that catapulted White Americans from poor farmers and immigrants to (upper) middle class citizens with specialized skills were specifically designed to exclude African-American advancement at each and every turn. The fact that this even needs to be said is itself a commentary on how White America narrates it's own history.

Does a thief have an obligation to restitution for her crimes? Strictly speaking, no. But a culture that allows and encodes thieving and "might makes right" is that much more cruel (and, ultimately, suicidal). Nature will make no objection to rigid tribalism, but she will likewise reward those who expand moral sympathies to include the Other.

And to be clear, the question is not "will I or you sacrifice for...". It's intellectually incongruous -however typical- for us to conflate social policy with individual "oughts". The question is, should we support social policies that rectify and ameliorate harms past and on-going, or do we choose social policies that exacerbate such harms.

Segregation is harm. As a society, there is no more of a choice to "do nothing" and "be neutral" than there is for a river to cease it's current and reverse course. Desegregation on the scale that would matter in the US would be a momentous, perhaps unprecedented, achievement. It is a goal worthy of our abilities and insights.

Regardless of your own individual moral commitments, White American as a group can't both say "I am a proud and dignified member of the great traditions of Western Civilization" and also say to black America "I got mine, you go get yours". That sort of bullying and bigotry is just History, in all times and places. It's very common and very human. It's just not dignified.

Perhaps you do not regard yourself as having a cultural identity. Perhaps you regard yourself as an individual, first and last, an island unto yourself. I can only propose that this is a deeply naive view of your own identity. In one moment you will say "my sympathies lie with me and my family alone", but the next moment your heart will swell with pride and a sense of belonging to some cultural experience (and recoil at any hint of group criticism or blame, as I am doing here).

I will finish with a plea. Watch the 17 minute video "Segregated by Design". Read Kevin Drum on the lead-crime hypothesis. Read and reflect on the accurate and relevant research presented Michelle Alexander's "The New Jim Crow". Approach scholars of U.S. race relations with both sympathy and rigor.

Given one's moral acquiescence to the ideals of reciprocity and generosity, the idea "White America does not owe Black America for crimes of the distant and near-past", the idea that "segregation is a harmless and neutral outcome of equal choice among individuals" is not only untenable, it's cultural suicide.

The year is 1000 AD. Islamic imam's look from Spain at the illiterate warlords constantly fighting among themselves to the northeast. They say "they've had hundreds of years to catch up with us. I guess Europeans are just inferior."

Wow, that was a remarkably reasonable and well-argued comment, at least by the recent standards of this blog. Too bad I disagree with so much of it.

For starters, I think we need not limit ourselves to proverbial rags to riches stories when discussing social mobility, or for that matter social stability, because maintaining social capital across generations is a big part of the story, too. This is a crucial point, because while not everybody has the cognitive capacity to become a securities lawyer, the vast majority of us have the capacity to show up on time consistently and do a job for 40 hours a week, which, in a large, rich, nation like the US, is one of just a few things a person has to be willing to do in order to avoid poverty. Again, these things seem to me like something one doesn't need a white college educated mentor in order to teach them.

I also think it's clear that there's been some kind of decline in social capital in the black community in the 20th century, as evidenced by increasing crime and out of wedlock birth rates which began in the '60's, poverty rates stopped decreasing and leveled off, falling employment rates, etc. and this occurred as legally enforced segregation ended. This would indicate to me that perhaps the life outcomes of African-Americans are not solely determined by the policies and behaviors of white Americans, that the decline in social capital probably wasn't caused by white Americans and probably isn't their obligation to try to fix, if they even could. And again, it's not clear to me why A-A's would be incapable of fixing this problem themselves, as the value of diligence and self-discipline are not opaque.

As for your later points, I like Western Civilization quite a bit, but a big part of that of course, apart from the airy-fairy "moral arc of the universe" talk, is that we treat people as individuals. Yeah, we don't force you to marry your cousin. We also don't hold you personally responsible for stuff you didn't do. If it was morally abhorrent for our ancestors to enslave and then exclude blacks based on their race, which I absolutely agree it was, I think it's also wrong to posit that all white people today, based again on their race, should be under some obligation to atone for transgressions committed a half century or more before their birth. That is just a different kind of tribalism.

I also disagree that personal moral imperatives or intuitions are not a good guide to social policy. Start with specific cases, then figure out how to generalize and in what cases there should be exceptions. As Bryan Caplan put it:

Sensible moral reasoning begins with concrete, specific cases. For example: It would be wrong for me to walk over to Robin right now and punch him. From there, we can start to generalize. It would probably be wrong for me to walk over and punch any of the people in this room. At the same time, we can note exceptions. If Robin had consented to box me, then punching him would be OK. In fact, it would probably be wrong not to try to punch him, because I’d be cheating you, the audience.

I recall having read Kevin Drum's lead-crime hypothesis a while ago and while it was well argued, I did not ultimately find it persuasive, as the fact that other groups didn't seem to be nearly as affected seemed a pretty fatal if the air was so much dirtier in one part of town than another, and this just so happened to correlate with racial demographics in every city in the country for 40 years. Not bloody likely. Perhaps I misremember his exact argument, though.

I could go on, but I have to leave soon, so I'm calling it off here.

I likewise appreciate the engagement and being challenged to think and defend my POV.

Be well.

To steal Issa: ‘and yet..and yet..’

You offer nothing. Anger, sure. Platitudes, plenty.

You’re the Jesus Christ of righteousness and impotent anger, but no substance.

Tell us , Tech HR LA county man. You critique. Give us a plausible answer.

You won’t. Because that’s not what you’re paid for.

This guy is clearly not your bete noire 'anonymous'. That guy is way up in your head. Why not argue the post and not the poster, this b9n10nt guy argues in a way we need a LOT more of here. You're just spewing ad hominem at the wrong guy.

Agree. anonymous/bear/whatever could clearly not have written that.

I went to school from 1964-1976 in Sherman Oaks, CA, home to the most crowded freeway interchange in the world at the time, the 101-405, so my classmates and I must have been around the 98th percentile nationally in exposure to leaded gasoline emissions.

But few of us turned into muggers.

If only every exchange here was like this one. Kudos to you both.

Agreed. Minus the part where I was kinda being a dick at the start.

+1 for reasonableness to both of you.

The mouse (benign tent) will wear you out and down. Rope a dope.

Don't blunt your pick on that stone.

i'll go back to tweet-lenght ;)

So you’ve posted several full length rants about...something.

What’s your proposed solution?


Oh. Cool, then.

Also, you have repeatedly reminded the MR commentariat that race does not exist. Something to which I agree is scientifically correct.

If that’s the case, then problem solved. There is no racial segregation, because it’s a meaningless pseudoscientific term akin to phrenology. And the law, as a bastion of rationality and justice, should reflect the truth.

Allow any kid to enroll in any school within 15 miles. Problem solved.

I find b9n10nt's comment interesting and worthwhile. I think that their is evidence of this in that black USAers seem to benefit from the immigration of upper class blacks. See Miami and NY city's black crime rates as compared with places with fewer black immigrants.

Not sure what the point is.

Just let families send their kids to any public school within a 15 mile radius.

Problem solved. You’re welcome.

If there is availability. Classroom space is limited, of course. The best schools will max out pretty fast.

Unfortunately teachers unions tend to get in the way of this because they will oppose defunding schools that have been abandoned by parents and students, because that means firing teachers. Ultimate, what tends to happen is that the teachers and administrators rig the system so that students who live near the school get priority, so there's a very limited number of spots for students who are not in the immediate vicinity.

The % of kids who would bother sending their kid to a school 15 miles away is pretty low.

And since funding is on a per pupil basis, they can set up trailer classrooms, which is pretty common on the west coast.

My guess is that the numbers wouldn’t change that much. But housing prices would plummet for affluent areas.

Win win ?

I mentioned Thomas Sowell in part to anticipate that critique. As he has tirelessly argued, there are plenty of groups that suffer/-ed disadvantages that nonetheless manage to surpass the economic performance of the majority population. It is not segregation, for example, that is responsible for poor black women beginning in the 1960s having children out of wedlock at alarming rates.

As always, you absolutely must enroll your children in private school or homeschool them if either choice is at all feasible for your family.

And just think, if certain presidential candidates get their way, we could extend the government's success at financing your child's education for at least four more additional years in college!

A long display of rational thinking and data analysis to get here:

"However, we find that the widening of the racial gap in achievement andattainment was short-lived. For younger cohorts of students, who were in rising 6th through 8thgrades in the fallof 2002, we find much smaller and often statistically insignificant impacts on racial inequality. "

There was a gap, now the gap cannot be measured. The sentence above is also in the article. I hope it doesn't spoil the narrative =)

Axa, Good catch.

If you read the paper, what they said was that the previous drawing of school boundaries led to disparities in school resources, and that busing led to reallocation of resources.

It was also interesting in the conclusion that was not presented in the post which had to do with reallocation of resources and its effect:

"If policymakers wish to prevent a widening of racial and economic inequality, our findings suggest that explicit efforts to offset the impacts of school segregation may be necessary. CMS {CMS is the school district} implemented a number of innovative policy changes over the last decade, including the allocation of additional resources to and intensive monitoring of high schools with concentrations of disadvantaged students. The pattern of results suggests that these efforts halted an initial widening of racial inequality in achievement and attainment."

FWIW, here is a more direct statement of cause and effect:

A specific study cited by Baker showed that a “21.7% increase in per-pupil spending throughout all 12 school-age years for children from low-income families is large enough to eliminate the education attainment gap between children from low-income and non-poor families."

(money matters)

Nice catch, you captured the error band in their study. Children growing is a huge factor, and it just happens.

I love how you are all so concerned with school achievement when the real goal should be abolishing school and blowing up the universities.

You say it as joke but this is also an important point completely missed in the article. High school grades are means to a goal, not the goal.

'We conclude that the end of busing widened racial inequality'

Some would say mission accomplished. Or possibly something along the lines of it was about time to bring back the good old days.

None would say that

I guess you have been missing all the commentary pointing out that the Democrats are cutting their political throats by attempting to bring back busing,

And since busing reduced racial inequality (seemingly through forcing more equitable funding of all schools), those claiming that busing is bad would appear to be fully in favor of going back to the good old days, at least of the variety found in a state like Virginia.

The public schools in my low country community solved the segregation problem (housing is racially segregated) by maintaining but one high school: all children attend the same school building. Notice I wrote same school building. Sure, they all attend "school" in the same building, but they attend very different schools. There is one "school" for one set of children (made up predominantly of white children) and another "school" for the rest (made up predominantly of black and brown children). Of course, the former "school" isn't called the white school, it's called AP (advanced placement). For all the criticism of public schools for their inability to innovate, many if not most have been remarkably innovative in the ways to achieve de jure integration while maintaining de facto segregation. This works remarkably well for highly motivated white children, but not so well for less motivated white children: negative influences of attending one school building outweigh the positive influences of attending one school building. So what's to be done? Nothing. Each child deserves the fate he or she chooses. Harsh, but life is harsh. Anyway, that's how things are done down here.

I'll give you this one, rayward: I attended a school, post de-segregation, perhaps - okay, probably - pointedly named for Robert E. Lee (but such was our "general" mindlessness concerning anything but music and clothes, if the name was a message directed at us and not our parents, we totally missed it: think "Dazed and Confused."). That school had some sort of unofficial tracking - "AP" was not yet current - more or less as you describe, for all but the really recalcitrant (academically) white kids. As I walked around in a perpetually unhappy adolescent fog, and had immediately joined the golf team in order to ditch both PE and the day's last 2 periods, I didn't notice until graduation (!) that there were an awful lot of Hispanic and black kids I'd never met. In fact, I'd previously been made aware of them chiefly when they thrilled everyone by getting into an interracial fight at lunch.

But your low country's high school must not have undergone the demographic changes mine did. While I would guess my school still had a (slim) white majority during my years there, it's now 5% white (and no worries, re-named). So whatever "solution" was clumsily deployed in the 70s and 80s, it's not really germane now.

But school administrators! Count on them to be feckless weasels, no matter the trending fad.

Ray, if you put them all into one school you still need to classify them by AP or such. Otherwise you teach to the lowest performing group, wasting a lot of talent. I want all kids to get the resources, but at the end of the day, no one is guaranteed that the outcome will be the same.

This describes my daughter's inner city magnet school. Kids are tested and identified as academically gifted and are tracked through an entirely different program with similar kids for Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. You do have some general electives with the general population and of course run into kids in the cafeteria or on sports teams.

Interestingly even though the school as a whole scores well on test, low income and minority students do worse than elsewhere in the district. The school can kind of not focus on them because the smart kids keep the scores respectable.

Actually this is pretty similar to the set up in the medium sized southern city where I grew up. My HS was pretty diverse, but my classes were not. Pretty much the only time I experienced it was on the Football team which was 50% African American.

That sort of arrangement is very common here on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A lot of Manhattan liberals like the idea of sending their children to public school (plus of course it's cheaper), but the children are then internally segregated based in part on test scores, and in part on parental executive function, i.e., the capacity to manage the application process for the gifted student programs, both of which metrics correlate rather well with race.

Free people are not tools to accomplish the purposes of our masters. Research like this assumes that the wishes of individuals should be subordinated to the lofty goals of the rulers.

"free people"

And when applied to education, it means the "researchers" are experimenting on children. Results were reported recently on how Common Core actually harmed the children's education.

“This works remarkably well for highly motivated white children, but not so well for less motivated white children: negative influences of attending one school building outweigh the positive influences of attending one school building. So what's to be done? Nothing. Each child deserves the fate he or she chooses. Harsh, but life is harsh. Anyway, that's how things are done down here.“

Do the blacks and the browns also choose to be “less motivated” ?

(There is no such thing as being genetically smart or stupid, of course. It’s all just a choice of being “highly motivated” or not “less motivated”.)

Are you as unconcerned about the well-being of blacks and browns who are “less motivated” as you are about the well-being of “less motivated” whites?

That was in response to rayward.

Do the blacks and the browns also choose to be “less motivated” ?

(There is no such thing as being genetically smart or stupid, of course. It’s all just a choice of being “highly motivated” or not “less motivated”.)

The American tragedy in a nutshell. Have low expectations for "the blacks and the browns," so underfund their schools. Observe low test scores, say "ah, I was right" and underfund them again.

Black schools tend to get more funding than white schools.

Yeah, those subsidized school lunches.

Not really, no.

Link is broken. With you, I always check because your links usually say the opposite of what you assert.

Funding is generally based on property taxes, not "low expectations". And surely there has been research on the effectiveness of additional K-12 school spending? My limited reading would suggest not much?

It works when I copy paste it.

And you shouldn't go out on a limb like that, before reading. It just shows how wrong your prejudices really are.

On average, poor nonwhite school districts receive 19 percent, or about $2,600, less per student than affluent white school districts. This type of funding discrepancy is present in 21 states and is worse in some than others. In places like Arizona and Oklahoma, the difference in per-student funding is more than 30 percent. In Arizona, where poor nonwhite school districts receive 36 percent less per student than affluent white districts, that's a difference of more than $4,400 per student.

clickable link

"poor nonwhite school districts receive 19 percent, or about $2,600, less per student than affluent white school districts"

Before even clicking on your link, I just want to digest this statement a little. Why only include "affluent" white districts? Why not all white districts? Do non-affluent whites not count? Do affluent Asians count? Is affluence the primary issue here?

According to the first page of the link, only 26% of districts are "white" and 27% "nonwhite". Did the remaining 47% disappear?

How is this done across state lines? Are black districts in dirt poor Mississippi being compared to ones in New York? They talk about national averages, so it sounds like it.

The supposed funding gap is also pathetically small. $2,600? We've already established a larger funding gap between failing Baltimore City and its white suburban counterparts, with the blacks getting more.

When I click on my state of Maryland, I find that only 7% of districts count as "white". There are apparently zero "high poverty" white districts despite knowing all the white trash schools around here and the poverty rate for whites. Even so, apparently the big winner here are "low poverty non-white districts" which get a whopping $13,475 per student versus $11,849 per student for wealthy white districts and $11,317 for impoverished non-white districts. Of course knowing what I will post below, its obvious these numbers don't include all sources of funding.

Lets go to Arizona, one of their poster child examples. Only 1% of districts count as "white low poverty" and 1% of districts count as "white high poverty". The examples they pull out are literally based 1% of the states population.

This is criminal. CRIMINAL. These people are spreading lies to stir up hatred for their own advancement and they don't care who they hurt. They are terrible human beings, and you are a terrible human being for amplifying these lies in order to ferment hate.

I'll go back to my own state of Maryland, one of the blackest in the country.

Students in Baltimore City, mostly black, get $17k in funding. Students in majority white nearby Baltimore County get close to $15k in funding. And in overwhelmingly white Carroll County get $14k. Harford County, another commuting exurb, gets $13.5k. This despite the local tax contribution of the counties being the exact opposite, those that pay more taxes get less funding. Of course you have to include state and federal funding, which often isn't included in a lot of these studies.

It's not like that was the only such study. Here's another.

I don't think hand waving, and cherry picking counties you know, is really stronger than that.

Just looked at my county. The rich suburbs, about 10% of the population, are the only ones ahead of the poor city district. All others are below it. Some of the best ones are in the lower half. Definitely cherry picking.
Range is between 10k and 21k. Of the 30 system, 3 of the top half are in the top half quality wise. 2 of those are rich suburbs that really spend a lot.

Right. On the SAT, blacks from wealthy families score at the level of whites on food stamps, and it’s all because of “low expectations”.

I am the product of busing and I have always thought that my education suffered from it. This is because of the disciplinary problems of minorities.

I know it sounds terrible to point this out, but 70 percent of my teachers time went to disciplining minorities. They were constantly fighting each other of the most trivial things that I had such a hard time understanding when I was young. I remember thinking how silly it was to fight over giving someone the "wrong look."

I will say that they treated whites differently. Most of my friends were black but they always knew that I was never part of the constant bickering and pettiness that plagues their community.

It was in the quote above, but it might have taken some critical reading to spot it.

We present evidence that this pattern of results is due to compensatory resource allocation by CMS, which implemented a series of programs beginning in 2006 that provided additional resources and accountability for high poverty high schools. Consistent with this story, we find that students in the high school cohorts took fewer honors and advanced placement (AP) courses when they were assigned to schools with more minority students, but that the pattern reverses for the middle school cohorts. Overall, the evidence suggests that increases in per-pupil spending and improvements in teacher staffing policies and governance may have played an important role in mitigating the impact of segregation on racial and economic inequality in test scores and attainment.

Those darn minority kids. They need to take some responsibility for their underfunded schools.

No idea if Tyler himself spotted this.

Academically, the average black 12-th grader is at the level of the average white middle-schooler.

"… Blacks nearing the end of their high school education perform a little worse than white eighth-graders in both reading and U.S. history, and a lot worse in math and geography. In math and geography, indeed, they know no more than whites in the seventh grade. Hispanics do only a little better than African-Americans. In reading and U.S. history, their NAEP scores in their senior year of high school are a few points above those of whites in eighth grade. In math and geography, they are a few points lower."

I think we ought to focus more on the education of our best students rather than on the education of our worst students. Do we get much out of it if we can get a below-average black student academically up the the level of an average white 6-th grader?

I'll let Tyler field this. He can tell us if he's gone full vdare.

The problem with this take, I believe, is that there's little evidence that more funding for schools actually leads to better education outcomes, at least above a certain baseline threshold where the school has enough money to keep the lights on.

Whoops, this was meant to be in response to anonymous.

> improvements in teacher staffing policies and governance

Not sure if you spotted this. It costs lots of money to pay people not to teach and pay someone who can.

A tough school requires a specific skill set, and burnout either overt or just giving up is a problem. Managing your teaching staff with that in mind requires more than your Peter Principle administrator. It looks like the school district actually did the job that they are paid to do and had some results.

This type of study is pretty useless except for getting quoted as the political winds blow your way. Busing! More Money! I would be more interested in a close examination of the improvements and governance, and yes the allocation of resources. What was done exactly, how were the decisions made and the implementation details. It could be as simple as they painted and changed the windows in some decrepit buildings, or fixed the god-damned leaking roof. Or something more exotic like a computer system. All described as per-pupil spending.

When I see 'improvements in policies and governance' in a report, I tend to want to know the story. Maybe 'discontinued the Principle and shapely secretary's annual educational research trip to somewhere with nice beaches' would be a better description. The money was used to replace the flooring or remove the hazardous materials covered with 'Danger Do Not Touch' signs in the hallways.

These 40,000 foot views are nice and comfortable.

And yes, this is about educating kids. By definition kids that come from stable prosperous families will get an education no matter what government system is in place. It is families who don't have those things where the kids need someone to help them along. From there it is a nuts and bolts process; getting good teachers in a building somewhere close to home where they can learn. The educational establishment has no accountability except in places where the parents demand it, and none at all in places where it is needed most.

One thing that can be said for busing. It is probably the safest and best managed environment the kids will ever experience in the school system.

"Those darn minority kids. They need to take some responsibility for their underfunded schools."

There was already a sizable race gap with busing. This one study "suggests" that maybe increased funding and whatever else stopped the gap from growing substantially, which is not at all the same thing as eliminating the gap, right? Obviously there is a ton of research on this topic and many minority-majority school districts receive really enormous amounts of funding.

It just says that they do better with additional funding (as all kids would), not that they were underfunded initially. Most cases have where higher minority schools get more money than less minority schools. Maybe it takes 1.3x or 1.5x funding to compensate for the academic damage bussing does.

False, I gave a link above.

But it's really amazing how this meme lives on. It has to be cognitive dissonance, because you *know* that parents work hard to get into good expensive neighborhoods which pay high property tax and therefore have well funded schools.

You know that. And yet you pretend.

It is the good expensive neighborhood that makes the difference. The school is a reflection of the people in the neighborhood.

The question is what to do where the neighborhood is not good, but dysfunctional with higher crime rates. It seems government is really good at solving problems where there is none. Good expensive neighborhoods would have excellent schools even if the government wasn't involved.

You guys. Tyler should hold your hand more when he posts these things, so that you do get the message.

The Evidence is Clear: More Money For Schools Means Better Student Outcomes

Just think how much smarter Abraham Lincoln would have been!

Gee, an article from the NEA, saying more spending is the answer. How unexpected.

They say: "specific study cited by Baker showed that a “21.7% increase in per-pupil spending throughout all 12 school-age years for children from low-income families is large enough to eliminate the education attainment gap between children from low-income and non-poor families.”

Well if 22% eliminates all the gap, there should be no gap in Baltimore or DC.

As that still leaves Sure's parochial school experience (below) unaddressed. A relatively poorly funded school with high demands for good behavior succeeds.

On the other hand, schools where actual physical violence against teachers (and students) is ignored in favor of the fantasy of "restorative justice" don't work, no matter how well funded. Both the story and the teacher's comments in the articles below are telling.

There is always more than one moving part. Enrollment in a parochial school is a good proxy for parental involvement. That matters a lot, no matter what the school.

But if parental involvement was all that mattered, Baker's study wouldn't have shown any increase. Similarly, if school composition was all that mattered, Baker's study would not have shown any increase.

Basically, you didn't really reason away the actual increase in attainment, in practice.

I wonder why you even tried ..

Really, any time the academic achievement gap appears even after accounting for one or other variables like household wealth, school budgets, "parental involvement," etc., yet another variable gets trotted out, none inconsistent with the thesis that education just trains intelligence in certain skillsets; it doesn't generate intelligence, which is innate. If you're a smart kid, you're going to do pretty well in most environments short of having to endure your classmates' daily loutish behavior. If you're a dumb kid, all the well-paid NEA employees and glitzy classroom equipment in the world won't make you smarter.

This talk about "parental involvement" needs to be discouraged, because some control freak in the government will just use it as an excuse to separate black and latino kids from their supposedly taciturn, uninvolved, biological parents. Then, in another generation, the taxpayers will have to pony up to compensate the Lost Generation of stolen kids. I'm not joking; this actually happened in Canada.

Well I gave you my numbers above for my county.
"Range is between 10k and 21k. Of the 30 systems, 3 of the top half are in the top half quality wise. 2 of those are rich suburbs that really spend a lot."

I am somewhat familiar with CMS schools and NC schools in general. I grew up in a neighboring county.

During the busing period the schools were all funded roughly equally. This is because of two reason.

1) Schools in NC are largely County not city or district based so the allocation among schools is fairly mechanistic based on student population.

2) A larger percentage of public school funding is allocated by the state government than in most states. Again this leads to a fairly formula based approach to funding based on headcount.

When CMS got rid of busing they changed policy to dedicate MORE funds to high poverty schools.

There is an interesting case study between NC's two largest districts Wake (Raleigh) and CMS. Wake used and income based formula to make sure that no schools were too high in free and reduced lunch. Consequently there are few "poor" schools in Wake. However, poor kids in Wake county actually score lower than poor kids in CMS. Wake scores better on average because it has less poor kids in general.

link with supporting data on comparison of Wake and CMS.

My parents opted to shell out for parochial school for me; I continue to be grateful.

Somehow, with less than half the budget of the public school I used to attend our average black student beat the average white student there. Our full scholarship kids beat the average kid there. And we had fewer white kids than the public school.

I am frankly it makes sense to me. If there is a pathological culture present, having more of that culture dominating the socialization will make for less achievement. Nuns somehow seemed to have done more for black education than buses ever have.

How is this research consistent with the adoption studies that show little or no shared environmental effect on kids? Which school you went to (or were bused to) is oaet of environmental variation.

I believe those were between relatively middle class environments. They weren't splitting twins, sending one to "high poverty" schools.

"You believe"

Yup, and I apparently remember correctly:

In a high equality welfare state.

From Tyler's summary, it seems like the problem is thw zero-sum nature of busing. Everyone does worse, the more minority classmates they have. You can ship some black kids to a mostly-white school and they benefit, but when you ship some corresponding number of white kids to a mostly-black school, they suffer.

ISTM that this makes busing a non-starter for whites--you plan to sacrifice my kids' education to benefit some other kid's education. Why am I ever going to be in favor of that?

“Why am I ever going to be in favor of that?”

Virtue signaling, along with being in a position to insulate your own children from the craziness.

I'm for busing but my kids will go to private school. I wonder if Kamala and her husband send his kids to public school?

When these economists "studied" CMS busing between 2001 and 2012, were they able to determine exactly how much was spent fuel? on bus maintenance? on bus drivers' salaries and benefits?

How did these expenses contribute to CMS "education" budgets over the period? What percentage of the CMS public school budget did bus operation and fleet maintenance consume? (And: did they dare calculate the amount of carbon release generated by all that useful internal combustion?)

Quickly scanning this proffered "economic research" of CMS public schools, I don't see where the authors once mentioned:

--bus fuel costs (gasoline and/or diesel fuel),
--bus mechanics' salaries and benefits,
--bus fleet maintenance labor costs,
--bus drivers' salary and benefits packages (might as well cite relevant insurance policy premiums through the period, too).

Where are all of those relevant data? Were they in fact not cited anywhere?

Since blacks are nationally a small minority, it would probably be better if the black population was more widely distributed, instead of being concentrated in a few areas. I.e. if we lived in more racially integrated neighborhoods, more reflective of national demographics.

“ We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students.”

It doesn’t sound like white students would be better off if the black population were more widely distributed.

But you’re free to distribute yourself into a ghetto if you think that would make America a better place.

The white students would be in schools with on average 12.1% black students. Is that really going to have a significant negative impact on white students?
By contrast, the black kids would go from schools that are 80-90% black to 80-90% white schools. Big difference. Huge positive impact on black kids, small negative impact on white kids. (But, Oh, the horror of having five black classmates instead of two).

This is hilarious. Blacks do so badly when they're the ethnic majority that the government should bus them to areas where they are the ethnic minority.

If you really think that black people are so bad when in the majority, then you're better off being *more* integrated not less, no?

You yourself admit that blacks do so badly when they're the majority that they should be redistributed as minorities. This is tantamount to saying that blacks are incapable of self-rule.

To answer your question, all I have to do is move out of Baltimore and price Baltimore out.

Not entirely accurate. I'm exploring a hypothetical here. The reasons why blacks appear to do badly in the majority is situated in the context of a history of racial inequality and relative poverty in black communities. We're not able to do an isolated experiment where black people start off with all the resources and social capital of white communities and see what happens.

You've got a real soft bigotry of low expectations going here. When did libertarians start believing that more government spending produced better anything?

I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm advocating more racial integration, by way of evolution in social norms.

Actually, we have done that experiment. UMC black kids going to UMC schools perform worse then poor whites.

"We're not able to do an isolated experiment where black people start off with all the resources and social capital of white communities and see what happens."

The Vietnamese emigres from the 1970's had no social capital nor significant resources. And yet today, they are higher than the median household.

"Income. According to U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017 the median household income for Vietnamese Americans was $65,643 compared to $$61,372 for the overall U.S. population."

Either the African American issues are IQ based or they are environmental/culturally based. If you believe it to be cultural then the most obvious culprit is black culture itself. It's pretty hard to make the claim that blacks are uniquely held back compared to every other ethnic group.

+5. Dynamic effects in group outcomes; too many non-white success stories.

It doesn’t take many disruptive kids in a classroom to do a lot of damage.

And why do you think being around white kids would have “huge positive impact on black kids”? You seem to have a strong belief in White Supremacy.

As stated below, we're dealing with this issue in a context of systemic racial inequality - the majority white school districts effectively hoard resources on behalf of white children. Allowing black kids into those school districts would benefit them because they get access to those hoarded resources. It has nothing to do with the racial superiority of whites, but due to the interaction between economic inequality and racial segregation.

Whenever blacks go into a school district that was previously majority white, it goes downhill. Whites aren't hoarding anything except their genetics.

Yeah, because the white students start fleeing the district, and the funding for the school starts to decline in a self-reinforcing pattern.

The funding never changes. And it was never an issue. Blacks are genetically inferior and their low performance follows them whenever they go no matter what is done to try and fix them.

if everything is genetics, then how the heck does the presence of a few extra black students negatively affect whites. The superior genes of white people should make them perform well, no matter how many black kids they sit near.

+1, that's a fair point

It’s not “a few extra” that any sane person is worried about. It’s being *forced* to send your kid to South Central LA high schools due to Hazel Meade’s Social Engineering Program.

Because if a child gets stabbed at school, or beaten, or raped in the bathroom, or introduced to drugs at 12 years old, then IQ is the least of concerns in how his life trajectory turns out.

The twin studies showed parents’ influence, contrary to anonymous/mouse/bn12whatever, is not important. Peer effects, however, are.

The famous example is the children of African immigrants. The parents have college degrees. The children go to prison.

I agree with you on most of this, this is a cultural problem and it has roots in disenfranchisement, racism, and exclusion. But busing suburban kids to Compton isn’t going to fix Compton, but it might Epstein a few kids.

I'm not in favor of bussing. If we're going to bus anyone it would be easier to bus the black kids into white schools (fewer people to move around), but I'd rather change social attitudes than use government policies.


The fear of white parents is through damage to their child from peer effects - the disruptive behaviour not low attainment of minority classmates. There is good evidence that even small disruptive elements can pull down class grades, and other posters have commentated on that, like Hmmm above, whilst others have emphasised the need for discipline and streaming to mitigate such problems.

I suspect that below a threshold, such peer effects can be readily contained, but if beyond a point of minorities (10%?), the ghetto culture wins out (though some all-minority schools seem to contain it with heroic efforts - see the discipline discussions).

You can't lift up those that lack genetics (see Africa) but you can pull down those that have genetics (see North Korea).

It's well documented what affect disruptive students have on a classroom. It's also well documented the benefits of tracking.

Oh, Come On Hazel, you could homogenise the black population nationally, and in 10 years you'd have ghettos again as natural sorting occurred.

Damn, who was the famous economist who got a Nobel out of this...

Thus the need for social norms that discourage racial sorting.

Urgh. Come on - such a norm can't be enforced and defection is incentivised (at least for whites and Asians) !

Even tiny defection rates will wreck homogeneity really quickly - seriously, there was a major prize on exactly this....was it Arrow?

Don't you think it is kind of revealing that you're basically saying that people are so terrified of a 15% black population that they're going to sell their house and move?
And yet people keep arguing that racism is not a factor in black people's economic outcomes.

How the hell would that happen? Most blacks live in the southern black belt where the old plantations were. The remaining blacks are concentrated in the northern cities they moved to during the great migration. How exactly would you distribute blacks to the entire country? Forcibly remove then from some Mississippi town to rural Oregon?

The elementary school we might buy a house in is already 13.9% black. But to be "integrated" with say the average black % across the county and city it would need to be something like 40-50% black. And in fact that is what the progressives would like (they are section 8ing people into the local schools against the wishes of property owners to achieve their racial quotas).

As Ed Realist says, the problem with all these dreams of integration is that we are running out of white kids to distribute to spread their magical whiteness on the blacks.

This is really more of a thought experiment than anything else. I realize that we're not going to evenly distribute black people. The point is more that racial segregation causes more problems. It's a very temporary short-sighted solution for white people who are overly terrified of mingling with a few blacks. If you don't let 10-15% black people move into in your neighborhood, you're going to end up with these all-black urban ghettos with all the problems that concentrated poverty produces. Better to just be tolerant of some neighborhood desegregation (i.e. don't sell your house and move just because a black person moved in), and over time things will start evening out.

It's pretty rare to create a school district that in 85%+ white. As we saw from the link posted earlier, there were only 2% of school districts in all of Arizona that fit this criteria.

In the areas where lots of blacks live, its pretty typical to find some blacks in just about every neighborhood school, even the high end ones. The "best high school in the Baltimore County" is 20% black. Granted some of that is from bringing people in for the Magnet Program. So generally not the worst blacks, and you can see that in the subsidized lunch numbers.

So its a little ridiculous to say people flee the second they see a single black person. They tend to flee when:

1) It seems like the neighborhood is turning.
2) The blacks in question are the bad kind of black (see Chris Rocks old skit about black people versus n***ers).

Owings Mills High used to be 70% white in 1990. In 2017 its 10% white. It's subsidized lunch went form 6.2% to 53.2%.

It ranks in the 11th percentile of state test performance, after previously being a "good school".

So what happened? Well, in 1991 a critical mass of blacks had developed. White were still a majority, but at 25% black a certain feedback loop formed. Now that enough middle class blacks were living there, poorer blacks stated to move in (fleeing the dysfunction of black run Baltimore).

In addition, the Baltimore subway reached Owings Mills in 1987. Now poorer blacks could live there and use it to commute into the city. In fact the subway was built mainly to serve poorer blacks.

Lastly, Owings Mills was firmly middle class. Unlike some really rich areas blacks can't afford, this was something they could. To help them, Owings Mills got a lot of Section 8.

Of course to say to all those middle class people in Owings Mills that some minority but critical mass of middle class black people where a ticking time bomb that would one day destroy their community would be racist and evil...but also correct.

Lastly, Owings Mills was firmly middle class. Unlike some really rich areas blacks can't afford, this was something they could. To help them, Owings Mills got a lot of Section 8.

Exactly! See, the city decided that rather than locate the poor blacks in white neighborhoods, they would encourage them to move near middle class blacks. Or wherever there was a disproportionate concentration of blacks. They deliberately made decisions that concentrated blacks into one neighborhood, thereby formally encouraging segregation. That's exactly the kind of example of structural racism that many blacks complain about. They basically grabbed this chance of a middle-class lifestyle away from the middle-class blacks who had moved into Owings Mills, and decided that Owings Mills was going to be a poor black slum. This is what black people complain about, that when they try to escape the ghettos, they find that white people flee and the local government adopts policies that encourage wherever they move to become another concentrated poor black neighborhood.

"They basically grabbed this chance of a middle-class lifestyle away from the middle-class blacks who had moved into Owings Mills"

Who the fuck is "they"?

The subway line was REQUESTED BY the blacks. They got what they wanted. Section 8 was lobbied for and received by blacks.

When this got rolling this was a majority white area. 70% white in a greater metropolitan area that was only 50% white. The measures, especially the section 8, were touted as ways to integrate this majority white area.

Owings Mills is a testing ground for progressive policies. Section 8. Transit. Targeted integration.

"and the local government adopts policies that encourage wherever they move to become another concentrated poor black neighborhood"

The local government often opposed these policies, but was overridden by progressive courts and higher governments. Larry Hogan is being sued in court under the grounds that cancelling a subway line through Baltimore is a civil rights violation. Apartment owners that refuse section 8 are also sued.

Dude what are you smoking. It's certainly true that blacks like being around other blacks, and middle class blacks can therefore attract lower class blacks to them. But this isn't some white conspiracy to...destroy their own housing values. These are all ideas progressives/blacks wanted, they destroyed themselves.

The best thing middle class blacks could do is be as racist to lower class blacks as the rest of us. But those lower class blacks are their friends and family, so it's never going to happen. The cycle will always continue, because people like to be around their own.

The least you people could do it stop getting involved.

I'm actually not in favor of Section 8 or many of the policies you're talking about.

I suppose it's fair enough that blacks in the area misguidedly supported the movement of poor blacks into the area, especially via Section 8.

However, those are government policies. When you say "To help them, Owings Mills got a lot of Section 8", what you are saying is that the government formally encouraged poor blacks to move into Owings Mills, more so than other areas - and the effect was to turn a 25% black neighborhood into a 90% black neighborhood. That's not "integrated". It was less more integrated BEFORE the Subway line and the Section 8 housing was added. Now it's totally segregated. So it appears that the progressive policies, whatever their intentions, didn't integrate the neighborhood at all. They created a segregated black slum.

A genuine policy of racial integration wouldn't target one area and encourage black people to move there. It would encourage black people to move out of the 50% black metro area, throughout the surrounding suburbs and encourage white people to move into the metro area via gentrification.

"So it appears that the progressive policies, whatever their intentions, didn't integrate the neighborhood at all. They created a segregated black slum."

Yes, the government (blacks and progressives like you), effed up. You can't blame that on the white deplorables that opposed it.

"A genuine policy of racial integration wouldn't target one area and encourage black people to move there.

It would encourage black people to move out of the 50% black metro area, throughout the surrounding suburbs and encourage white people to move into the metro area via gentrification."

First, blacks moved to Owings Mills because they want to be around other blacks. When given free choice of where to live they gravitate towards other blacks. That's a natural human impulse. A critical mass of middle class blacks are like a pheromone that attracts poor blacks. And a few middle class blacks attracts other middle class blacks. Literally the only thing keeping this cycle from going to its natural conclusion is if "the rent is too damn high" and it prices out too many blacks, especially poor blacks, moving in.

Understand, the entire Baltimore metro area including the county is 40-50% black. The city proper is 2/3rds black. Even distribution of blacks would therefore mean 40-50% black everywhere. But only 10-20% or so of blacks are "middle class" (only 15% or so are 100 IQ or above). Let's be generous and say 20%. And we will use 50% black (lets just throw Hispanic in there to round up). That means that only 5% of the population will be middle class blacks. You can't actually achieve the "diversity" targets you're shooting for without bringing in ghetto blacks. If you want an area to be 25% black, then either you need to concentrate all the middle class blacks in one area (and leave the other parts of the county very segregated) or you need to bring in ghetto blacks. But if you bring in ghetto blacks the schools and crime will go to hell and everyone will leave. If you try to split up the ghetto blacks evenly everywhere you are still going to end up with every single place being 1/3+ ghetto, which effectively makes it a ghetto no middle class person can live in. So they flee to the exurbs or move to another city.

There is a problem here. Too many blacks. There is no place to put them other than in ghettos where they are off to the side not bothering people, because we can't absorb such numbers.

Lastly, the black run government has implemented the highest property taxes in the country and runs and incredibly corrupt administration. The middle class doesn't move into the city because it can't afford to. And it can't afford to because black run government views middle class whites as a dehumanized resource to be squeezed for all they are worth. Only the richest whites who can afford private schools live in the city for the shorter commute/rich people amenities.

My elementary education was particularly mediocre in the 1970s as everyone was moved along on the same conveyor belt. Not until Jr. High did it begin to improve when they began to segregate us by test scores.

"We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students."

You think? And here you thought people looking for homes in a good school district were just being haters.

A black person might answer that that is because society concentrates resources in the white school districts so they can be exclusively used to benefit white students. They don't want to spend money to better black children's education, so of course the black schools districts suck, not because of the black students, but because the black school districts have no money.

They might answer that, and maybe even believe it, but low income school districts get a good amount more per child than all but the most rich districts.

Poor white districts get more per student than poor black districts.

False and you know it.

Hazel linked to an article below that shows that is the case in PA, seeming because rural districts are shrinking, but their budgets (and $/kid) are not. So not 100% wrong. Just finding a case where it's that way doesn't make it true in most cases though. Typically, outside of a few big $ districts, black schools get more money.

I wonder what the authors would conclude if they studied the Kansas City, MO school years from 1986-2001. The judge quadrupled property taxes to increase school funding.

Did those extra taxes stay local or was the money in effect bused to the city's poorer districts? I doubt the judge was telling poor taxpayers or non-taxpayers to ante up quadruple the dollars.

Economists are dangerously close to solving that most elusive of economic mysteries: why do white neighbors cost so much?

Economists' wives have already figured it out.

Tyler, is this really the Marginal Revolution you want? A bunch of Sailer fans trying to handwave away that we can ever help "the blacks and the browns?"

There used to be mucho overlap between MR and Slate Star Codex, but thankfully of late there's more of an MR-Sailer synchrony. The article on trees as a marker of white privilege may have been a key turning point.

Nothing should terrify you more,
Than the belief,
That everything you want to be true about humanity, actually is.
It means your mind has been ruined for some time.

Science: I have a theory. Oh, here is opposing data. I will adjust my theory.

Bigotry: I have a theory. Oh, here is opposing data. I will reject this data.

There’s No Scientific Basis for Race

It's pretty simple really.

Well, you're flat wrong.

From your own article:

“That race is a human construction doesn’t mean that we don’t fall into different groups or there’s no variation,” Foeman says. “But if we made racial categories up, maybe we can make new categories that function better.”

Yeah, right, we don't say "race" because that triggers people like you. So we talk about "different groups" and group haplotypes and what-not. See David Reich. And our modern categories are indeed "better". But its functionally the same thing. Oh, and the "unscientific" visual classification of "race" actually maps really pretty damn well onto the value-free ones the maths gives us. Weird, huh? Almost as if humans evolved to pick out kin-proximity...

Anyway, principal component analysis and clustering is a real thing and so is Human Biodiversity. But I appreciate the world is a confusing place to those of us without graduate statistics and its easier to recite Brahmin nostrums than engage the data.

You're pretty simple really.

That's what I mean about discarding new data.

"Scientific" racists probably did look forward to the Human Genome Project, expecting confirmation of their beliefs. But what did they do when the project was done, and found no evidence for the American conception of race (4-6 concrete categories)? The reject it. They revert to pre-genomic priors.

Or wilfully misread falling into "different groups" or "variation" as conformation for the concrete racial groups they desire.

They literally skip the headline.

Actually, Enlightenment scientists' racial classification systems have turned out to be pretty reasonable now that we have most of the genetic data. You can always say the glass is party empty, of course, but the early anthropologists tended to get it more than half full. I doubt if, say, Blumenbach's 1795 system badly misclassified as more than 5% of the world's population.

The big new discovery of the last third of a century of genomics has been that the main division of humanity is between sub-Saharan Africans and everybody else, which is pretty politically incorrect.

Anon; either you don't understand statistics, or you're flat out lying, or both. As you didn't respond to any technical details of my post, I'm guessing probably both - you genuinely didn't know what a haplogroup was, did you?

The genetic data tells us that human populations cluster in a dendogram. The entire set of humanity branches, then branches again, and so on, down to local population, (the "groups" you speak of).
The first order division is broadly sub-Saharan Africans vs everybody else, then Indo-Europeans, Asian-Amerindian diverge, with the latter going on to diverge into Amerindian and Asia, and so on. Until you are left with local populations.

Yeah, so the old-school racists didn't list 1,000 categories, but the statistical goodness of fit for the categories they DID list was pretty accurate. You can deplore their ethics as much as you like, but this is a case of you rejecting the science simply because you don't like the history of its derivation. Too bad.

(For anyone skipping the reading, "different groups" means thousands of different groups, not at all the historical American concept of "race." The American concept was built on just a few concepts: killing indians, keeping slaves, and keeping out chinese. No wonder white, brown, black, and yellow are still the big 4 for racists. That a big history with a lot of baggage.)

This is like saying terraces, houses and walls aren't real (or a "social construct?") because they are made of thousands of bricks. It's a simple fallacy of composition. Oh, and a casual ad hominem/fallacy of distraction too .

It's nice when the most passionate advocates of opposing positions can be so simply disposed off. All Anon has is a misunderstood Nat Geo article and incoherent feelings of moral superiority .

And, while we are doing this, in David Reich, Alistair chooses an outlier:

In march 2018, Harvard geneticist David Reich published a New York Times op-ed, entitled “How Genetics is Changing Our Understanding of ‘Race.’” In the piece, Reich argues that geneticists “are learning that while race may be a social construct, differences in genetic ancestry that happen to correlate to many of today’s racial constructs are real.”

The article prompted 67 natural and social scientists, legal scholars and public health researchers to draft an open letter in response to Reich’s claims. The letter, published by Buzzfeed, asserts that Reich misrepresents critiques of of the use of ‘race’ and ‘population’ in biomedical and genetic research. It urges collaboration between geneticists and their social science and humanities colleagues so that more careful thinking and writing can be brought to bear upon consequential and controversial questions about how human differences should be ordered and understood.

The 67 were such pygmies that they only got their complaining letter against Reich published in Buzzfeed.

Yeah, that.

"while race may be a social construct, differences in genetic ancestry that happen to correlate to many of today’s racial constructs are real.”

ROFL @ Reich. "I'm a good liberal, please don't shoot me". I love the phase "happen to correlate" - talk about a grudging way of saying "accurate".

OK, OK, lets allow Anon his strawman because it is all he has left; the old white-yellow-black thing isn't super-accurate, but the genetic science shows it was a damn sight more accurate than random guesswork; it contained information , mapping well onto the 1st-order taxons.

This recent summary of where we are is also very good.

It's an econ blog. People should expect to study the effects of programs to see if they are effective. Fund the effective ones and get rid of the ineffective. You may have confused this with slate or vox.

The particular racial gerrymandering policy being considered here--busing--is so controversial except among the wokest Democrats and faculty lounges that is has enjoyed precious little support across all races*, so the Sailer fans are hardly the only ones who object to it.

*You can blather on about the scientific definition race, but it's irrelevant as a political matter.

If there is no race, a scientifically informed politics would certainly move beyond it.

This is the MR comments section, so we are seeing lots of "blacks are inherently inferior" / "segregation is natural and good" / "I got mine, why should I sacrifice so that you can get yours". Here's the counter-narrative:

Developing "social capital" (self-discipline, showing conscientiousness and openness to new experience, valuing remunerative skills AND learning how to signal these skills among others) is a communal endeavor ("takes a village...") and also is predicated upon a great deal of parental investment (of time and money).

The fact that it's understood to be an expensive communal endeavor is revealed by people of means highly valuing their children's social environment as much as they value their investment in children's individual experiences and possessions. "Who you know" is important, as is "what you know". The habits of success are a precarious achievement, not a default setting that can only be corrupted.

Perhaps the most eloquent and outspoken proponent of contemporary desegregation, Nikole Hannah-Jones, specifically speaks to this: black kids need to be afforded the opportunity to develop this cultural capital (as well as have the means to invest in their children, privately).

White America, in part by having been racist and in part by producing elites who have promoted an economic system that allows the concentration of poor, unstable, low-social-capital families into geographically-distinct neighborhoods and schools, hoards social capital (& then, being human, blames the deprived as essentially inferior: we are all, without intellectual effort, "essentializers"). Desegregation disrupts this hoarding, and thus improves the social and economic prospects for disadvantaged children.

Finally, on top of being both intentionally and passively deprived of "the village" that it takes to raise successful, children who grew up in the post-war years in these socially-constructed urban ghettos were poisoned by lead. The lead-crime hypothesis is not only increasingly-validated by research, it also -in conjunction with the criminal justice system's response to the resulting inner-city crime wave- would be expected to exacerbate the atrophy of social capital.

The current state of African-Americans in the US is a commentary on America as a whole, and not a symptom of black cultural pathology.

So you see it as my moral duty (and yours, too?) to have my/your kids interact, in school and elsewhere, with badly-behaved morons, in the hope that a bit of “social capital” rubs off on the badly behaved morons?

Sounds like a plan!

To the extent that we benefit from social arrangements beyond our own doing, we have a moral duty to expand those social arrangements to others.

1) (Most) children have the capacity to develop intelligence and social capital. Being a "badly behaved moron" isn't a static trait. We expect (and have some evidence to support our expectations) that children in higher-status environments won't display so many behavioral problems to begin with.

2) It's certainly expected that private decisions will be a centrifugal force in society. The question is whether we want public policy that exacerbates or ameliorates our naturally-selfish tendencies.

Ironically blacks did historically have much higher social capital, in the early 20C there was not much of a gap with whites.

The black family and community only disintegrated mid-century, with all the added "help" from the government. So well done, Dems.

Regarding "community disintegration":

sources on 1) white segregation from black americans, 2) the lead-crime hypothesis, 3) criminal justice and black crime

1) a 17-min video "Segregated by Design"




No thank you. You can go practice uplift somewhere with your own family.

Then why are Indians and East Asians and Jews so good at making social capital too? Did white racism build their village? Why don't black and Hispanic students match them, even in a white village? Even after multiple generations?

Yeah, right. How many parameters does your model need to explain the data in plain view?

It's worth noting that East Asians and Jews were never actually slaves. I don't think the kind of discrimination they faced is really comparable to what black people have experienced.

Hazel Meade

If slavery, persecution, oppression, bigotry, discrimination, and even attempted genocide were the reasons for modern day pathology, then Jews should be the most dysfunctional people in the world.

how often are Jews engaging in in violent youth crime, low academic achievement, government dependency, or having hordes of fatherless children?

All of the above pathologies are voluntarily chosen.

Enough BS apologia. The past is the excuse for modern dysfunction, not the reason. The AA community needs to give up its idiocies, its defects, and its self defeating habits and stop blaming the larger society for its self inflicted failures. Nothing else is going to work.

+1 to Lert.

Hazel, slavery is a completely useless explanatory variable. It explains pretty much none of the variation in current group SES. Remember: social effects FADE over time, not strengthen.

You simply can't build a statistical model of relative group SES where the AIC values justify the inclusion of slavery. it just can't be done. And that's before you even start to look at minority outcomes in other countries where slavery was either weaker or non-existent (or worse), or early 20C black convergence, or recent African immigrants vs natives..... "slavery" has almost no explanatory power.

The effect of slavery is that the white people, especially in the south, remember that black people used to be slaves and that drove tremendous levels of prejudice against them. They didn't give up those slaves willingly either. They lost a war. So enormous resentment and hatred was directed at the former slaves as well as efforts to keep them oppressed via sharecropping systems and terrorism (i.e. the KKK).

That isn't the case for Indian, East Asian and Iewish immigrants. They didn't have to literally live in areas controlled by a majority of people that used to own them and resent their very existence.

Hazel, a good model test, that I teach to junior analysts, is to widen your model and check for where it breaks.

So....spatial; step back from the US experience for a moment. Does this model work equally well for other enslaved ethnic populations? The Indian Dalits, for example? Or the post-war Jews? Or the Koreans? Or even blacks in Latin America and the Carribean? No?

How about temporal? Can it explain CONVERGENCE in US black outcomes up to the mid 20C and DIVERGENCE after?

How about spatial scale? Are there differences between Northern blacks and southern blacks (who presumably got it worse)?

How about immigration? How does it effect American blacks but not Nigerian immigrants?

It's a useless variable of explanation. And that's before I get onto the problem of a lack of plausible mechanism.


In addition to the poor model fit, I must also admit I seriously struggle with a plausible functional mechanism for "slavery" having contemporary social effects on US blacks. I feel a lot of it is mystical hand-waving, or at least lies on the end of a long, long, chain of supposition.

It's no use saying "living in an environment of hatred and resentment" causes underachievement on a 6 generational scale (which, frankly, sounds like a mild exaggeration historically and a gross exaggeration currently). You have to show the US black experience was unusually extreme, that somehow this "hatred and resentment" causes people to under-achieve, and that somehow it has inter-generational effects and doesn't ameliorate over time.

Nearly every other sociological factor we know of ameliorates (rapidly) over time . Reversion to mean occurs; look at intergenerational wealth correlation. You seem to me to be making very big claims for the size and persistence of "slavery" as a variable, without perhaps realising how big they are.

Jews were slaves in Egypt, no? At least according to that Charlton Heston movie that's on every spring.

Nearly all human beings were serfs, which are basically slaves. Serfdom didn't get abolished in Russia till 1861.

China of course was far behind. Official slavery itself wasn't abolished till 1910. Of course life for the average person in China until very very recently often involved something like slavery under totalitarian governments, warlords, invading armies, or mere crushing Malthusian needs.

But yeah, blacks living free lives with guaranteed rights in the wealthiest country in the history of the planet totally had it worse than people getting experimented on by Unit 731 or going through a Struggle Session while starving to death.

The argument goes:

1) black Americans are good at making social capital: historically black colleges, a thriving black middle class, etc...Likewise, there are plenty of “f’-ups” in every ethnicity. So the question becomes why aren’t black % commensurate with % of other ethnicities (I am assuming you know and accept this, I’m just creating context for point below).

2). Other immigrants represent a non-representative sample of their home-nations. They are distinguished by pre-existing social capital. They are either already a relative elite of their home nation or -if already disadvantaged- outliers in terms of intelligence and eusocial personality traits.

2). Upon arrival, other ethnicities were not segregated and discriminated against to the degree of blacks.

3). Again, the post-war urban ghettoization and poisoning were a “one-off” historical event for black Americans, compounding the effects of 2).

4). an identity as “low socio-economic-status minority” becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. In other words, once you bear the mark of being an oppressed minority, you adapt your expectations and norms around this identity. Your group takes pride in and enculturates itself to a self-reinforcing outsider status. This phenomenon is not unique to black Americans (e.g. poor whites in Appalachia, Malaysians & Chinese elite minority, etc...)

Great comments in this thread. Another person who gets it.

"Another person who gets it."
b9ntent and anonymous (mouse) are the same person.

1) There has always been a talented tenth of blacks, even during eras of major discrimination. I think what's happened to blacks lately is the same thing that happened to everyone below average IQs (Coming Apart) of all races. It hit them harder because such a high % of them are below the cutoff.

2) But non-immigrants from the high IQ races do well back in their home countries. Or do well even as persecuted minorities in other peoples countries (see Malaysia). Meanwhile, countries full of the bad races can't get ahead. We know who the genetically good and genetically bad races are.

3) Lead is overdone, it would show up elsewhere. Come on.

4) If you can't get ahead because you don't have the IQ to get ahead, your naturally going to come up with cultural norms that help you adapt to that fact. Even if blacks did study more, would it accomplish anything if they aren't smart enough to get the material?

As to getting ordinary dull people of all races to act like middle class bourgeois, see everything in Charles Murrays writings for suggestions.

P.S. Your use of the Malaysia example is particularly troubling. It's immensely unfair what they have done to the Chinese, and I have no doubt progressives want to do it here.

1. "Pre-existing social capital" wasn't a manna from heaven. Explaining it away as genetics is Vdare territory that I leave to that crowd.

2. Doesn't explain the precipitous decline over time when conditions were generally improving.

Why not both? If black people are part of America, then their potential "social or cultural pathology" can be a commentary on "America as a whole".

Are most blacks OK their children going to schools where they will be in the minority?

I read an interesting article about this a few weeks ago. Most blacks WANT to be in mixed race schools, because they know they'll get a better education there. Why? Because they perceive that society doesn't give a damn about black kids, and therefore won't spend money to improve majority black schools. They believe that schools with more white kids will have the resources to have arts programs and band classes, which makes them better schools not by virtue of the racial makeup but because of the society wide effects of racial inequality. White people are richer, richer school district have more money, so living in a white school district means the schools will be better.

There was a long discussion about how many urban white school district value diversity, but they want it "curated" as in there is an upper limit on how many black kids are acceptable to white parents before the white parents start pulling their kids out. Consequently, there's sort of a limit on how many black kids are allowed out of the poor majority black schools where they are concentrated.

I'm trying to dig up the article to post a link.

LOL at believing that black schools don't have art or band programs. Where do you live--Montana?

“Where do you live--Montana?”

She lives in her own private Idaho.

I think this board is treating the factual proposition "black schools get less money per capita than white schools" with something between incredulity and scorn. This board is also sceptical that the effect between funding and education outcome is any more than "weak".

But I suppose that minority parents may not notice how much funding is being soaked up in remedial effort for their dysfunctional local school. Too bad.

Here a more updated story, basically the same thing:

Looks like older, more rural and shrinking school districts aren't getting money removed from them as they shrink. Not fair. At least now it seems they have a solution, if they apply it.

That's interesting. Thanks.

Beliefs accordingly updated, at least for Pennsylvania. There does indeed seem to be a moderate anti-black bias . (But the scatter plot triggered my warning box: "heteroschedasticity", it's also drawn on wrong axis transforms. I would have preferred proper statistics).

The truth is it probably varies by location. In North Carolina (so pertinent for Charlotte) school funding is allocated primarily from the State government and almost all systems are County based so there is no such thing as a wealthy suburb that spend more on its schools.

Sure stuff like the PTA or Booster Club might not be equal but those are usually pretty small dollars.

That surprises me, I know whites do not want to be a minority.

I have a couple of ideas for improving education in America, especially for black students. A side effect would be that white and Asian parents would be less reluctant to send their kids to schools with blacks.
My ideas are:

1. Discipline
2. Tracking

“Discipline” means we don’t let disruptive students sabotage the education of students who are willing to work and behave themselves. Students who won’t behave should be separated from the rest. Even some students who are currently disruptive would benefit, since they might improve their behavior if they find that bad behavior won’t be tolerated.

The Obama administration waged war on school discipline, especially discipline applied to black students.

“Tracking” of course means that students are separated by ability, which makes it easier to teach students at a level appropriate for them.

Parents of smart white and Asian students won’t be so reluctant to send their kids to schools with blacks if their black classmates aren’t holding them back by being disruptive or stupid.

The KIPP schools seem to be relatively successful with black kids, and I think it’s because the KIPP schools maintain discipline and teach in a way that’s appropriate for kids who aren’t all that bright but are willing to work hard. Probably the KIPP kids are even acquiring some “social capital” that they wouldn’t get in a typically chaotic “majority-minority” school!

The solution Baltimore City/County came up with is that they would leave the segregated neighborhoods in place, but would have lots and lots of magnet programs. Mostly this is a way for black kids to attend white schools. But they have to pass tests and other things to make sure its really just the top 10% of black kids that are going to act white, keep up, and not disrupt.

This is probably the only reasonable solution likely to work in what limited capacity things can actually work. If it were left alone it would likely be good enough, but the progressives aren't satisfied and want to bust up the neighborhoods with Section 8 too.

When I was going to Academy Avenue school in Providence RI back in the 1960's most of the tough trouble makers stopped coming to school after the 5th grade (mostly tough Italian kids BTW). It was nice for most of the students.
I wonder if today the system would get them back in school. I do not know how those guys ended up. Some were pretty smart.

In my state, they bus the money - between districts - instead of the kids.

That quest for equity - which began with a fairly small, 97.4% Hispanic school district handpicked to be the star of a lawsuit decades ago; looking it up, it now earns a respectable grade of D from the state agency - has some quirky results.

For instance, the big urban school district in my county is of course majority Hispanic, 28% white, 7% black, 4% Asian. Its website describes the student population as 51% "at risk" (of dropping out of school, before the arbitrary, requisite number of classroom years established by a no-longer dominant culture, so take that with a grain of salt, perhaps); and 53% economically disadvantaged (again, it occurs to me that the relevant comparison perhaps ought to be with economic conditions in a place outside the United States altogether); with 28% limited English proficiency. Others who care (I won't insult you) think this school district deserves every penny it takes in and more. That its kids are just the sort of kids who ought to have the highest per-pupil spending in the country. Maybe so. I don't know much about that. (I think it's nice when the teachers have enough money to put up colorful decorations and posters in their classrooms. For some reason I was always disappointed with that. It really sets the tone.)

But - surprise - my city is also the wealthiest school district in the state. So, under our "recapture" funding scheme, which probably closely approximates the same redistribution that a state income tax would, in 2018 the district wrote a $544 million check to everybody else. All that do-re-mi, snatched from the hands of the children of deserving immigrants, in the name of leveling.

Here's a link on actual spending per pupil adjusted for cost of living that was calculated based upon the US Dept of Education statistics.


"Adjusted for cost of living, the differences narrow. Asian and Hispanic students receive slightly less money than whites overall, while blacks receive slightly more. Regional differences persist after the adjustment, especially in the Northeast."

Only fair to link the rebuttal.

.. how can Richwine conclude that racial disparity in education funding is a myth? The answer is that his analysis aggregates spending figures to the regional and national level, thus obscuring disparities within states or within districts.

Looks like it is all over the map, some states spend less on AA (NY, IL) relative to whites some states spend more. Certainly no clear pattern of AA receiving less in general.

Well, some states spend more for black students, like Michigan (107). Some less, like Texas (93). It is true that (107+93)/2=100, but I think you lose something in that aggregation.

Maybe we need more scatter plots.

The rebuttal says that there are "disparities within states or within districts."

Sure that's a fair point. But the disparities imply that there is just as much higher funding is there is lower funding. So, the average is still the average.

On average black students receive the same funding as white students. So the logical conclusion is that black students performing poorly on average is not a result of poor funding.

Only if you believe that every state/school with extra funding makes up, in an equal and opposite way, for every state/school with under funding.

Whites (and every other group) go to different schools with varying levels of funding. So, if underfunding is worse than overfunding is good, the average difference between Whites and Blacks due to underfunding would still be Zero, since both groups experience the effect.

And yet Baker (above) did show improved outcomes with higher spending.

Maybe that does mean that many schools (and not just identified by "race") could be improved.

The Baker is self-admittedly cherry picking in it's state results:

"Aggregate per-pupil spending increases student outcomes in every situation, an effect that was larger in some studies than others, and mattered more for low income students.

A specific study cited by Baker showed that a “21.7% increase in per-pupil spending throughout all 12 school-age years for children from low-income families is large enough to eliminate the education attainment gap between children from low-income and non-poor families.”"

That being said, I think there is support that raising spending in the lowest funded districts may well result in some gains. I would support reallocating some of the Dept of Education's $70 billion budget to that end.

Good on you for including that bit:

"Aggregate per-pupil spending increases student outcomes in every situation"

I go where the facts lead me and I don't ignore data the doesn't fit my point of view.

You think that's a novel finding? Ask farmer if they'll give you more corn if you up their subsidies - I'll spare you the suspense, they will.

I think I just figured something out.
A lot of white people seem to assume that black people voluntarily "self-segregate" into exclusively black neighborhoods. But what is that is not what is going on. What if the "self-segregation" of neighborhoods into white and black enclaves is almost entirely driven by white "self-segregation"? That is that black people are involuntarily forced to live in disproportionately black neighborhoods, not by choice, but because white people consistently move away into exclusively white neighborhoods.

It's possible that black people do self-select into black neighborhoods by choice, but, this is a testable hypothesis! If that were the case then we would expect to see that black people would, if they are able to do so, tend to move away from white neighborhoods and into black neighborhoods. We would expect that middle-class black people in gentrifying neighborhoods would tend to move out, not just poor blacks who can't afford the rising rent. And we would not expect to see middle-class black people buying houses in overwhelmingly white neighborhoods.

Is that what we observe?

“What if the "self-segregation" of neighborhoods into white and black enclaves is almost entirely driven by white "self-segregation"? That is that black people are involuntarily forced to live in disproportionately black neighborhoods, not by choice, but because white people consistently move away into exclusively white neighborhoods.”

And why might whites be driven by “self-segregation”?

Even better video here:!/v/destructivenews/NvLDKUpf7sI

A good question to ask at this point is what, if any, obligation whites have to not self-segregate.

That is indeed the crucial question.

"That is that black people are involuntarily forced to live in disproportionately black neighborhoods, not by choice, but because white people consistently move away into exclusively white neighborhoods."

That is an odd formulation of the issue coming from a self-professed libertarian. How is someone being "involuntarily forced" if other people decide to move?

Members of the black middle class who prefer living with mostly blacks face a trade-off. Living in a predominantly white, middle-class neighborhood means better schools, safety, etc. So some are willing to move to a predominantly white neighborhood if the choice is that or a poor black neighborhood, but would most prefer a black middle class neighborhood where available.

Black middle class prefers black middle class neighborhoods. Will settle for white middle class neighborhoods. If they settle for white middle class neighborhood, eventually becomes more and more black (as blacks see other blacks in a good situation and try to copy). Once enough black middle class are there, poor blacks want to move in. Maybe because those middle class blacks are their family, friends, etc. The familiarity. Whatever. As more and more poor blacks move in, safety and schools deteriorate, and whites begin to move out.

The best hope for the black middle class is to segregate themselves from the black underclass, but that is difficult to do because they are blood relations. This is also true, say, for white people with white trash family/friends, but luckily white trash are a much smaller % of white people.

In the same way that an "involuntary celibate" is forced to remain celibate. Other people's choices impose constraints upon the opportunities available to an individual.

Again, I'm not advocating government intervention, but changes in attitudes among whites. In fact, I think this is happening in urban cores due to gentrification. White urban hipsters are much more tolerant of racial diversity than suburban and rural whites. They have to be, because you can't live in a dense urban core and not be around non-whites.


Oh, you've just had that thought? Good.

TBH, I'm not sure it is larger effect. White flight was observable only AFTER minority levels crossed a local threshold, and that local threshold was well above national minority % (i.e. the minority nucleus formed first, THEN the white flight occurred). People cluster - you can see this even with white minorities like Poles or Germans or Italians; no native "white flight" but you still get the cluster.

Would be nice to see some data, though. Note confounding for SES effects as people move up-market.

TBH, I'm not sure it is larger effect.

Precisely. People are operating on different factual assumptions. Having some data would tell us if self-organized segregation is mutual, or if it is imposed mostly unilaterally by whites. I think that resolving that would clarify our thinking and maybe change a few minds.

Addendum for amusement:

My immaculately liberal ethnic-Chinese in-law told me how they fled proximate black/Hispanic neighbourhoods as soon as financially possible, moving to the Anglo-Asian enclave of Palo Alto.

It's not just whites segregating out here.

Because of the historical misuse of the term ‘race’, this is an important distinction to make. In 19th century Britain, for example, two groups who would now be simply lumped together as ‘White’ were regarded as separate biological races — namely, and complete with the ‘picturesque’ descriptors of the time, the “careless, squalid, unaspiring” Irish and the “frugal, foreseeing, self-respecting” Scots. (Full disclosure: my own genetic ancestry is of the careless, squalid and uninspiring variety.) A more modern perspective, however, does not deny the existence of genetically distinct ‘indigenous’ British populations — such groupings do indeed exist — rather, it avoids describing them in meaningless racial terms. Similarly, the idea of an overarching ‘Black’ race utterly fails to capture the genetic diversity of African (or African-descended) peoples, irrespective of how we are now able to distinguish genetically related groups within the wider human population of Africa.

And yet, how many times do we say "black" on this page, because America.

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