Glenn Loury & John McWhorter speak on standardized testing in the Black community

Discussion in 'Higher Learning' started by Take It In Blood, Mar 2, 2021.

  1. Rhakim

    Rhakim Veteran Poster of the Year Supporter

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    I also want to add these four main principles when it comes to standardized testing:

    #1: Standardized tests, if designed well, are decent indicators of how well your entire system is doing. Unfortunately most standardized tests are not designed well.


    #2: However, standardized tests in a vacuum are not particularly useful for telling you how the teaching in any particular school is going. There are far too many other factors to student achievement outside of the school that have to be normalized before you can even know what the standardized test scores are telling you.


    #3: Standardized tests, in a vacuum, are decent but not perfect at predicting how students are doing in academic activities. However, there's so much variation (great test-takers who fail at their schoolwork and great students who don't take the tests well) that they don't offer much information that isn't already available but looking at the students' body of work.


    #4: Teaching to standardized tests is useless when it comes to improving student outcomes. At best, you will get them to perform better on the test, but you will not help them perform better in school. In most cases teaching to the test will actually lead to worse school performance, as classes focused on test-taking skills are boring as fukk and don't help at all with motivation or other root issues in learning. Teaching to the test improves test performance for kids who are already well-prepared otherwise to succeed.


    Thus for the most part, standardized tests should really only be used to measure systematic issues. High-stakes testing to grade students for promotion/acceptance into higher learning or to grade teachers and schools on their performance is stupid. And teaching to the tests are stupid, because at best you'll only manage to mask your shortcomings, and more likely you're actually make your problems worse.




    I wanna hit that up in a lot of detail because it's 7-8 factors working together, but unfortunately I have to rush off right now. The issue is that the factors are pretty obvious, but most studies only look at 1-2 of the factors at a time, so they try to say "But look, remove this factor and there's still a gap!" because they're not recognizing the intersection of all the factors.
     
  2. JBoy

    JBoy Superstar Supporter

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    so much of modern debate is this and it is sad
     
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  3. DEAD7

    DEAD7 Veteran Hall of Fame Supporter

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    This was what i meant by a lay-up.
     
  4. Get These Nets

    Get These Nets Veteran

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    @Rhakim what does the systemic analysis point to as the root problems and possible ways to address those problems?


    From where I sit, it appears that external measures have failed and will continue to. I'm convinced that groups tasked to address the problems spend more resources trying to justify the existence and need for their services than in trying to tackle the problems. Technically, it's in their best interest to do that, so I get that part of it.
     
  5. Wild self

    Wild self The Black Man will prosper! Supporter

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    Why do America kids get compared to kids in China and Pakistan that uses cruel and unusual punishment to their children? We have constitutional rights, while they have sone of the worst human rights violations ON EARTH. I mean, making kids go to school year round, work them for 6 days a week, and make school days 14 hours? :gag:

    So to compete with those countries, we gotta abandon the Constitution and Bill of Rights? :dwillhuh:
     
  6. frankster

    frankster Rookie

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    True...I did not even recognize that as a solution suggested.
    "teach harder teachers" harkens back to method of education that is more akin to training by rote and or instilling by punitive force.
    That is not teaching but indoctrination

    The basic fundamentals of why Blacks in America are underachieving in education, is at root racism white supremacy and today we see it manifest in some easily recognizable forms thats are common to most black communities. To name a few....
    1. Lack of Access to Resources
    2. Marginalization/Alienation
    3. Low expectation
    4. Learned Helplessness

    I get the impression they are propagating a message that white liberal academics tout as the justification for why Blacks are not thriving in academia. Mcwhorter seems to not stand by the statements he is making but rather sharing and expounding on the common officially acceptable reasons given.
     
  7. DIO Brando

    DIO Brando RIP GOAT

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    Tell you the truth, good chance I wouldn't have gotten into the schools I did without standardized testing. I am not a great student by any means. My high school/college GPAs were average at best. I will kill a standardized test though. :jawalrus:
     
  8. ♛ ★ ⋯ Éminence grise

    ♛ ★ ⋯ Éminence grise The Original Hall of Shame Supporter WOAT

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    McWhorter and Loury would be Ben Shapiro if they weren’t black.
     
  9. Rhakim

    Rhakim Veteran Poster of the Year Supporter

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    I don't even know why they chose those countries. Pakistan has a shytty education system. And China is in the midst of massive education reform, where they are turning away from rote-based learning into a more modern style of schooling. So what about those two countries does he want to emphasize? It's not at all clear from the video, he sort of just rattled off two nations at random and it didn't enlighten anything.
     
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  10. Wild self

    Wild self The Black Man will prosper! Supporter

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    They still believe that authoritarian measures are the only means to educate children properly in America. Even meaning violating their basic rights.
     
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  11. Rhakim

    Rhakim Veteran Poster of the Year Supporter

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    On one hand I really want to spend a lot of time answering this question. On the other hand I'm in the process of moving out and don't have the time or mental energy it deserves. At some point I think I want to do an entire thread on this issue - this was literally the topic of my M.A. in Education.

    I just want to quickly rapid-fire all the reasons that are obvious off the top of my head. I want posters to understand that I consider these to be very simple, superficial answers - there are a lot of complexities and deeper explanations that should be included for each of them but I don't have the time. Someday I'll dig up my files and give this shyt the attention it deserves.



    1. Class differences. Obviously kids from well-off homes tend to do better in testing than kids from poorer homes, and far more white families are well-off while more black families are poorer-off.

    Solution: Obviously we need more economic inequality. Some critics will then say, "But even better-off Black kids are doing worse than average!" That's in part because they measure class by income, and thus completely miss my point #2 that....


    2. Black families tend to have far less accumulated wealth than White families. The average Black family making $60,000/year and the average White family making $60,000 a year are NOT at the exact same class level, because due to historic inequality that White family probably has a couple hundred grand in accumulated wealth and is paying off a house while that Black family is still renting and paying off their debts. In fact, one study found that Black households with an income of $100,000 tended on average to live in similar neighborhoods as White families with an average income of $35,000.

    Solution: Obviously the wealth gap needs to be addressed and some form of reparations is really the central point of that. Until we measure class by wealth as opposed to just by income, we're going to keep fukking up class comparisons across racial lines.


    3. Due to a huge spectrum of different factors (poverty, crime, disparate police actions, broken families, societal racism, etc.) the average Black student tends to be under far more stress than the average White student. Some studies show that anywhere from 25-45% of kids in inner-city neighborhoods show signs of PTSD. High stress levels have a dramatic effect on academic performance and are likely depressing test scores severely.

    Solution: There are a lot of factors behind those high stress levels so there ain't just one explanation, though economic, judicial, and policing equality are part of it as well as trying our best to preserve and heal our own families. But honestly, I think part of the answer is that we need to get our kids out of those neighborhoods completely. Living in a crowded dense urban setting is just inherently more stressful on average than living in a less crowded, less urban situation. Our kids need more time with peace and quiet where they can actually hear themselves think. Our kids need more time in nature. Our kids need to get out of those high-pollution city centers. Our kids need the chance to not have 90% of the people they see every day be strangers and not have becoming a victim of crime be so likely. Dense urban life is simply harder, especially when you're poor or working class.


    4. Black parents tend to spend far less time actively engaged in conversation with their kids, and the amount of verbal input a child is exposed to at a young age tends to have a very high impact on their language and problem-solving ability later in life. There are multiple theories for why this gap exists, including different conceptions of parenting or different ideas about how kids should spend their time (with adults as opposed to with other kids), but obviously a large factor is that Black children are disproportionately more likely to grow up in single-parent households, and thus simply have less exposure to the adult in the home, since there's only one of them and they're quite likely to be extremely busy trying to take care of the entire household.

    Solution: I think we need really active efforts to get parents spending more deliberate time with their kids, talking to them more, and reading with them more. I don't say "parenting classes" exactly cause I don't have any experience with them so I don't know if they help, but whether through mentoring or friends or community pressure, we need to keep emphasizing to Black fathers and mothers that they need to talk to their kids, a lot, and spend real time doing shyt with them every single fukking day. And it goes without saying that this will be easier to the degree that both the mother and the father are in the kid's life. In situations where the father or mother are not in their life, we need to do a better job as a community in being surrogate aunties and uncles and mentors and just doing everything we can to help shepherd those kids along from the very beginning.


    5. "Only children" and 1st-born children tend to have higher educational outcomes than later-born children, especially when children are both less than 3 years apart. If you have a lot of kids and some of those kids are only spaced 1 or 1.5 years apart, the later-born kids tend to have lower outcomes. And white families nowadays tend to have far fewer children and more spacing between their children than black families.

    Solution: It's probably be a good idea to share more broadly that we need to space our kids out by 3 years or more.


    6. The Flynn effect is the observation that IQ scores appeared to steadily rise in developed societies over the course of the 20th century, by as much as 2 points a decade, though in the 21st century it appears to be beginning to level out. The reasons for the Flynn effect are heavily debated and split into A. effects that actually show increased intellectual ability (better nutrition, less exposure to disease) and B. effects that have more to do with improved conditioning to take standardized tests well (increased exposure to technological society, increased exposure to abstract thinking, greater familiarity with testing). Likely it's a mix of both, but no matter whether you use A or B to explain the increase, it's obvious that Black families have been deprived of both to some degree. This is also the reason, by the way, that people across the world from non-technological societies tend to perform very low on IQ and other standardized tests, though you see very rapid improvement within a generation or two when they enter a technological society.

    Solution: The positive aspect of the Flynn effect is that it suggests that Black performance can be expected to continue to improve over time (as it already has) due to increased Black exposure to the same societal benefits that White folk have had for generations. And since White performance on these tests shows some signs of plateauing now, the performance gap should continue to decrease. So for the most part we can expect this aspect will improve on its own. However, it's obvious that good nutrition, good preventative health care, exposure to fun problem-solving and complexity and such at a young age, and early exposure to abstractions can only help.



    7. Due to White flight, historical inequality in infrastructure and educational levels, and ongoing structural issues, even poor White kids on average tend to go to better schools than poor Black kids. It's definitely true that there are some shytty public schools in White neighborhoods. But in general most college grads are still White and comparatively few college graduates are Black. Most of those white grads end up wanting to teach in White schools, not Black schools. It's way easier to recruit a competent administrator to administrate in a suburban school district than an urban one, it's way easier to recruit qualified teachers to teach in white schools than in black ones. That doesn't mean there aren't still massive problems in the white schools too, but on average they aren't as poorly staffed as the Black schools are.

    Solution: We need massive education reform in this country, but waiting for politicians to make real reform is a slow process. In the meantime I think we need to support Black schools in every way possible, whether that means working to improve your local public school or starting a well-run charter school or a low-cost private school. And it's worth mentioning that studies show by far the most significant factors in improved schooling are 1: better teachers and 2: better teaching techniques. Meaning that rather than focus on spending money on school buildings, technology, administrators, etc., 90% of our focus should be on getting the best teachers into the classroom and empowering them to use the best teaching techniques, and everything else will follow.


    8. Even when Black kids and White kids go to the same schools, Black kids rarely enjoy the same learning experience - they're far more likely to be placed in a lower-tracked program, kept out of AP courses, etc. Of course this is a chicken-and-egg question, but I doubt anyone here believes that predominantly-white schools are free of racial bias and have zero discriminatory effect on their students' education.

    Solution: The evidence increasingly shows that tracking kids results in more negative outcomes at the lower end while doing little for kids at the upper end, and increases racial and class-based disparities. It's past time to end tracking and start mainstreaming kids into the same classroom and learning environment together. That won't end racism in schools, but it will at least reduce its negative effects. We also need to get a lot more Black men and women into the classroom and the principal's office.


    9. "Stereotype threat" has been shown to have a negative effect of Black test performance. Basically, when Black kids take a test many of them worry that they will be judged more negatively by a poor performance because they are Black, or believe that they will be a bad example of their race if they perform poorly, or simply will believe that Black kids don't test well. Black students who are reminded about their race directly before a test tend to perform more poorly than Black students who are not so reminded. This is the sort of thing that most White kids aren't even thinking about when they take a test, cause they don't have to think about their race the way Black kids do. That additional anxiety that most Black students carry with them into the testing situation has a depressing effect on scores.

    Solution: It's difficult to address this one directly because directly addressing the situation will likely increase the anxiety rather than alleviating it. Part of the answer goes to #3, just decreasing the amount of stress our kids are under as a whole. Another part is better scaffolding their educational experience so that they build confidence, so that school becomes a place of gains and successes rather than simply a place of failures and low expectations. And another part is ending high-stakes testing as a whole - no student should ever feel that their value or their race is about to be judged by a single standardized test. There are nations with incredible education systems (Finland is always my go-to example) that don't engage in high-stakes standardized testing at all. They do randomized testing across the country to periodically ensure that educational outcomes are still strong across the board and that no one is being left behind, cause they value universal success far more than "survival of the fittest" bullshyt that our system emphasizes. But in any one school perhaps only 1/3 of the students will be testing, so most students don't even have to take the tests and the ones that do aren't evaluated by their test scores. That's likely a big part of the reason that Finland does so well in the international standardized test rankings - their students simply don't have any test anxiety because tests are no big deal to them.




    I'm sure I'm forgetting really important factors but those 9 are good enough for now.
     
  12. ♛ ★ ⋯ Éminence grise

    ♛ ★ ⋯ Éminence grise The Original Hall of Shame Supporter WOAT

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    I really wish Loury and McWhorter would debate a real one. These two really think they're hot shyt.
     
  13. ♛ ★ ⋯ Éminence grise

    ♛ ★ ⋯ Éminence grise The Original Hall of Shame Supporter WOAT

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    Loury and McWhorter won't tell you why black people have no resources :sas1:

    [​IMG]



    anything to avoid addressing white supremacy :picard:
     
  14. iceberg_is_on_fire

    iceberg_is_on_fire Biting kneecaps & trading mediocre QBs

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    It's a matter of prioritization. My mom always told me to 'do my schoolwork,' but a lot of times, especially looking back, that rang kind of hollow because that declaration didn't come with guidance. I don't know statistics but I bet still for a lot of us in the black community, when someone goes to college and graduates, its the first in a family. It takes one or a few to break the paradigm and mindset to reach beyond that of just getting a job when we want a career. I remember one day, my niece who was 9 at the time, saw me after work and asked me why I was dressed fancy. I had on simple button down and slacks. My mom then told her that is how I dress at work because my position demands it. We come from a lineage of Ford Motor Company factory work. My folks retired from there and my sister works there now. For a lot of us, it is relatable to see what someone has done that looks like you, it lets you know that it is possible after all instead of being a pipe dream.

    So, to the overall point. I think that most people in our community actually do value it. However, the action part is the crux. Having workshops, paid internships and putting children into programs so that they are career ready are things that we need for the youth. I believe that is how we can level the playing field overall.
     
  15. frankster

    frankster Rookie

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    True

    Did she have the ability to guide you, did she know about or have access to the resources needed to guide you?
    Or was there other things taking precedence over your guidance?

    In my household my father thought (his opinion dominated the home) any education beyond elementary reading writing and basic math was superfluous...and as such would be a waste of time and money. It was his opinion that that time of mine would be best spent earning and income, and that money he would have have to spent on secondary and or tertiary education could be use on more urgent or more important and immediate matters. This Mindset is one taught to him by socalled black culture of his time, engineered fostered and supported by racism white supremacy.
    My Mother on the other hand did her best to encourage us to reach for the stars, and the way to the star for her was through more and more education. Her only guidance was encouragement as her time was scarce having so much to do and not knowing how to help us or advise us in these matters.


    Children learn what they live.
    Children are what they see and become the messages they hear most and loudest.


    True
    Another way is to let them live in and African dominated Country for a minimum of One year....Nothing is more influential on young minds than seeing people like themselves in positions of power and in all spheres of life - Modeling (imitating)
     

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