On Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM, Robert Hansen <email@example.com> wrote: > Paul, even according to your theory, Haim's statement is the valid conclusion. Whatever the reason for the bell curve, if you challenge students more then the curve will stretch. Whatever the myriad of elements that define each individual's performance in these subjects, making the subject more challenging will only exasperate the spread, right? >
First, you did not in the least address what I actually wrote further below, what you claim to be replying to. I spoke of ways of measuring that reflect and preserve the upper limit for performance inherent in percentage of correct answers for performance tests. And nothing of what you wrote even began to refute that facts I put forth in that context.
But even so, even if you want to go to bell curves and such:
The spread will increase somewhat for a given population if you challenge everyone more but this is utterly irrelevant to the issue at and. How is this so irrelevant? Simple. I go by the axiom that whites are not genetically superior to blacks and Hispanics in terms of academic capabilities, an axiom you repeatedly refuse to answer whether you hold to.
That is, given this axiom, there is no reason to think that it is not possible to over time eventually make the means and distributions statistically equivalent for whites on the one hand and blacks and Hispanics on the other, to have the latter catch up to the former.
That is, given two people of equivalent capability, the one higher on the performance curve is closer to his/her limit in terms of performance capability and will find it harder to move up on the curve in comparison to the other one lower to the curve, and so there is no reason that the one lower on the curve cannot close the gap more and moire over time.
> I am not saying that it is their explicit intention to dumb down school, but since they have no control over the real causes, as they continue to mutate the curriculum and favor changes that reduce the gap, there is a selection process going on and in the end you will have a dumbed down curriculum. >
These false claims by you need to stop. The curriculum is much tougher than it used to be when there were no outside tests that needed to be passed to move on to the next grade. It used to be that all you had to do to get a diploma was just pass your classes - no outside exit exams, where also the minimum requirements in terms of what classes you had to take were much lower. Back then, the majority who got a high school diploma did not even have to take Algebra I. Now the minimums are way beyond all that in terms of what classes you have to take and not only do we now have exit exams in many grades in comparison to none before, the later exit exams have covered more and more material in comparison to the earlier exams.
And on and on in so many other ways.
I repeat: You need to stop making these false claims that things are so much easier than they used to be.
> > Educators cannot fix the real issues, whatever they may be, therefore, if they reduce the gap, they must have reduced the challenge. If I made this statement in 1950, it would be a conjecture, but making it now with the overwhelming abundance of data in front of us, it is a fact. > > An unfortunate fact, but still a fact.
It is not a fact. It is a false claim and even a lie and even a racist lie if one making the claim knows the truth, which is that by many measures, the performance gap between whites on the one hand and blacks and Hispanics on the other has closed to a significantly significant extent over the long-term, over the past half century. I have demonstrated this many times in other threads, whether the measure is high school graduation rates even while the minimum requirements for graduation have increased significantly, or whether it is NAEP scores. See these:
The reader should know that very long-term trend over the past almost half century shows a statistically significant decline in the gaps for all ages. Here are some charts showing data up to a few years ago from 1973 for ages 9, 13, and 17:
For instance, the chart for the black-white math performance gap for 17-year olds shows a decrease from 40 points to 26 points over a 35 year period starting in 1973:
And please do not make any anti-mathematics and anti-science claims like long-term decreasing trends count as such only if they are strictly decreasing or monotonically decreasing. There can be temporary periods over the long-term where there will not be closings of the gaps - during such periods one should even expect to see increases in the gaps. I repeat: This is about long-term trends, and every attempt to say otherwise is not in line with what is at issue.
The arguments you put forth here promote the agenda of the white supremacists who do not want to see any more attempts to try to get blacks and Hispanics to close the gaps more than they have, and since the arguments you put forth here echo the white supremacist claim that any attempt to close the gaps must cause harm to whites.
I therefore again am compelled to ask you this question: Do you believe that blacks and Hispanics are genetically less capable than whites in terms of academic capability? Yes or no.
If no, then why do you promote this white supremacist agenda that society should just give up on blacks and Hispanics, and why do you echo the white supremacist claim that any attempt to close the gaps must cause harm to whites?
> On Sep 5, 2012, at 12:28 PM, Paul Tanner <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > >> On Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 9:59 AM, Haim <email@example.com> wrote: >>> ...any combination of pedagogy and curriculum that actually promotes academic learning will necessarily exacerbate The Gap. >>> >> >> This is not correct - in fact, it is anti-arithmetic in its denial of fact. >> >> For example: It's a brute arithmetic fact that if you and I have >> statistically equivalent capabilities for academic performance and if >> I'm already getting A's or B's but you are getting D's or F's on the >> tests we take together, then in terms of ways of measuring like >> percentage of correct answers or like classifying performance with >> such as letter grades that reflect and preserve the upper limit for >> performance inherent in percentage of correct answers, there's much >> less headroom for possible improvement for me than there is for you. >> >> Now apply this type of reasoning to the measured academic performance >> gap between whites on the one hand and blacks and Hispanics on the >> other hand. Either a person is one of these conservatives who have the >> racist belief that blacks and Hispanics are just not as capable of >> statistically matching whites in academic performance or a person is >> one who accepts the brute arithmetic fact mentioned above, which is >> that any method that works equivalently well for each ethnicity will >> eventually over time result in the gap in question being reduced in >> terms of ways of measuring that reflect and preserve the upper limit >> for performance inherent in percentage of correct answers. >