Updated Race-SAT-SES graph

[Note: refer to SES and the gap: It’s worse than that for new and better looking graphs.]

[Note: the number found in the JBHE don’t add up, but the trend across SES is correct; I’ll try to find better data when I get a chance]

In The Likelihood of Genetic Group Differences in IQ: The Black White Gap in IQ, Liberal Biorealist posted the classic 1995 group SAT differences across SES graph. Richard Spencer recently used that rather dated graph in his Costs of Diversity presentation. I decided to make a more up to date version. By eyeballing the original, you can see that the difference across SES is approximatly the same as it was in 95′ (1).

Data Source: Why Family Income Differences Don’t Explain the Racial Gap in SAT Scores. In: The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education; Winter 2008/2009; 62; Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW), pg. 10. According to College Board, the 2008 pooled SD = ~100.

What’s interesting is the % of College bound students. Constant from 1998, African Americans make up 12% of the college bound population, while the white (European + Middle Eastern + Jewish + North African) population made of 60%, down from 67%. This suggests an across the board discrimination against European Americans as a result of discrimination for African Americans (and Hispanics), similar to what Espenshade and Radford found for private colleges. This just shows that if you’re not going to fight for your piece of the your pie, someone else will take it.


(1) As noted in the JBHE:

In 1976 The College Board published an analysis of the racial differences in scores on what was then called the Scholastic Aptitude Test. At that time the average black score was about 240 points, or 20 percent, below the average white score. By the early 1980s, the gap had shrunk to 200 points. Black scores were then 17 percent lower than the scores of whites. By 1988 the black-white SAT test scoring gap was down to 189 points [I am calculating 198 (.87 SD)– not sure why]. The trend was distinctly encouraging. Many specialists in the educational community predicted that in time the racial scoring gap between blacks and whites would disappear altogether.

But after 1988, progress in closing the SAT gap stopped abruptly and later it began to open up. In both 2006 and 2007 the racial gap in SAT scores actually declined by a slight, almost insignificant margin. But this year the news is very discouraging. The 189-point racial scoring gap that prevailed in 1988 has now grown to 209 points. This is the largest racial scoring gap in 20 years. On a percentage basis the scoring gap has grown from 15.7 percent to 17.4 percent. These are the most unfortunate and persisting statistics that best tell the story of how deep the academic achievement gulf is between African Americans and the rest of the American population. Source: The Racial Scoring Gap on the SAT College Admission Test Is Now Wider Than It Has Been in 20 Years Anonymous. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. New York: Autumn 2008. , Iss. 61; pg. 74.

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7 Responses to Updated Race-SAT-SES graph

  1. Asian of Reason "Frank Kim" says:

    How did you come to the conclusion that “European Americans” are discriminated against by virtue of African-Americans and Hispanics being discriminated for? While this may be true to some degree, Asians stand to gain the most from a non-discriminatory admissions. Furthermore, I don’t think universities make the distinction between “white” and “jew”. “European Americans” are often the beneficiaries of the the other types of affirmative actions, legacy and athletics. Epsenshade’s study shows that if affirmative action were abolished Asians would take 4 out of 5 spots vacated by NAM.

  2. Chuck says:

    What’s my logic? Well imagine if every group had quotas — in 2008, we would have (1): a White quota at 65% (you know, the founder people), a Black quota at 12%, an Asian quota at 5%, a Hispanic quota at 15% (in 2008), an American Indian quota at 1%. And an other Quota at 2%. Adds up to 100%, But that’s not what we have, we have an extra 6% Asians (US or otherwise). Well, out of who’s quota did that extra 6% come from? It didn’t come from Blacks, even though the average scores 1.25 SD below whites. It didn’t come from Hispanic — they’re only 1% shy of their “quotas” even though half just immigrated here. It came from whites = (European + Middle Eastern + Jewish + North African). Hence my point. By virtue of positive discrimination for Black and Hispanics (i.e quotas), given Asian competition (national and international), European Americans are indirectly discriminated against.

  3. Asian of Reason "Frank Kim" says:

    I don’t imagine that every group has quotas. That’s not a fair way of looking at it. You are assuming that every group should have equal representation, which would not be the case in a meritocracy, as I am sure you are aware. No discrimination=Less NAMS, some more whites, and a lot more Asians. In fact it could be argued that whites are positively discriminated for when compared to Asians, the statistics bear that out.

    It seems like you are framing this argument in such a way because of ethnocentrism, instead of on sound statistical analysis. The only that your argument makes sense is if there was also a quota for whites, which would then of course, lead to discrimination against Asians.

    On a side note, if it makes any difference to you, the Hispanics at my University are, by far and away, overwhelmingly white.

  4. Asian of Reason "Frank Kim" says:

    By the way, thanks for making that new chart. I’ve been looking for one.

  5. Chuck says:

    I know — I remember you saying that. I put a link to the data points — if you want to make a spiffier graph. But I decided that JBHE is not trustworthy for data. After all, they report % difference in their discussions, not SD — But percent is not particularly meaningful. An a side note, I didn’t realize that Wiki had a section on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achievement_gap_in_the_United_

    Hey, if you don’t mind, could you read over my Idiot’s guide to the Hereditarian Hypothesis and give some feedback. I have to finish it up.

  6. Asian of Reason "Frank Kim" says:

    Sure. Asianofreason@gmail.com. Your blog is scientific, unlike mine. I like it. But I still don’t understand your argument for “across the board discrimination” against whites unless it is assumed that whites have a right to 65% of the slots at elite universities. You put emphasis on the idea that whites are “the founder people” which seems to suggest that you believe whites deserve slots at universities because of this fact. If that’s what you believe to be just, then say it. No need to hide behind the shade of “across the board discrimination against European Americans”. If anything, there is across the board discrimination against Asians. Whether or not concentrations of Asians at around 40% at the majority of top universities is a good thing is certainly up for debate (see Mcleans), but that is what would happen, given a just meritocratic admissions system.

    • Chuck says:

      “But I still don’t understand your argument for “across the board discrimination” against whites unless it is assumed that whites have a right to 65% of the slots at elite universities”.

      1. I meant the 65%, etc as a thought experiment: based on population alone (and excluding foreign applicants) those are the proportions of attendees that we would expect. I then noted that this is not what we find. Next, I made an inference as to the reason for the discrepancy — that, because there are NAM quotas — i.e the expected NAM shares are fixed, over competitive Asians consume the White share — instead of just consuming the NAM share. I am of course making an assumption here: that Asians would consume the NAM share INSTEAD of part of the white share, as opposed to consuming the NAM share AND the white share. This assumptions is subject to investigation. As I noted in my reply above, it’s not supported by Chung’s analysis of elite attendees.

      2. When it comes to college preferences, I am a nationalists not a globalist. That is, I think US citizen applicants (Black, Asian, Hispanic, White) should get preferential treatment to foreign applicants. I do not see discriminating against non-nationals as a bad thing. As such, given that a large portion of Asian applicants are non-American, I think it’s relevant to consider nationality when it comes to discussions of anti-Asian discrimination. Generally, I take legacy and athletics as a proxy for nationality — so I tend to discount the “legacy + athletics” arguments. [If you could show me research that (second generation) Asian-Americans are less likely to qualify for athletic advantages or that the % of Asians who qualify for legacy advantage is less than the % of Asian Americans — I might change my mind on this.]

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