Getting information out there

OD just posted about Richwine’s recent study “The Myth of Racial Disparities in Public School Funding.” Richwine demonstrates that differences in school funding are not the cause of “the gap.”

Nationwide, raw per-pupil spending is similar across racial and ethnic groups. The small differences that do exist favor non-white students. After breaking down the data by region, the non-white funding advantage becomes more pronounced. In the Northeast, for example, blacks receive over $2,000 more than whites in per-pupil funding per year. The region with the smallest differences is the South, where spending on black and Hispanic students is only slightly higher than on whites.

But who really argues that funding is the cause? After all, Jensen debunked that explanation 4 decades ago (Educability and group differences pg. 243-253). Melissa over at Racism Review does:

What this story has finally done is highlight the central cause of racial disparities in test scores and graduation rates – school funding, the one factor that seems to go ignored in much of the debate regarding “what’s wrong with our nation’s schools.” For the last six months, since the release of the Davis Guggenheim’s documentary, Waiting for Superman, TV, radio, and print news have interrogated the reasons for low minority performance. But only very rarely, have the ways in which we fund our nation’s schools mentioned. Instead, blame is usually placed on the usual suspects, those with the least power within the system – teachers , parents, and the children themselves. The racist school system, the one that has consigned minority students to inferior education… Exposing the Real Guilty Party: School Funding and Racial Disparities, Feb 12, 2011.

But so what? Now people know better. No they don’t. They don’t because the information is not well disseminated. And, more importantly, the information has not been forcefully disseminated. As a result, (white) people, even when they are aware of the facts, are prone to fall for clamshell games:

Still, some analysts now argue that education funding is not equitable unless far more money is spent on minority students compared to white students. Indeed, a 1998 NCES report used a student-needs adjustment that made school funding “equitable” only if poor students (usually defined as qualifying for free or reduced-fee lunch) received 20 percent more per-pupil funding than non-poor students.[19]

The justification is that poor and minority students face greater socioeconomic problems outside the classroom, necessitating greater education spending as a kind of remediation. This revised view of school funding is very different from the one espoused by the NAACP, Kozol, and others quoted earlier. The original argument made by equalization advocates identified the alleged disparity in school funding as the cause of lower minority achievement. Under the revised view, the cause must be problems outside the classroom, and spending is considered equitable only if it is high enough to remediate those problems.

People do not think logically. They have a live belief imprinted in their heads — “The Racial disparity is caused by funding” — it’s alive even if they have been superficially convinced otherwise. It’s because they have this belief, on some level, that they can be convinced to do what would only make sense if they had this belief. People don’t think “if A then B, not A, then not B.” They have A as an schema in their head. B still follows if A has logically been shown to be false even if they agree with the logic. After all, A still exists subliminally. A needs to be demolished and replaced with Z. This can only be done by submitting (white) people to an unrelenting barrage of facts (to counter the myths propagated by our Leftist, socialist, antirace-ist friends).

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2 Responses to Getting information out there

  1. Kiwiguy says:

    I think you’ve linked Melissa’s article in place of Richwine article.

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