Today's Politicos vs The Words and Deeds of The Founders
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Teach Your Children Well …

In the September issue, Commentary Magazine published Wilfred Reilly’s review of Charles Murray’s new book, Facing Reality. It is a critical but fair assessment of Murray’s contention that racial differences account for differences in cognitive ability and crime rates.  Not systemic racism as the education establishment and the Biden Administration claim. Reilly does an excellent job of refuting both conclusions.   

Charles Murray is likely wrong about the causes and extent of the phenomena he documents, but he is correct about their implications.  …. the basic validity of the point that having a low SAT score or a felony record influences life outcomes more than vague modern racism cannot be denied by honest debaters.

It is not within the purview of this essay to examine Murray’s views on crime rates and genetics. This essay pertains only to cognitive ability.

Murray estimates the current average IQ of blacks (whom he calls Africans) at 91, 94 for Latinos, 103 for whites (whom he defines as Europeans), and 108 for Asians. Reilly points out that defining whites as Europeans excludes all Caucasian Hispanics, Arabs and so on. In so doing, Murray reduces the estimate of the current percentage of white people in America from around 74 to just 60 percent. Reilly observes “most estimates of current or recent-past whites I.Q is 100 and If we assume that estimate is correct than the current black-white gap in tested IQ would be, at most, 9 to 10 points lower.”     

He notes also that “while black IQ is still a bit below white IQ, but it is also 6-7 points higher than the black IQ Murray himself reported in The Bell Curve in the early 1990’s – and up to 14 points higher than the black IQ he and other social scientists recognized as having existed in 1960. There is no genetic mechanism that can explain a single racial or ethnic group gaining roughly 15 IQ points in fewer than 60 sixty years.

However, according to Reilly, there is a non-genetic mechanism by which it could have occurred. “Again, quantitative social scientists have empirically demonstrated that cultural variables such as study culture, family structure and stability, and even diet are highly predicative of the performance of different groups. From this perspective, it is not particularly surprising that black Americans posted gains in IQ after being freed from the shackles of segregation, and after integrating mainstream public schools and dramatically increasing mean personal income. Similar transitions have been quite common historically. Thomas Sowell notes in his magisterial Race and Culture that the IQ of Poles/Polish Jews in the U. S. rose from 91 to 109 during the handful of decades in the mid-20th century.

“Indeed, if I may speculate, culture and training also probably explain why the black IQ remains as low as it is.” He cites “an out–of-wedlock birthrate of 72 percent in the community and the teaching of woke gibberish in most urban public schools. The very influences that produced the increases in black IQ since the 1960s, stable homes; study culture and improved incomes are among the factors that “woke” education seeks to obliterate or ignore.”      

To elaborate on Reilly’s point for anyone who missed the October 2021 video of a school board meeting at which an appalled parent read aloud from highly sexualized reading material that emphasizes sex over commitment. These materials undermine both responsible juvenile behavior and stable family life to the detriment of students and their families.

According to “woke” teaching, black students at every level are warned that diligent study habits, grammatically correct speech, or even common politeness toward anyone who lacks sufficient skin pigmentation are examples of white oppression. The very concept of merit is perceived as part of a “racist” plot to impose “white” culture on designated minorities. The “equity” so often advanced in today’s classrooms has nothing to do with improving the education of minority students. It means eliminating (or simplifying) math courses, more lenient grading standards for students of color.and denigrating white students as oppressors.   

The education establishment, which has long vilified standardized testing, now uses the Covid-19 lock down to justify suspending or eliminating testing altogether to “level the playing field.” The “No Child Left Behind Act,” instituted in 2001 by the Bush administration, sought to “close the achievement gap” with federally mandated tests and annual targets. Instead a “race to the bottom“ ensued. The term describes how states lowered standards to allow more students to pass the tests.  

The dirty little secret is that tests have been made easier in most states every year. There are a variety of ways to accomplish that. For example, state standards can remain pristine but test questions do not necessarily reflect all of them. Teaching to the tests, eliminating or bending timing requirements for some students are among the possibilities. Never underestimate the ability of the education establishment to fudge results.  

Given the constant mantra that spending more on schools will improve outcomes, public education, unions and other “stake-holders,” are not eager for the public to find out otherwise. “Woke” is the perfect solution.

Teacher Unions, among the biggest Democrat Party donors, if not the biggest, have an unprecedented opportunity to keep the con going, thanks to the ideology driven Biden Administration.  Party coffers grow fat and large federal appropriations do the same for the public school empire. Never mind that spending keeps going up and scores keep descending. “Woke” works for everyone but students.

When parents got a look at what their children were not learning, thanks to the on-line-learning debacle, they found Critical Race Theory (CRT} posing as education.  

Public education, with some exceptions, is a national con game. Colleges of education are money machines for universities. They see no benefit in raising   standards or changing high on methodology and ideology and low-on-content courses. How much American history or world history do teachers learn? Unless it is black history or women’s history, the answer is not much.

Promoting the latest ideological fads over content will not help students compete for jobs or become engineers and entrepreneurs. At this point, most critics of the status quo would hasten to add that there are good, caring teachers. And so there are, or were, but many left public education when the madness began and many others are leaving to avoid vaccine mandates. 

On Oct 14, 2021, The National Assessment of Educational Progress Report cited the “declining quality of public education” especially in low-income urban schools.  “Even before the pandemic upended schools, test scores in both reading and math declined for 13-year-old students, the first drop registered in a half century in testing meant to measure student proficiency over time.” (The tests were administered in the 2019-2020 school year, before the pandemic closed schools). 

The NAEP Report revealed that scores have fallen for black and Hispanic students since 2012 and remained flat for White children, widening the racial achievement gap. The results add to the evidence that American schools are not just failing many students, but that the “problem is actually getting worse.”

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona responded to these dismal findings by saying that he “hopes that U.S. schools will not just return to their old ways post-pandemic but that they will create stronger systems to help all learners.”  Yet, he has voiced no fault with CRT or relaxed grading standards for students of color.   

The NAEP report also helps to explain why black IQ is as low as it is. “Woke” educators deride the whole idea of merit as “racist.’ The current emphasis on “equity” clearly does not mean closing the achievement gap by improving instruction for struggling students. It means hiding the disparities.

Murray’s emphasis on genetics is a flawed effort to explain why black scores fall behind.  By contrast, driving “woke’ teaching is the assumption that blacks are incapable of competing because America is racist and the cards are stacked. Tell that to Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson, former Diplomat Condoleezza Rice, Historian Shelby Steele, Economists Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and many more. By their own testimony, all of these high achievers overcame the racism of their youth to become American leaders.       

To pretend that nothing has changed in America since then is to ignore both experience and commonsense. It is worse than that. Slave masters would not permit black children to attend school. Today’s” enlightened” overseers denigrate the vary factors that produced the unprecedented 14 point rise in Black IQ since 1960. Black parents, like most parents, want their children to become successful adults. It is why they are among the most outspoken opponents of the nonsense that poses as education.

Could it possibly be that persuading designated minority children that they are victims of white oppressors, has nothing to do with education, but a great deal to do with politics? Most grown-ups understand that self-sufficient adults possess certain skills and that those who lack them must depend upon government handouts. Which is to say they become life-long Democrats.


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