From the paper:
In the United States, based on a national assessment of adult literacy, African Americans improved their scores more than any other racial/ethnic group in the years between 1992 and 2003. The survey measured three elements of literacy: prose, document, and quantitative literacy – which are reading, synthesizing information from documents and graphs, and basic math.ch are reading, synthesizing information from documents and graphs, and basic math.
There’s an agenda behind most of the White nationalist and race realist arguments about Blacks. It should be no surprise that almost all such folks are conservative to reactionary, and many are out and out libertarians. They nearly all subscribe to the philosophy of minimal government and a free market. Such an agenda always decimates public education, but that’s how they want it. They’re either going to home school, send their kids to private schools, or they’re idiots.
There’s a reason that they continually harp on lower Black IQ’s and fall all over themselves to say that the Black IQ has been flat for 100 years. This means that Blacks are, for all intents and purposes, ineducable. Any money you spend on educating them is money down the rathole since they’re incapable of learning. This is a very convenient argument for moneyed Whites who hate the public schools. If educating Blacks is useless, let’s just quit educating them and cut them off. Think of all those nice White tax dollars you could save.
Marx was right in a sense. Everything isn’t all about economics, but in the modern world, so much of life surely is.
And with the White nationalists and race realists, there’s an ugly economic argument behind all the racist rhetoric: “I don’t want my hard-earned White tax dollars going to educate useless niggers.” This is the thought process underlying a lot of the anti-government movement in the US for the past 30 years. I know. I’ve lived in rightwing White communities all those years, and I know exactly how my people think. The rightwing revolution, from Reagan on, was about a lot of things, but it was so about race.
Above we see that one of their prime arguments is a lie. Turns out Blacks are educable after all. Turns out that they can improve over time, giving the lie to the sly hereditarian assumption that Black achievement will be frozen by genetic constraints.
On the NAEP, Blacks have reduced the gap by about 1/3. You would never know this if you went to a White nationalist site. All they do is rant that there’s been no progress.
Controlling for economic status, Blacks now nearly match Whites on vocabulary. So increasing Black economic status raises Black vocabulary scores dramatically. At the same time, rising White economic status had no effect on scores.
Young Blacks have closed the B-W IQ gap by 5.5 points over 30 years. However, this applies only to Black minors. By age 24, the gain is all lost, and the B-W IQ gap is the same. One thing that is very interesting is that Black 5 year olds have IQ’s of 98 (US White IQ = 103). That’s only 5 points below US White IQ’s. People say it’s because Blacks mature faster, but that seems like a lousy argument. Black kids score about the same as Black adults in Africa.
On the cynical side, I could note that environmental effects are greatest in childhood. As one moves into adulthood, environmental effects diminish, and genetic effects tend to predominate.
However, this data does show that the extremely rich Western environment of the US is dramatically raising the IQ’s of Black children. It is interesting that this gap closing has occurred in the past 30 years, which coincides with Liberation from 1964-on. There may be hope yet.
All this positive news aside, any discussion of B-W achievement gap that does not include talk about IQ is useless. Yet that’s what passes for policy debate in the US.
The gap may never be entirely closable, but surely it can be reduced.