Black Students, Poor Choices

From the article:
Twelve-year-old Alex Carter is an A student who loves science and reads a book a week. So it surprised his father when he announced last year that he didn't want to enroll in an honors class that his teacher recommended for the following term."That class is for the smart people, the nerds," Alex told him.

In affluent Loudoun, known for its strong schools, black students consistently lag behind their white classmates on standardized tests. Last year, 63 percent of black eighth-graders in the county passed the state math test; 62 percent passed in English. White students' pass rate for both subjects was 89 percent. At Eagle Ridge, where 8 percent of students are black, the gaps were similar. Many parents in the group have college degrees and can afford such activities as summer camp and tutoring, two indicators that researchers have linked to higher achievement.

"We know there is an achievement gap in the county, in the state, in the country," said Gabrielle Carpenter. Her goal is to make sure their sons aren't part of it.


But even with their advantages, these parents say they worry about the images of African American men that their sons absorb from popular media. Carter said he started noticing his son and his friends strutting, letting their pants sag and picking up slang. He became troubled when they started doubting their abilities in advanced math and science. Carpenter said she understands that her son now cares most about his friends and being cool.


uptownseteve said...

How come I never see this Paul?

Why are most of the children in my neighborhood or my friends children trying their best, striving for excellence (at their parent's insistence).

Most parents, like my wife and i, are paying for weekend tutors so our children will be ahead of the curve.

This is white media racism at it's ugliest.

Attempting to smear even the black middle class who achieved despite America's pesistent racism.

Paul Hue said...

I don't know why you don't see this. Maybe the black parents in this article are lying, deluded, or invented by evil racist reporters and editors. I see this phenomenon, though, in our Ben Carson Scholars program (100% black kids, about half from affluent "jack and jill" parents), and amongst my many affluent friends who are black. I don't know many honkies, so I don't know from personal experience if the phenomenon is worse or better among white kids, but the statistics show it is less bad.

You should write a letter to the editor: "There is no black-white education achievement gap! Despite persistent anti-black racism in the US, the huge fraction of black folks living in affluence have kids whose average education achievement is identical to that of whites, and that of whites is identical to that of Asians. All these groups have identical average SAT scores in entering classes at elite schools, identical graduation rates, identical GPAs, and identical representation in all university majors (the same fraction of blacks, Asians, and whites major in French, Education, Business, Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Nursing, and Linguistics)."

uptownseteve said...

Every place I've ever been in my life....

high school, college, military, government, corporate America....

when everyone starts from the same place blacks always do as well if not better than whites.

uptownseteve said...

From the article:

"Middle-class African Americans are still very influenced by the stereotypes that black kids are not academically oriented," said Pedro A. Noguera, a professor of sociology at New York University who studies achievement gaps."


The black children at my son's school which is 40% black 40% white, 10% Asian, 10% hispanic, are doing as well as the other groups and Heather Hills is one of the top elementary schools in the county.

Paul Hue said...

Steve: My life experience matches yours. I have also seen that whites, blacks, and Asians who make the same choices receive the same success. I have been in many situations where all the black folks exhibited such behavior, and all were very successful. In my corporate experiences for sure, although blacks comprise a small fraction, they work just as hard on average as any other group, and exhibit the same levels of skills, no doubt about it.

I do not doubt that at some "mixed" schools the blacks make the same choices as the other groups and therefore of course obtain the identical levels of success. However, I also have seen many reports -- such as this one -- where black kids are making remarkably different choices, and those choices are leading to lower levels of achievement. Are the black parents in this article lying? Or are they invented fictions of the author?

Paul Hue said...

Steve: I don't understand your rail against "stereotypes". The person introducing this concept into the discussion is offering it as a reason for why black students in this situation are under-achieving with respect to members of other groups. You can hate stereotyping all that you want (accurate stereotyping, though, warrants no hatred), and you can even extract it from this discussion, but that has no bearing at all on the issue raised of blacks at this school -- according to their own parents -- making lower value choices (on average) and receiving the expected lower achievements.

The article also reveals that the organized parents have managed to get their kids to reverse their choices... and as a result elevate their performances.

Paul Hue said...

Steve: You have created a STEREOTYPE of the black kids at your school. They are very studious, well-mannered, and respond positively to structured authority. This is an accurate stereotype, but a stereotype none-the-less.

uptownseteve said...

"Are the black parents in this article lying? Or are they invented fictions of the author?"

I didn't see where the parents said their children were underperforming.

The creation of the group was a preventative measure against underperformance.

The same reason why I have a math tutor come in every Saturday morning for my 10 year old.

uptownseteve said...

IT IS NOT A STEREOTYPE but an accurate description of the kids in my neighborhood.

A STEREOTYPE is your description of black children as typically being anti-academic, lazy and unmotivated.

I explained this to you before.

Paul Hue said...

Read the article again. The quoted parents are black, and they are *NOT* responding to the *POSSIBILITY* of under achievement, but to the occurrence of it. They did not form their group as a preventative, but rather as remedial action. Did you read that the parent revealed the before and after stats for high and low grades? Just one example from the article of black parents worrying about actual under-achieving of their kids.

uptownseteve said...


"As they clicked off agenda items, they passed around spreadsheets that plotted their sons' academic progress. They noted that the number of A's the boys earned rose from 30 in the spring to 37 in the fall, while the C's decreased from 10 to three."

This is hardly "remedial" Hue.

These were already high achieveing kids who've only gotten stronger.

Paul Hue said...

That's the definition of remedial; they were worried about not enough A's and too many C's. They took action reversed the situation.

Paul Hue said...


Even students at HBCUs say that they feel pressure to behave like idiots.