“Money, Race and Success: How Your School District Compares” was presumably written in the same do-gooder spirit that permeates most of the New York Times. But consider the practical take-away of information such as the following:
We’ve long known of the persistent and troublesome academic gap between white students and their black and Hispanic peers in public schools.
Children in the school districts with the highest concentrations of poverty score an average of more than four grade levels below children in the richest districts.
Even more sobering, the analysis shows that the largest gaps between white children and their minority classmates emerge in some of the wealthiest communities, such as Berkeley, Calif.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; and Evanston, Ill.
In some communities where both blacks and whites or Hispanics and whites came from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, academic gaps persisted. Mr. Reardon said that educators in these schools may subliminally – or consciously in some cases – track white students into gifted courses while assigning black and Hispanic students to less rigorous courses.
Consider an employer with a stack of 1000 resumes of applicants for a job. Given the above tips from the New York Times, she can cut her workload considerably without a significant risk of overlooking a great candidate. She tells her assistant “Take the resumes from people who went to school in poorer-than-average neighborhoods and toss them into recycling.” If the stack is still daunting, she adds “The Times says that blacks and Hispanics don’t do well academically so toss any resume that you think is from a black or Hispanic person.”
Given the resistance of America’s public school systems (see “Smartest Kids in the World Review”) to any kind of change, what could the Times editors have been thinking the positive effects of running this article were going to be? What if Donald Trump came out with a long statement about the academic performance of Americans sorted by skin color? Would the Times celebrate Trump as making a thoughtful helpful contribution?