Covidcrats’ war on poor children, quantified

The New York Times has a story on how the coronapanic shutdowns set American K-12 students back (which is the same as killing them, by COVID standards, since people with less education tend to live shorter lives and any shortening of a life can be considered a “COVID death”). Of course, the headline is about the “surprising rebound” (every action taken by a Covidcrat was actually beneficial when viewed in the proper light).

The article has a side note that the recovery in reading ability has been weaker and then proceeds to present charts only on math test scores, where the “rebound” has been stronger. Your kids’ rebound energy may vary, depending on family wealth (like life expectancy, correlated with education). The poor kids were destroyed:

So the poor kids are now likely to have both intensified poverty and intensified ignorance as factors in shortening their lives (plus the Biden-era flood of migrants, who are correlated with unemployment and incarceration for the low-skilled native-born).

The NYT journalists and editors don’t mention what happened in the one state where school closure was limited by the governor to about 3 months: Florida. Digging into their cited data source, characterized as a “national study” and with analysis “led by researchers at Stanford and Harvard”, it appears that Florida was ignored by the academic worthies (maybe anti-Science DeSantis suppressed data?).

Sweden recently showed a decline in PISA scores, suggesting that keeping schools open is just as bad for kids as closing them.

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Intersection of low-skill migration and school closure

Loyal readers are aware of my interests in the effect of low-skill immigration on American society and the passion of government bureaucrats for closing public schools in favor of an online school fraud. These intersected today in the Sanctuary City of New York. “NYC students forced to go remote as city houses nearly 2K migrants displaced by storm at their school” (New York Post):

Students at a Brooklyn high school were kicked out of the classroom to make room for nearly 2,000 migrants who were evacuated from a controversial tent shelter due to a monster storm closed in on the Big Apple.

The city made the move amid concerns that a massive migrant tent at Floyd Bennett Field would collapse from torrential rains and gusting winds — packing them instead into the second-floor gym at James Madison High School five miles away.

“There’s 1,900 people getting thrown into my neighborhood, half a block from where I live and we don’t know who they are,” he said. “They’re not vetted. A lot of them have criminal records and backgrounds and we don’t even know.”

How would Americans “vet” migrants? What do we know about who did what in various foreign countries?

“They told us we had to get everything out by 5 [p.m.],” gym teacher Robyn Levy said outside the school. “They sent us the email at 6 in the morning. I don’t know when we’ll be able to back.

“What I want to know is why here?” Levy said. “Why not send them somewhere where students wouldn’t be disrupted, where students learning wouldn’t be disrupted?”

Why indeed? If there are only 1,900 migrants and the majority of New Yorkers wanted the city to be a sanctuary for the undocumented, why can’t 1,900 spare bedrooms be found among the righteous?

Here’s what used to be a convenient runway…

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White vs. Black in Maskachusetts

From a chat group with some of my friends who are still up in the Boston suburbs:

[9th grader] lost points on a grammar test today because she capitalized Black and also White when referring to groups of people. Her teacher said that only Black should be capitalized, as that is an identity – but white is just a color and doesn’t refer to a cohesive group of people.


My friend wrote a letter to the head of the private school saying they should take down the BLM-logo mural because they endorse the Palestinian attack. After much pressure, she agreed to replace it with a general message of inclusion without the BLM logo. This is what it was replaced with:

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Getting into an elite college via fencing

I was recently sentenced to being a spectator at the USA Fencing October North American Cup, held in Orlando’s convention center (America’s 2nd largest, after Chicago’s). In épée, one scores a point by touching one’s opponent anywhere. The tip of the sword responds to pressure. You could score a point by touching the ground or your own foot, for example. Each competitor’s épée is attached to a retractable wire tether. The competitors go back and forth on a conductive mat. If the sword tip is touched to the mat, that does not register a point (but touching just to the side of the mat, unless the ref notices, will score a point). If you think that your friend has just scored a point, having advanced dramatically with sword pointed at the opponent’s body, almost surely he/she/ze/they has just lost a point.

My friend refuses to accept the limitations of age and was mixing it up with college students. He was thus eliminated after a few hours. His main reason for traveling to Orlando, however, was for the kids, both in high school. The event was packed with Chinese- and Indian-American families anxious to get their cherished offspring into elite universities. What are their chances? “A boy needs to be ranked in the top 20 nationally to get into a decent college,” my friend said, “while a girl can get in by being anywhere in the top 40.” Why the difference? “A lot of colleges have women’s fencing programs, but not men’s. This is so that they can keep their Title IX balance when they have a football team, for example, for which only men are good enough.” He cited Tufts, Brown, and Cornell as examples of schools with no men’s fencing (a larger list). Here’s an excerpt of a federal form:

(Note the gender binarism on parade! Athletes count only if they identify as either “men” or “women”.)

Reflecting the sport’s center of gravity being in the Northeast, USA Fencing went all-in on forced masking and forced vaccination. They formerly required proof of Covid-19 vaccination and then proof of booster shots for the fit teenagers who were competing (at a time when the injections were not FDA-approved, but only emergency use authorized) and also for the middle aged parents who wanted to enter the venue as spectators. Everyone within the venue had to wear a basic mask and competitors had to wear masks under their fencing masks. Coronapanic was great for my friend’s kids. While their competitors lost a year due to fencing clubs being shut down, they were being trained in their 3-car garage by their dad, a world-class fencer in his youth. (Coronapanic also helped their relative academic ranking. Their education continued uninterrupted while comparatively poor kids in big Democrat-run cities lost 12-18 months.)

Despite masks now being optional, I was able to find an example of dressing to defend oneself against a virus armed with a sword:

Note that #Science told this fencer to wear a full beard in addition to the (now-voluntary) mask.

Although everyone at the competition whom I met resided in the U.S., those who were immigrants from foreign countries would usually have a country affiliation other than “USA” on their back, e.g., “MAR” for Morocco (Maroc). Players from The Country That Shall Not Be Named were required to sign papers denouncing Vladimir Putin and the Russian military in order to compete. They would then appear without a country affiliation on their backs.

Circling back to the college admissions angle, think about the parental investment required for this gambit: years of driving to a local fencing club several times per week and weekends devoted to competitions multiple states away. All in hopes that one’s son can reach the Top 20 or that one’s daughter can reach the Top 40. Note that a non-Asian athlete will usually have an advantage over an equally-ranked Asian fencer. Coaches have found that a lot of the pushed-hard-through-high-school Asian kids quit fencing early in their college careers, saying “my parents want me to focus on getting into medical school.” The non-Asians have been more likely to stick with the sport.

How about getting your flu and Covid-19 vaccines at the event? Nothing could have been easier. The event had been going for about 16 hours when I stopped to check. Given a crowd of people with a track record of doing absolutely anything that the government tells them to do, the pair below had injected… two people (one every 8 hours).

What else was happening? I stopped on the way up at Bok Tower Gardens, a truly magnificent

We were staying at the Hilton next to the convention center, so I took my friend, pumped full of Advil, to SeaWorld across the street as a cultural experience.

You can celebrate Pride together with Shamu:

SeaWorld reminds visitors that immigrant lionfish are “disruptive” and the term “non-native” is used in a pejorative manner.

(I’m not sure that it can be blamed on the mass immigration of lionfish, but Interstate 4 between Disney World and Orlando was subject to traffic jams at all hours of the day and night (e.g., at 10 pm). Congested as the roads are with 2.7 million people in the metro area, the population is expected to grow by 75 percent between now and 2060.)

I also took my fencing friend to Disney Springs. The M&M store:

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New York Times explores the low SAT scores of poor children

“New SAT Data Highlights the Deep Inequality at the Heart of American Education” (New York Times, October 22, 2023):

One-third of the children of the very richest families scored a 1300 or higher, while less than 5 percent of middle-class students did, according to the data, from economists at Opportunity Insights, based at Harvard. Relatively few children in the poorest families scored that high; just one in five took the test at all.

The disparity highlights the inequality at the heart of American education: Starting very early, children from rich and poor families receive vastly different educations, in and out of school, driven by differences in the amount of money and time their parents are able to invest. And in the last five decades, as the country has become more unequal by income, the gap in children’s academic achievement, as measured by test scores throughout schooling, has widened.

What are readers supposed to do with this information? SAT scores are correlated with job performance. By highlighting the dismal scores of a subset of Americans on its front page, is the NYT trying to persuade readers to avoid hiring those who grew up in poverty?

The Newspaper of Truth says that helicopter parenting is the sure path to a smart kid:

Parents have embraced what researchers call intensive parenting — the idea that parents should immerse children in constant learning. Half a century ago, rich and poor parents spent about the same amount of time with their children. Now high-income parents spend more one-on-one time with them, doing activities like reading — what Robert Putnam, the political scientist who wrote “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis,” calls “‘Goodnight Moon’ time.”

If true, shouldn’t the SAT scores of children from high-income families be much higher today compared to in the 1970s? The NYT cites no evidence to suggest that “Goodnight Moon” time has helped the privileged brats of today compared to 1970s kids who were left with their toys while moms socialized over gin and tonics, read their own books, had sex with neighbors (“One woman who married at 20 started an affair within a year. ”I think it’s your way of asserting that you can still act independently,” said the woman, now in her mid-30’s.” (NYT 1987)), etc. Also, aren’t the poorest parents the ones who have the most time to spend with kids? Consider what used to be called a “welfare family” whose house, health care, food, smartphone, and broadband are all paid for by taxpayers slaving away at boring jobs. The adults in that family don’t need to suffer the indignity of wage labor in order to keep a roof over their head and food on the table. The NYT does not explain what the jobless poor are doing if not spending time with their children.

One explanation that the NYT does not explore in detail: SAT performance is heritable. If rich parents had high SAT scores and the ability to score well on the SAT is heritable, it would make sense that children of the rich also have high SAT scores. One sentence is devoted to this topic: “Although the heritability of cognitive ability appears to play some role on an individual level, there is also a lot of evidence that environment matters.” There is no explanation for why heritability couldn’t play the same role on a neighborhood or city-wide level. If a neighborhood is packed with low-income parents due to everyone with a higher income having moved out, and employers in our modern economy pay for higher cognitive ability, why wouldn’t the average cognitive ability in the low-income neighborhood be low?

In a study of supernerds, it turned out that a higher SAT math score did correlate with higher income. From Insider:

The chart below compares the top (Q4) and bottom quartile (Q1) of the top 1% of performers on the SAT math section. It shows a significant difference, even among those subsets, in performance later in life (participants were surveyed at around age 33). For example, men in Q4 from one study group earn 13 percent more than those in Q1.

Note that “bottom quartile” was not the “bottom quartile” of all Americans who took the SAT, but of the top 1% supernerds. (identified at age 13).

It is surprisingly tough to find a broad study of how SAT scores from, say, 1990, correlate to 2022 income. But it makes sense that there would be a correlation. People who do well on the SAT are good at sitting at a desk, following instructions, being consistent with procedures, etc. These are exactly the capabilities that many high-paying jobs require. Some high-paying jobs, such as physician, have been explicitly limited to those who score well on standardized tests (though that may change; see “Removing the MCAT Could Improve Diversity in Medicine” (Newsweek 2023)).

Circling back to the NYT article, I find it interesting that the possibility of SAT score being heritable was not considered, even for long enough to dismiss it. Let’s also look at the solution:

The solution, researchers say, is addressing achievement gaps much earlier, through things like universal pre-K, increased funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods, and reduced residential segregation.

It could benefit all parents and students, even wealthier ones. Parenting in highly unequal societies is intense and competitive, driven by fear of the increasing risk that children will be worse off than their parents. Parenting in places with less income inequality and more public investment in families is more playful and relaxed, research shows. When the risk of falling is smaller, a college admissions test becomes less fraught.

The “increased funding for schools in low-income neighborhoods” idea seems inconsistent with a note earlier in the article that the typical state is already spending “more for students in low-income schools”. For example, Baltimore, one of the nation’s worst-performing public school systems, was spending over $17,000 per student in pre-Biden money (Fox), above the state average. Was the money effective? “At 13 Baltimore City high schools, zero students tested proficient on 2023 state math exam” (Fox).

[Note that these per-pupil spending numbers are substantially fraudulent. They don’t count capital costs, which are enormous. When $154 million is spent on a new high school (see ), that isn’t “spending”. Nor is the cost of the real estate considered. Baltimore official spending is up to about 22,000 Bidies per year per student, but it would perhaps be over 30,000 Bidies per year if these off-books costs were folded in. ]

Given that the number of spaces at elite colleges is held fixed while the population expands, I would like to see an explanation for how the rich will “benefit” if their kids are out-competed for elite college admissions by the children of the poor, whose schools have been turbocharged with extra money (on top of the existing extra money mentioned in the article). Why didn’t Asian-Americans realize how much better off they were when Harvard rejected them in favor of non-Asians? (see Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard) Are Jewish families better off now that their kids can’t get into elite schools? (“Harvard has gone from being 25% Jewish in the 1990s and 2000s to under 10% today. … Penn’s Jewish population declined from 26% in 2015 to 17% in 2021”; Tablet)


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Social justice in the Palo Alto high school

A friend sent me this assignment, recently given to students at the public high school in Palo Alto, California:

Let’s focus in on a few…

This is a little confusing. Racism explains why “Black and Latino men” are incarcerated at higher rates than other residents of the U.S. But how can racism explain why men are more likely to be incarcerated than people who identify with the other 73 genders recognized by Science?

What would happen to a student who cited Elizabeth Warren as an example?

This is the one that upsets me. Our house is 3 miles from the climate change-enhanced ocean, yet we are redlined by State Farm and excluded from homeowners insurance.

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Gifted education in public schools: Massachusetts vs. Florida perspectives

As a general rule, whatever is sacred in Massachusetts is illegal in Florida and vice versa. In MA, there is no state funding for gifted programs and the typical town-run public school system has no differentiation until 8th or 9th grade. The idea that children of all abilities go through material at a single level, with some bored and some lost, is sacred. In FL, by contrast, county-run school districts are required by state law to offer gifted education beginning in 2nd grade. Parking an academically-inclined student in a grade-level classroom is actually illegal.

A friend and I were chatting about this while on a walk with his dog in Wellesley, Maskachusetts back during my August trip up and down the East Coast. A neighbor walking her own dog joined the conversation and opined that public schools shouldn’t have gifted education because it tended to result in racial segregation, with Black students left behind, for example.

Where had she attended school? Milton Academy ($64,000/year for day students) and then an Ivy League college. Had she sent her own children to the Wellesley Public Schools where they could receive the benefits of sitting in a classroom with a diversity of academic talent if not a diversity of skin color? No. They also went to Milton Academy and then on to the Ivies.

Has the lack of gifted education in Maskachusetts public schools resulted in racial harmony? Let’s check NBC:

At one point, the teen grabbed a bigger stone, threatened the victim with it and called him “boy” and the N-word, according to the police narrative. …

The victim also wrote in his statement that the other juvenile “started laughing and called me George Floyd, obviously making fun of me and showing NO remorse.”

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If an 86-year-old can be President, can a union boss become a mom at age 60?

“Greene faces pushback after saying Weingarten is ‘not a mother’” (The Hill):

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is facing pushback after suggesting that American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, who’s a stepmother, is “not a mother.”

“The problem is people like you need to admit that you’re just a political activist, not a teacher, not a mother and not a medical doctor,” Greene said.

Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) stepped in with a point of order after Greene’s comments, calling them “unacceptable.” … “You are a mother,” he added to Weingarten. “Thank you for being a great parent.”

The journalists report as a fact that Mx. Weingarten, age 65, is a “stepmother”. Wikipedia says that Mx. Weingarten’s marriage was in 2018, when he/she/ze/they was 60 years old. Mx. Weingarten married Sharon Kleinbaum, at least 58 years old at the time. If we assembled Kentaji Brown Jackson’s panel of biologists, I think they would likely say that Mx. Kleinbaum’s children were fully grown by the time the “rabbi” was 58 (rabbi in quotes because the congregation led by Mx. Kleinbaum is “not affiliated with any denomination or branch of Judaism.”). Thus, we would need a definition of parent as something that did not require “caring for a human under age 18”.

If I were to marry Warren Buffett, for example, would Democrats say that I was a “stepdad” to his 64-year-old youngest son?

Another quote from Greene at the hearing from Yahoo! News:

“I didn’t ask you a question. What I would like to talk about is your recommendations to the CDC, as not a medical doctor, not a biological mother, and really not a teacher, either. So, what you did is you advised the CDC?” Greene said.

My personal efforts in this area haven’t been very successful. When the kids were younger I explained to them that the reason Mindy the Crippler, our golden retriever, was so tightly bonded to me was that I had given birth to her and then nursed her for 8 weeks. They refused to accept my status as a dog mom and cited Mindy’s biological mom, Chaos, as the animal’s only real mother. More recently, I used the “Mother’s Room” at a downtown Boston law firm to change from MIT teaching outfit (jeans and Oshkosh T-shirt) into testifying-at-trial outfit. For this, I was mocked by a couple of female executives from Brazil. I said “This is Massachusetts and it is my right to identify as a mother any time that I want. In fact, I can be more of a mother than either of you will ever be.” Apparently Fox News and MTG are also popular in Brazil because they responded, “You can call yourself whatever you want, but don’t expect us to cooperate.”


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21-day antiracism, inclusion, diversity, and equity challenge at our former public school in Maskachusetts

Email from the K-8 public school in our former suburb of Boston, featuring 2-acre minimum zoning to ensure that nobody with fewer than 3 million Bidies ($2 million in pre-Biden money) can afford to buy a vacant lot and build a house:

We believe that in order to become and maintain being a district and larger community in which AIDE [antiracism, inclusion, diversity, and equity] thrives, members must commit to their ongoing growth in learning and awareness … To complete the challenge, each day pick just ONE piece of content. We’ve included three kinds:

reading (articles, blogs)
listening (podcasts/audio)
watching (video)

… some are explicitly created for White readers and others speak directly to people of color or specific racial groups.

Many organizations across the town and our connected communities will be participating in the challenge and we hope many of you will join, as well.

My favorite part is that each racial group gets its own reading list!

The included link has a helpful chart:

We are informed that racism is a public health emergency (example from Minneapolis; and “Declare Racism a Public Health Emergency” (New York Times)). Yet, according to the above chart, the emergency is not so severe as to preclude a “Pause for February Vacation”. It is okay to sit on the beach in Aruba while daily oppression continues.

The white background indicates that white is the default and/or preferred race? One good thing about our former town is that I’m pretty sure almost everyone there is qualified as an expert on the Day 4 subject: “What is Whiteness?” Also note that the next step after identifying as 2SLGBTQQIA+ is joining the military (days 18 and 19).

Here are the local victimhood experts:

Here are some photos of Aruba (February 12, 2022) getting ready for the February break arrival of the anti-racists:

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Should college applicants have to write essays in a monitored environment?

The college application season is mostly over. My friends whose kids were applying don’t have to edit essays anymore. I wonder if the system could be made more equitable by preventing parents from assisting with essay-writing, either by editing/authoring themselves or hiring a professional writer. If a child has Harvard-educated parents or parents wealthy enough to hire a New Yorker writer, he/she/ze/they has a huge advantage as an essayist compared to a child from a low-income low-education family.

Why not make the essay writing like the SATs? Kids go into a big room after being stripped of electronic devices and use a computer provided by the test administrator to write whatever they want. Rich kids can still get an advantage by acquiring a diagnosis of a learning disability that requires unlimited time, but it won’t be as huge as what they have now.

Maybe this is a dumb question because any kid who wants to get into college can simply check one of the Elizabeth Warren boxes (e.g., “Native American”) and sail through.

Suppose that the applicant turns out to be a great writer? Here’s what he/she/ze/they will find at MIT (as of January 2023):

You don’t think of a science and engineering school as the natural home of accomplished writers? It worked for me. Before I came to MIT, my vocabulary was small. Now it is big.

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