Saturday, October 31, 2009

Losing Ground: Hispanic children fall behind their peers quickly, a study finds

All the studies show that Hispanic illegals and their offspring have markedly lower average IQ scores than the white average. My orientation in psychometric research has however always been great caution about the validity of any tests used and I initially felt that the remarkable success of ancient Central Americans in building rather advanced civilizations despite being cut off from the major source of human progress (the Eurasian continent) implied a higher IQ for their descendants than the tests showed.

That is however a fairly arguable proposition and the findings reported below have changed my mind. I think that the findings below confirm what the IQ tests say. The results below show what I very "incorrectly" call the "chimpanzee effect". A month old chimpanzee is much smarter and more capable than a human infant of the same age but the human does of course far surpass the chimp eventually. In other words, low IQ is less evident in the early years and most evident in adulthood. We find a similar effect in blacks. Average black IQ is closer to average white IQ in childhood than in adulthood. Beyond the early teens, black IQ stops rising but white IQ does not. White IQ peaks at about age 16.

And what is reported below is precisely another example of the chimpanzee effect: Intellectual achievement gap smallest in early childhood but rapidly increasing with age. I must stress that I am NOT saying that either blacks or Hispanics are similar to chimpanzees. ALL human beings of any race are much smarter than chimps. I am just using chimps as a vivid demonstration of what seems a general truth: That real gaps in intellectual ability become evident later rather than sooner -- and the Hispanic developmental pattern is exactly what we expect of an average IQ that is indeed lower

A forthcoming study on Hispanic children’s cognitive skills underlines the challenges the country faces in aspiring to close the achievement gap between these children and their white and Asian counterparts. Hispanic “children fall behind their peers in mental development by the time they reach grade school, and the gap tends to widen as they get older,” reports the New York Times. “The drop-off in the cognitive scores of Hispanic toddlers, especially those from Mexican backgrounds, was steeper than for other [low-income] groups and could not be explained by economic status alone. . . . From 24 to 36 months, the Hispanic children fell about six months behind their white peers on measures like word comprehension, more complex speech and working with their mothers on simple tasks.”

This new study, from the University of California–Berkeley, may be unusually blunt in its assessment of Hispanic cognitive development, but it is hardly unprecedented. A 2004 study by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office found a similar decline in Hispanic students’ ability to keep up with their peers in learning English. Children from Mandarin- and Spanish-speaking households begin kindergarten with similar levels of English proficiency, but their paths quickly diverge. The Mandarin-speaking students make continuing progress in mastering English, while the Hispanic students’ advance stalls out in the second and third grades as the demands of California’s English-proficiency test grow more difficult. Mandarin kindergartners establish oral skills in English in one year, the legislative analyst found, and by the beginning of second grade, they have begun developing a mastery of reading and writing, unlike Hispanics. The widening English-proficiency gap between Asian and Hispanic students may reflect parental willingness to expose children to English at home, but the gap occurs in math as well.

This summer in Southern California, I observed Hispanic students who had been taught in English throughout their school careers, yet who possessed very weak formal language ability. An in-class reading assignment at Locke High School in Watts asked students to answer the question: “Why is it important to use all your skills during your teen years?” A ninth-grader wrote in response: “To make it better.” Another question, “What sudden insight came to the engineer?” elicited the answer: “How to put the little mirrors.” While diagnosing the student-written sentence, “The pigs squealed loudly because the’re [sic] bored at the barn,” a high-school English teacher in Santa Ana asked his class: “Why does the dependent clause need to be in the past tense?” A student answered: “Because you’re talking about a lot of people.”

The Berkeley researchers speculate that the early decline in Hispanic students’ language and reasoning skills may reflect inadequate maternal stimulation in the home. And indeed, a Santa Ana elementary-school principal recounted to me her largely unsuccessful efforts to get parents to teach their children such basic kindergarten-survival tools as cutting with scissors and the words for colors. “Kids come in not knowing the alphabet in Spanish or the sounds of Spanish,” she said. “They use three-word sentences; they come in without oral-language ability.”

The Berkeley study will inevitably be used to buttress the Obama administration’s plans to pour billions of federal taxpayer dollars into early-education programs. As a matter of education policy, such efforts represent wishful thinking. Head Start has been repeatedly shown to have no lasting effect on students’ academic performance. Even the most successful and lavishly-funded of such early-intervention programs — the iconic Perry Preschool Project from the early 1960s in Ypsilanti, Mich. — explained only 3 percent of the earnings of its participants at age 40, and about 4 percent of their educational-attainment levels, wrote John J. Miller in NR in 2007. Replicating the Perry Project’s services on a national scale for Hispanic children would be extraordinarily expensive and produce only modest results. Many children who receive early intervention provide inferior intellectual stimulation for their own children, whether for innate cognitive or for cultural reasons.

But the more interesting implications of the study and others like it are for immigration policy. Our de facto immigration policy is currently weighted to a population that appears to require massive additional government education spending — even before formal schooling begins — to be made academically competitive. This choice would not seem to be economically rational, at least so long as we aspire to universal college-going. If the country remains committed to sending a far greater number of students to college, as even many conservatives continue to be, we better get ourselves a different mix of immigrants if we don’t want to bankrupt our education budgets. Alternatively, if the open-borders lobby prevails and Latin American migration continues to dominate our immigration flows, it’s time to acknowledge that many students never will be college material, nor do they need to be to lead productive, fulfilling lives.



Vincent Luebeck

What would you think of a man who went around the place singing to himself snatches from a cantata written by an obscure 17th century German composer? You would probably think him quite mad but in your kinder moments you might say: "An eccentric; probably an academic". I am that person and I am a born academic (I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation in 6 weeks; some people take that many years) so I hope I can be excused. The words that are stuck in my head at the moment are: "Und deine Fusstapfen triefen von Fett". I must have sung them to myself a hundred times in the last few days. The words are so crazy that I dare not translate them but they are in fact a quotation from the Psalms. What makes them good is the music that Vincent Luebeck has set to them.

All of which comes about because I have been playing lately one of my favourite cantatas: Gott wie dein Name by Vincent Luebeck. Luebeck was 11 years older than J.S. Bach and more famous than Bach in his day. And at his best Luebeck is as good as Bach. And I mention all that because I have just discovered that people have begun to put up some Luebeck works on YouTube. A good example below for those who like that sort of thing:

Note the extensive use of pedals. Pedals usually access the largest pipes.


More on the hidden man


Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but none remembered him.

Wayne Allyn Root was, like Obama, a political science major at Columbia who also graduated in 1983. In 2008, Root says of Obama, "I don't know a single person at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me.

I don't have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia. Ever! Nobody recalls him. I'm not exaggerating, I'm not kidding." Root adds that he was also, like Obama, "Class of '83 political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that. Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him. At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me.

No one ever heard of Barack! And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him. Is that not strange?

It's very strange." Obama's photograph does not appear in the school's yearbook and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia, provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or friends while at Columbia.

NOTE: Root graduated as Valedictorian from his high school, Thornton-Donovan School, then graduated from Columbia University in 1983 as a Political Science major (in the same class as President Barack Obama WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN IN).

SOURCE. See also here for more. The story seems odd even for Mr. Coverup but, although the story first aired in 2008, I cannot find anywhere that have attacked it in their usual way, although it is mentioned on one of their discussion threads. There seems no doubt that Root did say what is reported above. So it looks to me that Snopes have been unable to find anyone who remembers differently.


Too important not to criticize

Among the most pathetic letters and e-mails I receive are those from people who ask why I don't write more "positively" about Obama or "give him the benefit of the doubt."

No one-- not even the President of the United States-- has an entitlement to a "positive" response to his actions. The entitlement mentality has eroded the once common belief that you earned things, including respect, instead of being given them.

As for the benefit of the doubt, no one-- especially not the President of the United States-- is entitled to that, when his actions can jeopardize the rights of 300 million Americans domestically and the security of the nation in an international jungle, where nuclear weapons may soon be in the hands of people with suicidal fanaticism. Will it take a mushroom cloud over an American city to make that clear? Was 9/11 not enough?

When a President of the United States has begun the process of dismantling America from within, and exposing us to dangerous enemies outside, the time is long past for being concerned about his public image. He has his own press agents for that.

Internationally, Barack Obama has made every mistake that was made by the Western democracies in the 1930s, mistakes that put Hitler in a position to start World War II-- and come dangerously close to winning it.

At the heart of those mistakes was trying to mollify your enemies by throwing your friends to the wolves. The Obama administration has already done that by reneging on this country's commitment to put a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe and by its lackadaisical foot-dragging on doing anything serious to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. That means, for all practical purposes, throwing Israel to the wolves as well.

Countries around the world that have to look out for their own national survival, above all, are not going to ignore how much Obama has downgraded the reliability of America's commitments.

Iraq, for example, knows that Iran is going to be next door forever while Americans may be gone in a few years. South Korea likewise knows that North Korea is permanently next door but who knows when the Obama administration will get a bright idea to pull out? Countries in South America know that Hugo Chavez is allying Venezuela with Iran. Dare they ally themselves with an unreliable U.S.A.? Or should they join our enemies to work against us? This issue is too serious for squeamish silence.

More here



Report: Feds overstated jobs created under stimulus: "A Colorado company said it created 4,231 jobs with the help of President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan. The real number: fewer than 1,000. A child-care center in Florida said it saved 129 jobs with the help of stimulus money. Instead, it gave pay raises to its existing employees. Elsewhere in the U.S., some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times. The government has overstated by thousands the number of jobs it has created or saved with federal contracts under the president’s $787 billion recovery program, according to an Associated Press review of data released in the program’s first progress report.”

Russians to ride nuke spaceship to Mars: "A nuclear-powered spaceship that can carry passengers to Mars and beyond may sound like science fiction. But Russian engineers say they have a breakthrough design for such a craft, which could leapfrog them way ahead in the international race to build a manned spacecraft that can cover vast interplanetary distances. They claim they’ll be ready to build one as early as 2012. In a meeting with top Russian space scientists Wednesday, President Dmitry Medvedev gave the nuke-powered spacecraft a green light and pledged to come up with the cash to cover its $600-million price tag.”

It’s not just marijuana — DEA is at war with other medicines too: "Our efforts to control the lives of people who take drugs for fun have led us to destroy the lives of people who take drugs for serious medical conditions. The harsh reality here is that the best medicines often become popular with people they weren’t intended for. That’s going to happen no matter what you do. But if every effective pain reliever is overly restricted, then the medicine’s primary purpose of relieving pain can never be achieved. The drug war has gone blind even to the most basic functions that drugs are supposed to serve in our society.”

SC: Pols celebrate success of Boeing welfare scam: "The landing was delayed, but Boeing has arrived in South Carolina and is bringing along 3,800 jobs to build its new, state-of-the-art jet. Jilting its longtime Washington state manufacturing base, the Chicago-based airplane maker said Wednesday it will build its second 787 Dreamliner assembly line in North Charleston. … The General Assembly … approved a massive tax incentive package, part of a host of promises made to Boeing since the company first discussed the possibility of locating in South Carolina in August. The package would eliminate income and other taxes for the company for a decade and provide low-interest construction bonds.”

Britain: Stop outlawing jobs: "The Trade Union Congress (TUC) is calling for the UK national minimum wage to be increased to £6 an hour from October 2010. In Scotland a government committee suggests the public naming and shaming and an increase in fines for employers who break the minimum wage. While in Jersey the Employment Forum has outlined plans to increase the minimum wage to £6.20. The sound of breaking windows fills the British Isles. The timing of this is awful — not [that] there ever is a good time to outlaw jobs — but with unemployment set to continue to rise into next year, those at the margins will of course be adversely affected by restrictions on employer and employee.”


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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