I've been sparse on the posting, thanks to holiday-related fatigue, but this is the sort of thing that interests me about "mainstream" conservative figures like Pat Buchanan--they really are just thisclose to the fringe. Now, this is a snippet of the context Buchanan put Steven Sailer's work into:
(Sorry--that's a Townhall link. But it was already Pat Buchanan, so what do you want from me?)
The study itself is just looking for nationality/performance correllation--which I think we can critically admit has a problem right at the outset. Corellation is not causation--low performance of any particular group on something like reading scores, or IQ tests, is not an innate problem pertaining to that group, but just an incidental factor that might arise out of many contributing causes (socio-ecomonics, access to educational materials, parental influences, likelihood that education is profitable to individuals in a given culture and place). And the study in question doesn't seem to have a valid criteria for cancelling out all those, since it is, after all, looking for the race-based something-or-other it's looking for.
Does the respected pundit critique said study on it's relative merits? No, because that would be work. It confirms a bias (which was all it ever meant to do) and so he can at once extrapolate that our current expenditure in education as a nation here in the US "is not an abject failure", but also suppose that:
Weissberg contends that 80 percent of a school's success depends on two factors: the cognitive ability of the child and the disposition he brings to class -- not on texts, teachers or classroom size.
If the brains and the will to learn are absent, no amount of spending on schools, teacher salaries, educational consultants or new texts will matter.
A nation weary of wasting billions on unctuous educators who never deliver what they promise may be ready to hear some hard truths.
So, wait--our educators both deliver--and don't? That they can't raise every child up to a very high proficiency, but they do manage to raise them up to a proficiency higher than might have been expected? And that the problem is the kids aren't quitting while they've simply gotten ahead to make room for more learning-hungry children?
Hmm. Wow. Let me address the big-ass implication of the discussion of kids without the brains to learn nor the sense to know why they should.
Yes, Pat--we know who is meant by that. And this article might have fit in very neatly in 1950, regarding whether or not to desegregate schools, on the principle that white students were already out-performing African-American students--so why not maintain a "separate but unequal" program so as to allocate resources to our elites?
And this article isn't so very different from what might have been expected of a pro-slavery commenter in 1850, insinuating as to how given the disparity between the cognitive accomplishments of white children versus black laborer's children, one could not possibly forsee them being anything other than a permanent underclass....
Which gives me to wonder what a study comparing the children of Irish laborors to English landowners in 1750 might have said about their intellects and prospects. And was it truly innate? Genetic? For real? Because I think this study is just grist for a tiny little mill that whirrs about in privileged brains that produces finely-ground, self-justifying bullshit. I could be wrong.