Monday, January 07, 2013

Education Results By Race In A Wealthy, Perfectly Diverse Suburb


It's hard to blame slavery and poverty for education failure when one of Michigan's wealthier cities and school districts has the following achievement results by race.

Birmingham, Michigan has a median income of approximately $94,000... more than twice the median income for all of Michigan... and spends about $16,000 per pupil for education.  It would seem that neither taxing nor spending was an issue in the education results for Birmingham, Michigan.

Well what about racial makeup?  There are arguments that when there are too many minorities in a district, they are disadvantaged versus more predominately white districts.  The challenge laid down is to get more appropriate racial "diversity"... a percentage of students more reflecting the minority versus white overall population.

In the U.S., blacks make up approximately 13% of the population according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

The student racial makeup in Birmingham, Michigan is [source]:

That's about as close to "perfectly diverse" as you can get a school district without forcibly moving students.

So here is the environment:
  • A school district that is wealthy and spends a lot of money educating its children
  • A school district that is "diverse" to the point of being a microcosm of the U.S. overall population
What are the results in reading and math testing for grades 3 through 8?  That's before they are "lost" to the effects of the world.

If you give an ethnic group every possible opportunity to succeed and it still fails in the same environment which majority students succeed, is it still appropriate to blame lack of spending and opportunity?  Or is it now time to step up to the reality that there is something very dysfunctional about either the abilities or culture of the minority?  It might be easy to blame "the system" for the failure of Detroit's educational outcomes... a system controlled by blacks and populated by blacks, incidentally.  But the outcomes in Birmingham can hardly be attributed to lack of opportunity or support or "the system" or "slavery" or "discrimination."

In the case of black students, perhaps it is time for the black community to take a long, hard look at itself and its values and its attitudes and say, "How do we have to change instead of trying to place the blame for our failures on others?"

Remember, the results are based on grades 3 through 8 testing.  Children in those grades should still be interested in learning and school, especially when they have the opportunity to attend the kind of schools available in Birmingham, Michigan.  The fact that black children are achieving less than they should be based on comparison with their white counterparts is not an indictment of the children or their schools, but it is an indictment of their families and the lack of enthusiasm and support for education, personal academic goals, and academic achievement.

It is an indictment of the black community that really needs to look in their mirrors to see who is holding black children back.


From Jason Gillman at Michigan Taxes Too Much:
“After being indoctrinated from birth that you are inferior to the point of needing government assistance to equalize your place among men, is it unreasonable for anyone to expect that you might learn to accept that fact and live the life of an inferior?”

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SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

February 3, 2006
Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
March 28, 2007
The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
"Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

"Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."

December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
[Image from:]
December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
"The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
“The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

About Me

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Michigan, United States
Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)