Racism In School Admissions Policies

There was a time in America when schools were segregated and black children did not have the educational opportunities that white children had. Now schools are integrated, and generally opportunities are more equal. Cultural differences impact the education that children receive, but generally speaking, opportunities are equal. Some cultures put a greater emphasis on academic achievement than others, and that has become obvious to our college admissions boards and to some of our specialty high schools. Those among us who care more about equal outcome than equal opportunity have tried to change their admissions policies to compensate for those cultural differences. New York City Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza have attempted to change the admissions policies for New York City’s specialized high schools.

The New York Post posted an article about the changes on March 2.

The article reports:

Last December, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Greater New York (CACAGNY) filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the city after Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza announced changes to admissions to New York’s specialized high schools, eight of which measure academic ability only through the SHSAT, an objective, competitive test open to every student in the city. Wai Wah Chin, the president of CACAGNY, explains why she’s determined to fight their moves, which she says discriminate against Asians …

The article reminds us of the results of this testing program:

In 1971, New York state mandated an admissions test to the city’s specialized high schools to ensure meritocratic admission. Called the SHSAT, the test knows no race or ethnicity; privilege and wealth count for nothing. All that matters is each student’s own ability.

Because of this, a Holocaust refugee who arrived in America with no English, no wealth and no privilege could take the test two years later, enter Stuyvesant and go on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981. His name: Roald Hoffmann.

Chancellor Carranza says no other high-school admission system in the country relies on a single test. Well, no other admission system produced 14 Nobel Prize winners in science either.

The article lists the Mayor’s solution to bringing diversity to the specialized high schools:

But de Blasio holds that meritocracy must have a predetermined, racially balanced outcome. So when East and South Asians get 50 percent of the offers to the specialized high schools while making up 16 percent of the students, he cries “Stuyvesant doesn’t look like New York City” and devises schemes to exclude them, his Asian Exclusion Act of the 21st century.

In one scheme, he arbitrarily takes 20 percent of the seats away from each Specialized High School to limit seats available to Asians. Then, he sets aside that 20 percent for students who took the SHSAT but failed to get into any of the eight schools, and applies eligibility criteria carefully crafted to exclude as many Asians as he can.

In another scheme, he brings back Harvard’s odious “geographic diversity,” limiting admission from each middle school to just 7 percent of its students, knowing full well that Asians are concentrated in a few middle schools.

These schemes impose a targeted racial balance. What’s more, they would lead to a significant portion of the student body being unprepared for the pace and levels at which the Specialized High Schools currently operate. Such social reverse engineering is the opposite of meritocracy.

If Mayor de Blasio is able to implement his ideas, it is a pretty safe bet that the number of Nobel Prize winning scientists coming out of these schools in the future will decrease drastically. I hope the CACAGNY wins their lawsuit.

Denying Science In A Way That Is Politically Correct

When you are born, you have either an x and a y chromosome or two xx chromosomes. Men have and x and a y, and women have two x’s. These chromosomes determine your biological makeup. There are only two options. However, lately politicians have decided to ignore the science and determine sex without consulting any obvious physical characteristics.

Hot Air posted an article today with the following headline: “Gillibrand: We need to federally recognize a third gender.”

The article reports:

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is going to great lengths to establish her far-left bona fides heading into the Democrat’s POTUS primary. This weekend she upped the ante even further by jumping onto the transgender rights bandwagon. When asked by a reporter, Gillibrand indicated that she would certainly be in favor of recognizing a third gender (defined as “X” or none of the above) at the federal level.

Isn’t that basically denying science?

The article concludes:

But now that she’s on the record, it may be time to ask her what happened to that whole thing about Democrats being “the party of science.” That’s the position they claim to take every time the subject of climate change comes up. But there is absolutely zero, zilch, nada evidence in medical science that human beings can be some sort of “third gender” or be “genderless” if they decide they don’t feel like one or the other. The only exceptions would be intersex individuals with genetic aberrations to the 23rd chromosomal pair. Such individuals should be able to pick whichever gender they prefer (of the two available choices) for purposes of legal classification. But as for the other 99.99% of the population, applying such a standard to legal documents can cause any number of complications for everything from law enforcement needs to federal allocation programs.

To be clear, you can call yourself whatever you want. I don’t object to it personally and the government has no business suppressing your speech in that fashion. But just because you happen to be in denial of reality, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us (or the government) are under any obligation to go along with your views. Gillibrand is running off to join the circus of politicians beclowning themselves in an effort to establish themselves at the far leftmost extreme of the ideological spectrum. But looking at the latest poll numbers, she isn’t making the sale to the socialist base thus far and it’s tough to imagine this will do the trick.

The Democrats are working very hard to make something that used to be very simple very complicated. Let’s go back to having boy babies and girl babies. It was much easier.

No, The Oceans Did Not Begin To Rise With The Advent Of Fossil Fuel

Yesterday The Washington Post posted an article about some new information on climate change and rising oceans. The facts simply do not support the idea of the catastrophic sea-level rise that those who practice the religion of global warming have predicted.

The article reports:

In her latest paper, Ms. Curry  (Climatologist Judith Curry) found that the current rising sea levels are not abnormal, nor can they be pinned on human-caused climate change, arguing that the oceans have been on a “slow creep” for the last 150 years — before the post-1950 climb in carbon-dioxide emissions.

“There are numerous reasons to think that projections of 21st-century sea level rise from human-caused global warming are too high, and some of the worst-case scenarios strain credulity,” the 80-page report found.

Her Nov. 25 report, “Sea Level and Climate Change,” which has been submitted for publication, also found that sea levels were actually higher in some regions during the Holocene Climate Optimum — about 5,000 to 7,000 years ago.

“After several centuries of sea level decline following the Medieval Warm Period, sea levels began to rise in the mid-19th century,” the report concluded. “Rates of global mean sea level rise between 1920 and 1950 were comparable to recent rates. It is concluded that recent change is within the range of natural sea-level variability over the past several thousand years.”

Such conclusions are unlikely to find favor with the global-warming movement, or within the academic climate “consensus,” where some experts have predicted that mean sea level could rise by five to 10 feet by the end of the 21st century.

The article concludes:

She said she doesn’t believe her findings on sea-level rise are particularly controversial, saying that they jibe with those of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“It’s pretty well-documented in the literature,” said Ms. Curry. “I frame the problem a little different, and my conclusions are a little different than some people, but this has been pretty well-documented and supported.”

Ms. Curry left academia in January 2017 for a host of reasons, one of which was the “craziness” associated with the politics of the climate-change debate. She moved to Reno and has since devoted her energies to her company, Climate Forecast Applications Network.

Her clients include the federal agencies and companies in the energy and insurance business seeking answers on the risks associated with climate change. After a lifetime spent in the ivory tower, she said she finds the real-world work rewarding.

“When there’s something that really depends on the outcome and the understanding of this information, rather than just using it as a political tool to drive policy, it’s really a different ballgame,” she said. “People making real decisions, people spending real money — their companies could be hurt by getting things really wrong in either direction. So that’s what I’m trying to help with.”

Given that nobody wants to be labeled a “denier,” what does she prefer to be called? That’s an easy one.

“I’m a scientist. And I regard it as my job to continually reevaluate the evidence and reconsider my conclusions. That’s my job,” Ms. Curry said. “And some people don’t really want scientists. They want political activists. But if you want a scientist, give me a call.”

Maybe at some point we can end the hysteria and get back to science.

Going ‘Not-so Green’

On Friday, WattsUpWithThat posted an article about the promotion of off-shore wind farms by some eastern states in America. The article details some of the problems with off-shore wind farms.

The article cites the cost of the wind farms and the cost to consumers:

The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have signed executive orders or passed laws to procure offshore wind systems valued at billions of dollars. Officials are eager to win leadership in what is perceived to be a new growth industry. The US Department of Energy has funded over $200 million in offshore wind research since 2011.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a law in 2016 requiring utilities to purchase 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind systems over the next 10 years. The law requires that wind systems be “cost effective to electric ratepayers.” But history shows that costs are likely to be far above the New England wholesale market price of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Massachusetts paid solar generators a subsidy of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour during the state’s solar build-out in 2013. Rhode Island’s Block Island wind system, the first offshore system in the United States, now receives over 27 cents per kW-hr, with an annual guaranteed rate increase of an additional 3.5 cents per kW-hr. New England residents must enjoy paying renewable generators more than six times the market price for electricity.

When we lived in Massachusetts, we were able to choose the source of our electricity. Since we lived in an all-electric house, it was to our advantage to choose carefully. We chose a company that got its electricity from Canada in order to avoid the increased cost of Massachusetts’ going green. I am not sure if that option is still available to Massachusetts utility customers.

The article explains the problem of wind turbines and hurricanes (which do happen on the east coast):

Specifications call for wind systems to withstand gusts up to 156 miles per hour, but this isn’t good enough for some of our Atlantic hurricanes. Last September, hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico with Category 4-strength winds and destroyed many of the wind turbines on the island.

Strong hurricanes occasionally collide with our eastern coastal states. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 brought Category 3 winds to New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944 delivered Category 2 winds along the coast from North Carolina to Maine. Hurricane Carol in 1954 and Hurricane Gloria in 1985 brought Category 3 winds to the shores of the wind system-promoting states.

Finally, the Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane of 1821 passed through most of the proposed wind turbine sites with up to Category 4 wind strength. The expensive wind systems planned by Atlantic States could all be destroyed by a single well-placed hurricane.

Offshore wind turbines are expensive, prone to early degradation, and in the case of the US East Coast, at risk in the path of strong hurricanes. State officials should reconsider their plans for offshore wind systems.

I sometimes wonder if our search for green energy is similar to man’s search for the perpetual motion machine. It would be wonderful, but the laws of physics seem to indicate that this may be more of a challenge than first thought. There may be green energy in our future, but it won’t happen until the government gets out of the way and lets someone make a huge profit in the free market. That is called incentive!

Education Run Amok

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the study of mathematics.

The article reports:

A University of Illinois math professor believes that algebra and geometry perpetuate “white privilege” because Greek terms give Caucasians unearned credit for the subject.

But that isn’t the professor’s only complaint. She also believes that evaluations for math proficiency perpetuates discrimination against minority students, if they do worse than their white counterparts.

Rochelle Gutierrez argues in a newly published math education book for teachers that they must be aware of the identity politics surrounding the subject of mathematics.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues with complete sincerity, according to Campus Reform. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.”

…Gutierrez claims that the importance of math skills in the real world also places what she calls an “unearned privilege” for those who are good at it. Because most math teachers in the United States are white, white people stand to benefit from their grasp of the subject disproportionate to members of other races.

One wonders what this professor teaches in her math class. One also wonders why she is teaching math.

Has it occurred to this woman that the study of math is either directly or indirectly responsible for all of the modern conveniences she enjoys? Would we have electricity without math? Would we have potable water without the math to know how to purify it?

It frightens me to consider that this woman is teaching our college students.