2004 May 13 Thursday
Immigrants Do Not Improve Academically In Later Generations

A recent study done at UCLA is reported in a press release that purports to be relaying good news but which is actually reporting very bad news.

UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers find high school graduates from immigrant families succeed in college at similar rates as American-born peers with similar economic and ethnic backgrounds. Students from immigrant families also are more likely to support their families while in school.

In addition, high school graduates from immigrant families with higher incomes and higher levels of parent education achieved the highest success in college. This finding helps to explain lower levels of success seen among Latin American children compared with East Asian children.

Oh what nonsense. Is the higher income level of the parents the cause of higher academic achievement? Where is the evidence for that? The academic success and economic success are obviously both flowing from other factors. Smart Indian and Chinese immigrant engineers are having smart kids. How can anyone seriously doubt that engineers have innately much smarter kids on average than grade school drop-outs? We are supposed to attribute the differences in educational attainment to economic factors? How loony.

Appearing in the summer edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of Research on Adolescence, the study is among the first to examine the success of immigrant children in post-secondary education. The William T. Grant Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development funded the research.

"The United States has experienced a tremendous wave of immigration over the past 30 years. The ability of the children of immigrants to find educational success beyond high school is critical to their economic integration into American society," said Dr. Andrew J. Fuligni, the paper's co-author and senior research scientist at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute's Center for Culture and Health.

"Our overall findings are encouraging," he said.

No Dr. Fuligni, your overall findings are highly discouraging. If the first generation of an ethnic group does just as well academically as later generations but that ethnic group's first generation does poorly in school then that is bad news. There is no sign of an improving trend that will make things all work out well in the long run. Here is clear evidence that, contrary to the myth promoted by many neoconservatives and liberals, not all immigration is wonderful. Here is evidence which clearly shows a permanent problem is being created.

"But there are signs that certain segments of the immigrant population, particularly those from Latin America, need more assistance to participate fully in educational and related economic opportunities available in the United States."

Well, duh. That is politically correct way of saying that Hispanic immigrants academically do far worse on average than whites and East Asians. This is spun into a politically correct phrasing that there is a problem here that can be solved with "more assistance". Where is the empirical evidence that some form of assistance exists that would work? The empirical studies of changes in spending per student show little or no beneficial effect. So what variable would the academics recommend we we turn to in order to provide the assistance that will close the achievement gap?

The UCLA report inadvertently confirms the bad news I drew attention to in my previous post Samuel P. Huntington Comes Out Against Immigration From Mexico on Huntington's article in Foreign Policy which includes a table which shows little improvement in education attainment across generations of Mexican immigrants.

Education of Mexican Americans by Generation (1989-90)

First Second Third Fourth All Americans *
No high school degree (%) 69.9 51.5 33.0 41.0 23.5
High school degree (%) 24.7 39.2 58.5 49.4 30.4
Post high school degree (%) 5.4 9.3 8.5 9.6 45.1
* Except Mexican Americans, 1990

This bad news reminds me of the great "States with higher IQ vote Democrat" hoax. In reflecting on this hoax Steve Sailer sees evidence in the NAEP test results that California and the nation as a whole have a dumber future.

The future looks dumberer -- Looking at the NAEP scores for public school 8th graders by state (see below), it struck me that California is going to be, on average, a much dumber state in the future than it is now. I always thought of it as a pretty smart state, what with Silicon Valley, Cal Tech, and aerospace. Even Hollywood attracts a lot of smart cookies. In the past, these smarts were spread pretty broadly through the general populace in California.

But California's 2003 NAEP scores for public schools 8th graders are awful: 44th out of 50 states in Math (behind states like Tennessee and Nevada, a state where the study of probability is the only socially sanctioned intellectual pursuit) and 49th in Reading (well behind Mississippi). If California is the pacesetter state, with its 25 year head start on absorbing immigrants, then the future looks dumber for all of us.

Click through to Steve's link and look down from that post through his earlier posts where he explodes the hoax table underlying the "liberal Democrats have higher IQs" myth which suckered in so many left-liberal blog. The claim made by that table is that the states that voted for Al Gore in 2000 have higher average IQs than the states that voted for George W. Bush. Liberals who deny that IQ matters were ready to stampede to report the news when it looked like Democrats are smarter than Republicans. But since they never actually bother to read the details of the psychometric studies that they denounce their ignorance of the facts made them suckers for an obvious hoax. I mean it was glaring. It put Utah at an IQ of 87. How absurd. Utah has above average 8th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores in spite of spending less per student than all states except North Dakota. North Dakota, which went for Bush, is top of the pops for NAEP 8th grade math scores. So money matters for educational outcomes? Ha. I got a bridge to sell to anyone who believes that. By contrast, Washington DC spends about 3 times as much as Utah and yet manages to score at the bottom of the barrel in NAEP scores.

The way liberals react to fake IQ data that supports their prejudices demonstrates they obviously understand that IQ matters and that it matters a lot. Inconveniently the real evidence about IQs just doesn't support either liberal or neoconservative mythology about an assortment of policy topics such as education, immigration, and nation-building. We ignore the evidence at our peril.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 May 13 02:01 AM  Immigration Societal Decay

Brock said at May 13, 2004 8:30 AM:

Wow, that's discouraging.

I noticed that the trend was slightly positive for education levels in Generations 1 -3, but then revered for Generation 4. Any explanation for that?

I have to disagree with you on the genetics though. I know a lot of Hispanics, both successful and not, and they are not any stupider than any other race. However, the successful ones blame the culture of non-success they were raised in for the failure of an unusual number of their friends and family.

My wife's family were immigrants. My mother-in-law grew up in a sod hut raising chickens (but too poor to eat the eggs) - but when they got to the United States there were no excuses for their girls. They would learn how to be American and succeed, and they have. However, a key step in that process was deliberately not learning the aspects of their parent's culture which held that nation's development in check.

I may be preaching to the choir here a bit, but if you want to find out why Hispanics still aren't succeeding in the 4th generation, look to the Left. The Lefties tell them their culture is just as "worth celebrating" and "respecting" as any other culture, and their parents don't know to tell them better.

I don't mind importing Mexicans - it's Mexico I'd rather leave behind.

Jason Bontrager said at May 13, 2004 3:48 PM:

An excellent book on just this subject is _No Excuses: closing the racial gap in learning_ by Stephen and Abagail Thernstrom. They documented the racial disparities in NAEP scores and also provided examples of exceptions (charter schools where the students were required to perform well and rose to meet the expectations of their instructors). While blacks and hispanics tend to do the worst on the NAEP (and Asiatics do the best...must be that pro-Asian bias we hear about all the time) much of that can be laid at the feet of the culture the kids are raised in (lack of academic encouragement from the parents, lack of educational activities in the home), the poor quality of the schools (where they start out at a disadvantage thanks to their home lives), and the poor quality of the teachers who are protected from any quality control by their unions.

Again, it's an excellent book.

Matt W. said at May 13, 2004 3:58 PM:

Steve Sailer has harshly criticized No Excuses. For example:

"[The Thernstroms] excitedly report some anecdotal evidence about a few high performing charter schools. But even their anecdotes are less impressive the more you look. Their favorite example: a high-achieving fifth grade class for gifted students at an LA school taught by Rafe Esquith. But the class turns out to be half Korean!

South Korea has the second highest average IQ in the world (more than a half-standard deviation above the American average). Its citizens have the longest work-weeks in the world. South Korean students typically score at the top of the world in international achievement tests."

Randall Parker said at May 13, 2004 4:09 PM:

Matt W. You are quick. I was just going to post that link and man you were fast getting in there.

Jason, The Thermstroms have written a big rationalization. As Steve Sailer explains, their anecdotes do not stand up to close scrutiny. That they had to go to a half-Korean school to find some anecdote demonstrates their desperation. Be sure to click thru and read Steve Sailer's full review of the book.

Also see Lawrence Auster's comments on No Excuses and read the discussion that followed.

John S Bolton said at May 14, 2004 12:48 AM:

In forty years, California has gone from being in the top ten percent of states in school performance, to the bottom ten percent, and now down to the level of the several lowest. Only immigration could explain this; otherwise the top-scoring states could not be nearly all among the lowest-spending. The highest-spending could not include the lowest-performing, as you mention that D.C. schools are. Yet our officials and scholars, even most of the more conservative of them, still insist that adults and teenagers can learn a foreign language properly; and such that anti-merit immigrants can be expected to not be on net public subsidy. Further, that all large populations, such as races, can be assumed to be equal in potential. These numbers, such as you have given above, show the damage that anti-merit immigrationists are doing, and this damage must also be their goal. If it were not, they would see these results, admit their mistake, and stop trying to do more damage, but they don't. They are enemies of civilization, looking for any opening, such as that given by conservatives who imagine that they can acquire a reputation for tolerance or anti-racism, by praising and covering-up for immigrants. To push a place that was succeeding in advancing the level of technology, down to the level of the delta, in terms of their youth population's educational quality, would please them, not dissuade them from anti-merit policies.

Derek Fagan-McHenry said at May 8, 2005 3:22 AM:

Sat, 7 May 2005 00:20:37 -0700 (PDT)
From: "derek mchenry"
Subject: Jose Ouinonez on Lou Dobbs Tonight 6 May 2005
To: contact@bluelatinos.org
CC: "Sondra Chavis" , "Lisa Fandel" , "Harold Johnson" , "Charlie Jones" , "derrick payne" , "sam putney" , "Brenda Session" , "Stephanie Spann" , "Stephanie Spann" , "Public Information"

7 May 2005

Jose Ouinonez
Blue Latinos

I was quite offended by your comments on the
Friday 6 May 2005 broadcast of the CNN network's
Dobbs Tonight program. I am especially offended,
make that pissed off, by your having a petition
your web site trying to get him fired. That will
First off, Lou Dobbs tells the "American" people
truth about illegal immigration. It is you blue
latinos, whatever the hell that is, that lie to
These vermin are polluting our land as they cross
the border of our sovereign nation. Thousands of
pounds of refuge are left every month by these
breaking and entering into my nation. Some more

1. 30%, 1/3, of the prisoners in the federal
penitentiary are ILLEGAL ALIENS. That makes them
criminals TWICE. It is illegal to enter this
without authorization in the first place and then
commit crimes like murder, rape, etc., you know
harmless shit. As if this were not enough, the
jails all over the southwest are spending
millions of
dollars housing ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS at the expense
their hard working, American taxpayers and are
being reimbursed by Presidunce Bush-Fox or the
in Washington, D.C. The state penitentiaries are
running at about 40% of inmates that are ILLEGAL

2. Parkland Hospital, in Dallas, Texas delivers
babies than any other hospital in this nation.
PERIOD!!! Over 60%, 2/3, of the babies delivered
Parkland are born to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. These so
called "anchor babies" are draining the counties
ability to give health care to the citizens of
County because so many of their resources are
spent on caring for people that will never pay a
single dime for these deliveries and don't belong
in the first damn place. This same scenario is
played out in hospitals across the nation. The
hospital in Bisbee, Arizona has to close because
ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS taking healthcare without
paying a
single penny for it.

3. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS like MS-13 gang members are
killing our citizens here in Texas, North
and all over the eastern seaboard. This
group of thugs are from El Salvador. BLUE
problem is so bad that the U.S. Justice
department has
formed a task force to hunt down and hopefully
these miscreants, much as it has had to do with
Mafia. MS-13 has also made threats against the
Border Patrol.

4. There is a rising rate of TB in the U.S. in
border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico,
Texas because ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS are entering
nation without proper immunizations and are
this disease.
5. Over 42% of African AMERICANS are in direct
competition with ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS for jobs in
nation. You can thank God that the Congressional
Caucus is only a social club with no real power
political agenda for this. We built this nation,
literally, clearing the trees and a black man
laid out
the plans for our nations capitol. Not Mexicans,
Salvadorians or any other BLUE LATINOS. Black
and their descendants did.
6. Our school districts are going broke because
are too many ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS entering the
The Cedar Hill ISD, where I live, had planned for
districts growth based on AMERICAN children and
schools to accommodate them. However, the flood
"anchor babies" born to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS has
outstripped our budget and my property taxes have
up 37% and we are having to build more schools
Mexicans in this state as a whole and in Cedar
and Dallas County in particular are overwhelming
schools. I see this Mexican woman every morning
walking her 4 children to Highlands Elementary in
Cedar Hill. Those are 4 children that DO NOT
Cedar Hill schools. To add insult to injury, she
now about 7 months PREGNANT with yet another
that will drain our budget. That child will be
born at
Parkland which will absorb the cost and pass it
on to
me and all but one person this is being sent to
lives in North Carolina. The child will go to
Hill schools which will absorb the cost and pass
it on
to ME!!! Another ESL- English as a Second
teacher will have to be brought in to teach this
how to speak English, which they don't want to
Then this child will more than likely be in a
gang and have to be feed and housed in the Texas
Department of Corrections for years. The cost is

7. We are not anti-Mexican, as you asserted. We
anti-ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.However, I am personally
beginning to become anti-Mexican. When I call an
AMERICAN company and have to "push 1 for
English", it
irritates me to no end. When the ILLEGAL MEXICAN
IMMIGRANT ran into my daughter back in February
hurt her it began. When he got out of his car and
he "speakee no english" it got worse. When the
bill of the damage to her came in at over
$3,700.00, I
became anti-Mexican. Mexicans, at least in Texas,
don't carry insurance on their low riders or
8. I can not go to Minyards grocery store in
Hill, Texas, on a Friday afternoon to cash a
check. Why? Because every ILLEGAL MEXICAN
the area is there using Western Union to send
money to
Mexico. The line is just too long. So I go Friday
mornings. The amount of money being sent to
Mexico by
the amount of money that they oil fields in
produce. Mexico has one of the largest oil
reserves in
the WORLD and yet money sucked out of the U.S.
is the number one or two source of revenue in
What is wrong with this picture?

I could go on for days. Long story short. Don't
get on
AMERICAN television and tell your lies. Telemundo
available to you for your propaganda. Stop the
campaign to get a great AMERICAN, Mr. Lou Dobbs,
from an AMERICAN television network for telling
unvarnished truth about ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. We
will be
going to your web site, bluelatinos.org, and
just the opposite message to CNN using YOUR WEB
SITE!!! Now, get the hell out of MY NATION!!!!

Derek P. Fagan-McHenry
AMERICAN CITIZEN, Veteran, Patriot
Cedar Hill, Texas

Steve Osterday said at July 12, 2006 6:43 AM:

What a racist rag! Many of you probably think your christian as well. CLosed minded followers.

perianwyr said at May 17, 2007 11:11 AM:


SAGE said at June 7, 2009 10:24 PM:

It's always amazing to me to see factual logical based arguments get slammed with name calling attacks. It is the lowest form of rebuttal and makes the accuser look stupid. But, then we already know that "Liberalism is a mental disorder." It is not racist to point out that certain tribal groups have certain tendencies.

If you give a Mestizo or Amerindian an alchoholic beverage, then you should be aware that his/her behavior will differ on average from an European. Europeans long ago evolved to tolerate alchohol, while Amerindians did not. You can see the effect in the trafic fatality data of illegal Mexican drivers in Texas, and other states with high percentages of illegal immigrants. Mexican drivers are casting a path of drunken carnage on our roads, as they drink a little firewater, and go off the deep end.

To deny that there are racial differences can get you killed, and any medical doctor worth his salt, will look for racial/tribal genetic tendencies. A MD will not look for sickle cell anemia in a Mexican, or a White, and to do so would make the doctor insane or incompetent.

Political correctness requires us to suspend belief, and to deny what our lying eyes tell us. Well, our lying eyes are telling us that Mexicans are not performing well in our schools, and are causing problems in our society that we should recognize and talk about.

I applaud Randall for dealing with the world as it is, and not pretending that certain problems will just go away, even if we wish hard enough and cross our fingers.

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