2006 January 15 Sunday
Better Neighborhoods Do Not Help School Test Scores

A paper entitled "Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment" by Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Jeffrey R. Kling, Greg J. Duncan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and just published on the National Bureau of Economic Research web site finds that housing vouchers that allowed families to move to neighborhoods with lower poverty rates did not improve test scores of children in those families.

Families originally living in public housing were assigned housing vouchers by lottery, encouraging moves to neighborhoods with lower poverty rates. Although we had hypothesized that reading and math test scores would be higher among children in families offered vouchers (with larger effects among younger children), the results show no significant effects on test scores for any age group among over 5000 children ages 6 to 20 in 2002 who were assessed four to seven years after randomization. Program impacts on school environments were considerably smaller than impacts on neighborhoods, suggesting that achievement-related benefits from improved neighborhood environments are alone small.

Social scientists who have faith in the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM - see here for an essay on the SSSM) keep trying to find ways to make social environments overcome genetic endowment. They keep failing too. But liberal social environmental determinist hope springs eternal (or at least for another 5 years). So they'll keep trying until the genetic reductionists are able to demonstrate in great detail down at the biochemical level why they are engaged in an exercise in futility.

Mind you, even without cheap DNA sequencing to allow identification of all the alleles that really matter for scholastic performance social science evidence is already available in copious quantities to disprove the SSSM. But the evidence is ignored. Though cracks in the SSSM are going to bring it down in several years in a way reminiscent of the collapse of faith in communism.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 January 15 05:29 PM  Education


Comments
John S Bolton said at January 15, 2006 8:26 PM:

Observations like the above cause me to conclude that such integration policies are motivated by malice against those who even come close to pulling their weight; especially when one notes that, in countries where such offcials and scholars have had more power, they've often moved towards the open malice and destructiveness of mass murder programs. Hopefully the benefit of the doubt will soon be withheld from these spread-the-failure advocates. The bottom line is that aggression has to be increased on the better people, in order to indulge the taste for these experiments. Affirmative action would have had its confidently predicted icebreaking effect, lifting up the next generations of recipients' descendants, so that there would not be quotas needed for their children and grandchildren just as much as for the inital generation.

Jim said at January 16, 2006 10:29 AM:

this article may be of interest to you on the topic you just posted about. it is amazing how hard they try in evanston to advance minorities, with glaring failure.

http://www.joycefdn.org/articles/eduarticles/0105racematters.html

EVANSTON IS A GRACIOUS, tree-shaded older suburb just north of Chicago, home to Northwestern University and, historically, one of the best public school systems in the country. But over recent decades, educators, community leaders and parents have grappled with a stubborn and continuing problem: Minority students were lagging behind in achievement. Average ACT (college entrance exam) scores for white students in 1999 were 26, compared to 19 for African Americans. And while minority students make up more than half the student body, they make up three-quarters of students who fail, while only 20 of the top 100 students in the class of 1999 were African American or Latino.....

it continues to discuss the "The National Task Force on Minority High Achievement" where about a dozen schools with similar black/white divides in very rich&liberal school districts have the same unanimous failure to promote minority achievement.

it's my intuition, that finding a handful of responsible genes will be very difficult - the human mind is so incredibly complicated... but that's just my speculation - and 'they' should be actively studying the topic.

Jorge D.C. said at January 17, 2006 3:06 AM:

Social scientists...keep trying to find ways to make social environments overcome genetic endowment. They keep failing too. But liberal social environmental determinist hope springs eternal (or at least for another 5 years). So they'll keep trying until the genetic reductionists are able to demonstrate in great detail down at the biochemical level why they are engaged in an exercise in futility.

Webmaster, I think you underestimate the opposition. No amount of proof is going to dissuade the committed cultural marxist. Their battle plan will simply be adjusted.

Randall Parker said at January 17, 2006 6:27 PM:

Jorge D.C.,

I realise that some people are committed to the lies. But others are just victims of their deceptions. Introduce the ability to easily disprove the lies using evidence that is easy to understand and the liars will lose a lot of allies.

KingEthanol said at April 7, 2006 1:33 PM:

Gentlemen,
I happened onto your conversation as I was searching for the text of the study itself. I suggest each of you read it.
In my view (and I am certainly outside of your box), your perspectives are right out of a eugenics experiment from the 1930s.
Every modern-day Republican needs his or her straw man to beat - the media, the lesbians, the ivory tower, almost anything works. You guys have genetics, and are very generous in your mutual admiration. Congratulations.
K.E.


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