Study: Tests lead to few learning gains

Test-based accountability systems have demonstrated little or no effect on learning and weak safeguards against “gaming” the system, concludes a National Academies of Science report.

A committee of education experts analyzed 15 test-based incentive programs, notes Education Week.  These included No Child Left Behind, test-based teacher incentive-pay systems in Texas, Chicago, Nashville and elsewhere, high school exit exams in various states, pay-for-scores programs for students in New York City and Coshocton, Ohio and experiments in teacher incentive-pay in India and student and teacher test incentives in Israel and Kenya.

On the whole, the panel found the accountability programs often used assessments too narrow to accurately measure progress on program goals and used rewards or sanctions not directly tied to the people whose behavior the programs wanted to change. Moreover, the programs often had insufficient safeguards and monitoring to prevent students or staff from simply gaming the system to produce high test scores disconnected from the learning the tests were meant to inspire.

Test-based accountability often encourages teaching test-taking strategies or drilling students who are closest to meeting the proficiency cut-score, the report found.

Accountability based on graduation rates encourages schools to push out unsuccessful students, so they can be counted as transfers rather than drop-outs.

High school exit exams have decreased graduation rates by 2 percentage points, the report estimated.

While school test scores have risen under NCLB, student achievement gains have been tiny on NAEP, which schools have no motivation to game.

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Comments

  1. Does this suggest to any other readers that the approach to school improvement is not raising the accountability bar but rather… a). addressing the underlying social conditions of poverty and poor health care plaguing many of our students (at nearly third-world levels in some locations), and b). shifting accountability on the government and voters to do more to support the schools, rather than simply raising the pressure and the stakes?

  2. tim-10-ber says:

    My opinion…NCLB has lowered the quality of education in many schools across this country. My experience is the urban school systems plus the academic magnets. NCLB forced the districts to focus on the lower/lowest achieving students. This hurt those at the middle and the top…in fact we saw the scores drop of the highest achieving students.

    For some hair brained reason NCLB forced districts away from NRT to CRT using weaker standards, cut scores and testing…if anything education in my district was and continues to be dumbed down. The caliber of students in the academic magnets was higher when the NRT were used vs the weaker curriculum, weaker standards and extremely low cut scores on the CRT based exams for kids in grades 3 -8.

    So…my district/state adopted higher standards (supposedly 2nd only to MA), requires four years of high school math and 1/2 billion of RTTT funds and…

    Continues to have extremely low cut scores on TCAP and the EOC algebra exams, allows students to receive high school credit even when the flunk the second semester but had a high enough grade in the first semester to average a passing grade, continues to game the system to improve graduation scores, made weak EOC exams count for 20% of the grade (remember low cut scores can mean a child PASSES when they should have FLUNKED) and continues to demoralize teachers that care…

    As stated on the CNN education special by former governor Bredesen Tennessee has been lying to students and parents about how well the kids are doing in school. Sadly Tennessee continues to lie to parents and students about the quality (or lack thereof) of education being received in its government schools.

    The system of government education in Tennessee and my district is broken and needs to be busted up. No joke. Colleges want to see kids take four years of high school math. Many, but not all prefer to see high school calculus. However, with it all but impossible to take a quality algebra I class in 8th grade it means it is next to impossible to take high school calculus. Remember, the algebra I EOC exam is very very weak and cut scores are extremely low. The grade received on the EOC does NOT match the grade received in class. Use to be the EOC cover the first 6 – 8 chapters of the Algebra I book…no clue how many it covers now.

    I truly believe our education system is worse, much worse than before integration. Something has happened since the early 1980s.

    Any reason why most posts can seem angry. I do not want another dime to go to government education from any source until this is fixed. Education spending has increased every year at every level and what do we have to show for it? Nothing…

    The broken system in place today, in my urban district, is not designed to truly educate the 80% +/- FARM kids that attend the government schools. The kids are not widgets to move down the assembly line yet that is what the district does year after year after year. Just how many generations of kids have been lost due to an incredibly bad government education system.

    No, I am not in favor of privatizing government schools. Those of us who can will (and did) flee to the better private schools. We have a three tier education system. This needs to end…now.

    Now to read the whole report. I know what is happening in my district. Even the academic magnets are weak — some of the teachers are horrible and the leadership is weak, too.

    Again…time to take off the blinders and truly fix the system…watch us make AYP this year…on the back of yet more lies…ugh!

  3. Roger Sweeny says:

    No, it doesn’t. If you took my worst students and doubled their family income, it wouldn’t increase their learning or their test scores one bit (the two are, of course, not the same, though there is a strong positive correlation). In fact, to the extent that it taught them that they can get money simply by existing, it might bring down both. The primary incentive to do well in school is that it will increase your future income.

    Access to medical care for most poor people is not that much worse than for middle class people and American poverty is pretty amazing by historical standards. Television, cell phones, air conditioning for many people.

    There certainly are things that make poor children generally do worse–unstable families that don’t push education on their kids, adults and peers who put little value on “deferring gratification”–but income support isn’t going to change any of that.

    When it comes to financial support, governments have consistently increased spending on schools since World War II. However, you are absolutely right that schools could be supported a lot better in other ways: if teachers could get rid of disruptive students, if students were held to explicit standards (i.e., no passing if you can’t do the work), if we stopped putting in the same room students with vastly different preparation and motivation and telling the teacher to teach all of them.

  4. Roger Sweeny says:

    tim-10-ber,

    Are you in Tennessee? Texas? I don’t know what some of your acronyms mean. I’m sure some of that is regional and some of that is my ignorance.

    NCLB – No Child Left Behind
    NRT – ?
    CRT – ?
    RTTT – Race To The Top
    TCAP – ?
    EOC – ?
    FARM – ?

  5. Of course NCLB and testing hasn’t improved education, it wasn’t meant to. The real purpose has always been to make money for the testing/test prep companies, while destroying public education so that the privateers can swoop in and reap huge profits.

  6. Poverty doesn’t cause the problems; the mix of bad habits, bad decisions and toxic behaviors causes the intergenerational poverty that has proved to be pretty intractable. The last 40 years have clearly shown that throwing more money at the problem only exacerbates the situation. We now have whole cities (and plenty of rural areas) where most people are parasites sucking on the government (taxpayer) tit and have no desire to do otherwise. Medicaid, various SSA money, food stamps, housing, WIC, “disability” , and a host of other handouts are all being gamed for maximum benefits, in addition to the costs of crime and the legal and penal systems. Roger is right; more money hasn’t and won’t compensate for toxic culture and the schools should return to refusing to tolerate or enable it.

  7. Roger Sweeny says:

    momof4,

    Thank you for the kind words, but I think that most people who are “sucking on the government tit” don’t want to. The problem is that, if in your first 20 years you’ve picked up some bad habits, and you haven’t picked up many useful skills, it’s hard to find a job that doesn’t lower your material standard of living.

  8. The culture often doesn’t value hard work, honesty and academic effort; there’s a feeling of entitlement, particularly in some racial/ethnic groups, because of past/present, real/imagined discrimination.. Victim status is a badge of pride and failure to be given whatever is demanded is a mark of disrespect and discrimination. The mindset explains why new immigrants often succeed in the same schools and communities where URMs fail epically; their culture and their aspirations are different. I’ve seen that entitlement mentality often, and heard even more of it from social workers and people in the medical field.

  9. CarolineSF says:

    Momof4, I wonder if your kids will one day rebel by becoming nurses or teachers or social workers who care about and try to help the poor, going against all your teachings and causing you to wonder where you failed.

    Of course there are people who make poor choices and engage in self-destructive behavior. And of course low-income people do use more government services, because they need them.

    I can’t resist pointing out that the most conservative Republican counties here in California also are the ones that use the MOST government services, while the residents believe themselves to be fiercely independent. I have a feeling that’s not whom you’re thinking of when you refer to places “where most people are parasites sucking on the government (taxpayer) tit” — yes, conservative, anti-tax Republicans are the parasites sucking the most from “the government (taxpayer) tit,” the ones with the “entitlement mentality.”

    The liberal coastal counties (like mine, San Francisco) use the least per capita in government services, though we pay the most taxes per capita INTO the system that provides those government services to the greedy, parasitical Republicans.

    Anyway. I think it’s probably true that if you just suddenly increased family incomes for the poor, it wouldn’t boost kids’ academic achievement. Being raised in a home that doesn’t support academic achievement is something that isn’t fixed by a sudden infusion of cash. My observation is that there’s a wide spread of home situations that don’t support academic achievement.

    I’ve met many working-class parents — good, caring people who want their kids to be successful by the standards they know, and who will contribute food to the potluck and show up to help out at the field trip — but who have no experience with a home life that focuses on reading and academic learning. It would be like dropping me into a culture where I was expected to care deeply about — oh, car races, say (outside my realm; I’ll stay home and read Jane Austen, thank you).

    Even Momof4 couldn’t despise these parents and shower them with vituperation; they’re just being expected to adapt to a culture that’s different from what they learned in their homes and communities.

    And there are families that really are thoroughly messed up due to drugs and violent lifestyles, or due to homelessness or illness or whatever hardships. My daughter had a classmate in preschool and K-8 who was being raised by GREAT-Grandma, along with two sibs — Mom and Grandma were unavailable. One of the other sibs being raised by Great-Grandma (a retired postal worker) was severely autistic, didn’t speak, and needed, obviously, lots of support. I don’t know in detail how my daughter’s classmate did academically, and we lost track when they went to different high schools. I’m just saying that was one peek at a really challenged family situation, and not an unusual one. You can condemn my daughter’s classmate’s mother and grandmother for being messed-up and unable to raise her, but once you get past that, whom do you blame?

  10. Cranberry says:

    The liberal coastal counties (like mine, San Francisco) use the least per capita in government services, though we pay the most taxes per capita INTO the system that provides those government services to the greedy, parasitical Republicans.

    Could that correctly correlate with the few families who remain in San Francisco?

    http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/03/san-francisco-becoming-child-free-zone-youth-population-declines
    (^^article from 2011)

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5041388
    (NPR piece from 2005)

    Imagine a city that is, for the most part, without children. Well, that’s what the future looks like in San Francisco. It already has the lowest population of kids per capita of any big city in America. And now a new study shows that nearly half the young families still living in San Francisco are planning to move within the next three years.

    If the Republican areas of California have more children than the liberal coastal communities, that disparity will have political consequences in the long run.

  11. What’s absolutely disgusting is how easily momof4 wields that incredibly broad brush that she can so comfortably generalize whole races/ethnicities and socioeconomic classes like that.

    CarolineSF, I agree… the thing is, momof4 has been saying the same racist crap on here for a while now… but as soon as anyone calls her on it, her compadres come out full storm to demand apologies for playing the race card and besmirching her reputation.

    And yes, I think it is fair to say that momof4 is a racist when she so cavalierly declares this about races and whole classes of people:

    “The culture often doesn’t value hard work, honesty and academic effort; there’s a feeling of entitlement, particularly in some racial/ethnic groups, because of past/present, real/imagined discrimination.. Victim status is a badge of pride and failure to be given whatever is demanded is a mark of disrespect and discrimination.”

  12. I was one of four kids raised by a single mom on welfare, food stamps, and housing subsidies. My mom was not too proud to accept the help because the options were to either accept the help or tell her oldest kids to drop out of school to help support the family. Because of government help, all of my mother’s children were able to stay in school full time.

    Today, we hold 7 higher degrees for 4 kids (4 BA/BS, 2 MA/MS and one PhD)… all four of us can safely be said to be in middle to upper middle class.

    Yes, there are some abuses of welfare services, but I think these abuses are exaggerated by the likes of people like momof4 so they can feel morally superior about their “culture.”

  13. Cranberry…
    And what is your point pointing out that statistic about SF? I assume you can connect it to the discussion here?

    SF is a 7 by 7 square mile city with the second highest population density of any major city (second only to NYC)… there literally is no room for growth, yet the city is still incredibly desirable place to live. Thus, property values and housing costs have sky rocketed, pushing out many lower class families. Yes, this is unfortunate, but I’m trying to figure out why you brought it up… are you trying to imply something about “liberals” hating families and intentionally pushing them out? Or is it just a chance for you to bash SF as one of those “liberal” cities with those “anti-family” values?

  14. You can condemn my daughter’s classmate’s mother and grandmother for being messed-up and unable to raise her, but once you get past that, whom do you blame?

    In today’s environment? Her teachers.

  15. And yes, I think it is fair to say that momof4 is a racist when she so cavalierly declares this about races and whole classes of people:

    What if the facts back her up?

  16. Yes, this is unfortunate, but I’m trying to figure out why you brought it up…

    Maybe as an attempt to explain Caroline SF’s comment?

  17. Thank you, Caroline; my family has many teachers and nurses, which makes it easy to see the consequences of generations of broken and dysfunctional families. Given the racial/ethnic make-up of the large,poor urban areas, that shoe fits, but I also specifically mentioned the existence of rural areas, which may or may not be similar. The point is culture, which is not easy to change by external means. Schools can and should help with the “vision thing”; the ability to see opportunities beyond the immediate culture, and teach the habits and behaviors which enable success, as well as solid academic content. That combination gives kids a chance they might not otherwise have. Kids who really have HS-graduate knowledge and skills and the appropriate attitudes and work ethic are employable and we need more of them.

  18. As a teacher of two decades, this doesn’t surprise me at all. The more drilling for tests, the less time for in-depth discussion and application of real learning to real-life situations.

  19. CarolineinSF said:

    I can’t resist pointing out that the most conservative Republican counties here in California also are the ones that use the MOST government services, while the residents believe themselves to be fiercely independent.

    Thank you for pointing out the “rotten boroughs” phenomenon.  The welfare-dependent in California’s non-urban areas are overwhelmingly Hispanic, mostly immigrant and a large fraction illegal immigrant.  Even those who are citizens may speak no English and not vote.  The voters in those districts tend to react strongly against this, so they go Republican.  The population of their counties is driven by policies (such as non-enforcement of immigration laws) created by liberals in places like “sanctuary city” San Francisco.

    The liberal coastal counties (like mine, San Francisco) use the least per capita in government services, though we pay the most taxes per capita INTO the system that provides those government services to the greedy, parasitical Republicans.

    The illegal aliens and poor in general don’t live where a 2-BR home costs $700,000.  Only the privileged filthy rich can do that; they are usually in “finance” or government, and are the true parasite class.  People who actually produce things for a living instead of skimming the fruits of others have to live where homes are affordable (especially if they are raising a family instead of importing a new people).  The rich parasites push the poor and the burdens of their pathologies onto the productive, using measures like “housing discrimination” law and Section 8.  How many Section 8 vouchers have been issued for Beverly Hills?  How many low-income housing developments in SF’s tony sections?

    And it’s taboo to notice these things:

    the thing is, momof4 has been saying the same racist crap on here for a while now…

    Not “it’s not true”, but “it’s racist!

    I rest my case.

  20. I think we’ve gotten off the track here. The real problem comes from the improper usage of testing, IMO. The program which came before NCLB, Goals 2000 was funded for a decade, until it was ended (without having achieved a SINGLE STATED GOAL).

    When the students do not have mastery of the basics of reading, writing, math, and so forth, they will not be able to succeed. I’ve heard of programs like success by 8 (which is 3rd grade for most kids) in getting kids reading by age 8.

    The real issue is that unless a kid gets a good start to education in the home, with exposure to books, drawing, recognizing shapes, spelling, reading, and counting, they’re going to have a horrible time in grade school when they are lumped in with 25+ students who may have already mastered those skills.

    In many cases today, passing exams seems to be a right of achievement, but in reality, I can remember when MCSE (microsoft) exams were so easy that a person could simply book study the material and get ‘certfied’ showing they had knowledge.

    When it came time to actually do the work, many of the ‘certified’ individuals didn’t have a clue as to what to do, devaluing the certification (and hurting their employer, in the process).

  21. Roger Sweeny says:

    I’ve met many working-class parents — good, caring people who want their kids to be successful by the standards they know, and who will contribute food to the potluck and show up to help out at the field trip — but who have no experience with a home life that focuses on reading and academic learning. It would be like dropping me into a culture where I was expected to care deeply about — oh, car races, say (outside my realm; I’ll stay home and read Jane Austen, thank you).

    This brings up something that’s beginning to really bother me. We have a system of employment law that says you can’t ask a lot of things about a job applicant, you can’t give an IQ or similar test, and you can’t discriminate based on a long list of characteristics. One of the few things you can do is ask, “Do you have a __________ diploma/certificate? If they don’t, an employer can legally reject them right away.

    Yet in general kids from poorer backgrounds do worse in school–often a lot worse. The system guarantees that they will have less chance of landing that first or second job, and that the jobs they do get will be less desirable (pay less, more unpleasant, less room for advancement, etc.).

    This might be a reasonable price to pay if academic skills and knowledge made you a more productive worker. But as every seventh grader knows (“When am I ever going to use this?”), that is simply not true.

    Sure, being able to read and write and understand basic math is probably useful anywhere. But the rest of what students are supposed to learn in school? It seems like a “built-in headwind” (to quote Griggs,/I>) holding back people who don’t come from an academic background.

  22. Engineer-poet…

    Really? The SF Bay Area is filled with rich people who don’t produce anything and are the “true parasite class”? Ever hear of this place called Silicon Valley? With Stanford, Berkeley, and UCSF all in the area San Francisco is a mecca for high tech, biotech, medicine, new technologies.

  23. CarolineSF says:

    Agreed that we’re off topic here; conversations will do that.

    Actually, Cranberry, the high use of government services (aka “parasites sucking at the public tit”) correlates with a low-income county in a more remote area. So I’m not criticizing those residents for needing the services — I do criticize them for being so unclear on the concept as to claim to oppose “government interference,” believe that they’re fiercely independent, and vote in anti-tax Republicans, all the while being deeply dependent on publicly funded services.

    Coastal urban areas don’t need as much in government services, and yes, San Francisco is very expensive and attracts a lot of high-income people. The fact that families are leaving because SF is so expensive is irrelevant to the high use of public services in low-income rural areas.

    Engineer/poet, actually, the poster county for that situation (anti-tax Republicans “sucking at the public tit,” that is) is remote Modoc, which is California’s most Republican county and the county with the second-highest per capita use of government services. Modoc County is 85+% white and 11+% Latino, so your theory doesn’t stand up there. Those Republican voters “sucking at the public tit” are as white and American-born as any good Tea Partier.

    Also, by the way, it’s not San Francisco’s liberal policies that result in high Latino populations in other counties. It’s the fact that Latino immigrants will do jobs that native-born Americans won’t do, and like any hardworking person seeking to survive, they go where the jobs are. That’s why there are also soaring Latino populations in Midwestern centers of the meatpacking industry — I don’t think you can find a way to attribute that situation to San Francisco liberals.

    Yes, you do have to be high-income and often go into deep debt as well to buy a home in San Francisco. My husband and I bought in 1988 for a fraction of what our house is worth now — it was expensive then too — we had saved for years for the down payment. Both of us worked in private industry (I had the same employer as Joanne Jacobs, the San Jose Mercury News) — after the collapse of the newspaper industry, my husband became a teacher two years ago, so NOW we are government employees, but not till many years after we bought our home. We could never have considered buying it on a substitute teacher’s income, believe me.

    The upscale younger San Francisco families who buy at today’s outrageous prices are generally in high tech and financial services — I can’t think of any I know who are government employees.

    I’m happy to put all those misguided beliefs to rest!

  24. SuperSub says:

    Caroline SF –
    Perhaps a reason that Modoc uses so many government services is that, well, the federal government owns and manages much of the county’s land. It’s filled with national monuments and reserves, and is managed by various federal agencies like Land Management, Wildlife and Fisheries, Indian Affairs, etc. The government services provided in Modoc are of a completely different variety than those offered in LA or other areas of California.

    “The fact that families are leaving because SF is so expensive is irrelevant to the high use of public services in low-income rural areas.”
    -Actually, considering that entitlements are limited, the fact that SF is so expensive, as evidenced by the economic flight, does explain the concentration of entitlement users in low-income areas. Welfare recipients have to life somewhere since they can’t find affordable housing in SF and other cities. The presence of jobs elsewhere also contributes, but I don’t think you can just dismiss the cost argument.

    As a NY resident I see plenty of similarities between our state and California in the 90’s. Even our Democratic governor has pointed the finger at out-of-control entitlement spending and expansive government services as causing our fiscal woes. More than a few economists and politicians have referenced California as an example of what not to do with government spending.

  25. Roger Sweeny says:

    Modoc County–in extreme northeast California. 2000 Census population 9,449 (though my 2011 Rand McNally says 9,184 is the “latest available estimate”) spread over 4,203 square miles. Mostly mountains and high plateau and, yes, the federal government is the main employer. I was there a number of years ago and it’s beautiful, though I’d hate to spend a winter there.

  26. Peace Corps says:

    Roger, since tim-10-ber didn’t answer your query:

    NRT – Norm Referenced Test
    CRT – Criterion Referenced Test
    TCAP – Guessing this is a Tennessee Test
    EOC – End of Course
    FARM – Free and Reduced Meals

    At least that what they would mean if I used them.

  27. CarolineSF says:

    SuperSub, the speculation that Modoc is eating up government cash due entirely to lots of federal lands doesn’t jibe with reality.

    The Chronicle on Modoc County:

    “…more people here [Modoc] than just about anywhere else depend on welfare checks of some kind to get by.”

    The Chronicle did a feature on the county a couple of years back. The welfare-dependent Republicans who oppose the taxes that support them claim, well, they COULD get by without the government assistance if they had to. But if they don’t believe in it, why do they accept the government assistance?

    These people are seriously confused. Anyway, this is all just to clarify to the posters here who are misconstruing just who is “sucking at the public tit.”

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-06-30/news/17210516_1_modoc-county-california-s-general-fund-tax-averse-county

  28. SuperSub says:

    “Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, chairwoman of a legislative budget conference committee, ordered up a report last winter ranking which of the state’s counties send the most tax money per capita to the Capitol, and which ones consume the most in health and other services.”

    “Other services,” which due to a failure to further qualify the statement by the reporter, I assume means road and other infrastructure maintenance. The only individual that even discusses welfare is the article’s writer.

    A sparsely populated county with no significant commercial or industrial areas will not have a tax base to send revenue to the state. Also, it will not have cities or towns to collect taxes and fund necessary services like infrastructure, emergency, and education, leaving the state to provide them.

    The entire article, and the legislative report upon which its based, are elitist hatchet jobs. A better comparison would have been to isolate individual resident-based entitlements and to include city, town, and county expenditures. Something tells me the rankings would be different.

    Finally, they have all said the problem is not with paying taxes, but instead what the taxes are being spent on.

  29. CarolineSF says:

    No, SuperSub. The point is that the county soaks up a disproportionate amount of public money (aka “sucks at the public tit”) due to its characteristics that create particular needs — whatever they may be.

    Again, I’m not blaming anyone or disparaging the need for the services, nor was the reporter who did the Chronicle feature. The article points out, and I re-emphasize, that the point is that the residents whose county needs those services are badly unclear on the concept when they believe themselves to be fiercely independent and believe that being anti-tax makes any sense. That’s not elitist. It’s common sense and points out that those residents are basing their political views on a total lack of comprehension of reality.

    And you’re changing your story about the government lands and monuments, SuperSub. You don’t get to do that any more — give it up. You lost the argument.

  30. Mom-of-2 says:

    Fascinating debate… But do ya think you could change the reference to the public “tit” to the word “teet”? It just sounds nicer.

    Tit for teet!

  31. Roger Sweeny says:

    Thanks, Peace Corps.

  32. the poster county for that situation (anti-tax Republicans “sucking at the public tit,” that is) is remote Modoc, which is California’s most Republican county and the county with the second-highest per capita use of government services.

    And full of national monuments and other real estate kept out of productive private use by government fiat, which is paid for with… people’s tax money (and borrowing).

    Don’t dismiss the anti-government attitude this produces.  The conflict between Western ranchers and the BLM bureaucrats in Washington who have a lot of control over their livelihoods but no personal stake or social relationship with them has led to epic antagonism and even suggestions that states should condemn and sell federal lands.

    Modoc County is 85+% white and 11+% Latino, so your theory doesn’t stand up there.

    Your source appears to be the San Francisco Chronicle article, which is hardly a neutral source.  I tried looking for information on welfare dependency (not general “government services”, which might include paying park rangers) for Modoc county and came up empty-handed.  That’s a much better measure of people’s attitudes; if they were using more direct assistance for a given income level than e.g. Angelinos your implication of hypocrisy would have a basis, but so far there’s no evidence on the table.

    Latino immigrants will do jobs that native-born Americans won’t do

    There’s no way to sugar-coat this:  that is a LIE.  American citizens are still the majority in most, if not all, occupations where imported labor has been making inroads.  Those inroads have come from conscious decisions on the basis of BUSINESS to close plants where citizens worked (e.g. unionized meatpackers) and move to the middle of nowhere in right-to-work states where illegal alien labor can be hired for minimum wage or less.  Roy Beck was testifying to Congress about how losers are created back in the 1990’s.

    When illegal aliens left a Tyson Foods plant after major raid, citizens lined up for the positions opened up.  There are NO jobs Americans won’t do; there are just jobs that are too poorly paid for the difficulty and hazard, and wages are set by supply and demand.

    The upscale younger San Francisco families who buy at today’s outrageous prices are generally in high tech and financial services

    Financial services.  These are the people who are paying you 0.25% interest on your bank account, while coming up with creative ways to ding you with penalty fees when you use checking and any of your plastic.  While doing this to Americans, they hire illegal aliens to do their landscaping, clean their houses and swimming pools, and even take care of their children.

    Not parasitic?  You sure can’t prove it by me.