Matt Bremer helps freshmen at Community Partnerships Academy, one of five small schools within Berkeley High, study integrated math. Black students in the liberal college town scores 4.6 grade levels below white students. Photo: Ali Thanawalla, East Bay Express
Racial achievement gaps are widest in the most liberal towns writes Steve Sailer in Taki’s Magazine.
Ultra-liberal Berkeley has the largest black-white gap in the nation, according to the national database of school-district test scores created by Stanford and Harvard researchers. Black students in Berkeley are 4.6 grade levels behind their white classmates.
Yet, Berkeley is ferociously antiracist. It was the first to have a Black Studies Department at the high school level. In the 2012 election, Berkeley voted for Obama over Romney 90 to 5. Berkeley Unified school-district administrators obsess over any data showing that black students get punished more than other races.
White kids in Berkeley averaged 2.7 grade levels higher than the national average for all students, notes Sailer. Hispanics in the district’s public schools scored 1.1 grade levels below the national average and blacks scored 1.9 grade levels below.
. . . white students, who tend to be the children of professors, Pixar employees, or the idle rich, score well. But Berkeley’s blacks do poorly, even by the standards of blacks in general, averaging below African-Americans in Chicago and Philadelphia.
Berkeley High School was broken into five smaller schools in hopes of closing achievement gaps. However, the two academic schools are mostly white and Asian-American, while the other three schools have drawn most of the black and Hispanic students.
Out of 2121 school districts with enough blacks and whites to generate fairly reliable results, the largest black-white gaps are in liberal college towns and liberal big cities such as Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Oakland Seattle, Minneapolis and San Francisco, writes Sailer.
Some Atlanta suburbs, which have been attracting college-educated black families, have “small racial disparities with middle-of-the-road overall performance,” he writes.
The large town with the highest test scores in the country for both blacks (+0.7 grade levels above the national average) and Hispanics (+1.1 grade levels) is Frisco, Tex., a rapidly expanding exurb 28 miles north of Dallas. . . . The median income is in the low six figures. The Frisco school district “looks like America” more than just about any other: It’s 11% black, 14% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 59% white. That’s diversity.
Frisco’s white-black gap is 0.57 standard deviations and its white-Hispanic gap is 0.43, both a little below national averages and well below most other high-scoring districts.
Frisco-area voters gave 65% of their vote to Romney, Sailer points out.
The white-Hispanic gap numbers are about 75 percent as large as the white-black gaps, the Stanford study found.