David Thompson
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October 21, 2020

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Nikw211

Note too the implication that the feelings of those who work hard and show ability should be trumped by the feelings of those who do neither.

Melanie Phillips was writing about this kind of thing as far back as 1996 in All Must Have Prizes (a title fittingly based on a line from the topsy-turvy bizarro world of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland):

    Far from being a new development, ["a ludicrous prizes-for-all approach"] was an important contributor to the progressive destruction of our education system, the subject of my book.

    This attitude sprang from the belief in equality of outcomes. Instead of everyone having the same chances in life, or equality of opportunity, it ordained that all should enjoy identical benefits, regardless of behaviour or other circumstances. The doctrine became a general cultural orthodoxy. In education it destroyed the idea of meritocracy, because that created winners and losers and the very idea of losers was regarded as discriminatory and unfair.

David

Again, there’s the assumption, common among leftist educators, that an IQ is something you can just pour into a head, any head, with sufficient education. By leftist educators. Variations of this claim can get quite bizarre and unmoored from reality. As noted before, it’s another way for leftist educators to flatter themselves and overestimate their own importance – by in effect taking credit for someone else’s ability.

Somewhat related.

David

Ms Collins’ efforts to enlighten are almost amusing, in a grim kind of way - invoking, as she does, “experts in critical race theory.” Dissenters are “creating trauma,” we’re told. “Let’s get educated,” says our proponent of pernicious racial hokum and enforced mediocrity.

PiperPaul

Is it possible for an incompetent person to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate competence?

David

Is it possible for an incompetent person to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate competence?

Yes, I think so. I recognise and appreciate the competence of people who can do things I can’t. I do it all the time. I’d imagine you do too. But there’s the issue of whether some people may resent competence that exceeds their own. There being a difference between recognising a thing and appreciating it.

Deus Vulture

The fact that some children persist in failing schools despite ongoing substitutes, a lack of classroom resources and the burdens of poverty don’t seem to enter into this equation of merit.

Perhaps if one is conscious that there are failing schools in the SFUSD, one might think about addressing that before dragging all of the others down to that level.

David

one might think about addressing that before dragging all of the others down to that level.

It’s practically a signature of leftist psychology. There must be no escape.

David

Also somewhat relevant, on the supposedly ‘equitable’ distribution of clever children.

Also this.

Killer Marmot

They used to deny blacks a proper education through separate and under-funded school systems. Now they do it by debauching the entire education system, ensuring no one gets a proper education except those who take it upon themselves to learn outside of the system.

Ray

Of course, "failing schools" just means some schools don't have enough "resources", it's not an admission that some schools are crap.

David

Of course, “failing schools” just means some schools don’t have enough “resources”, it’s not an admission that some schools are crap.

Again, from the thread linked above,

The odds of state education ever being uniformly satisfactory, or even mostly satisfactory, seem somewhat remote. This is because the shortcomings of state education aren’t simply or chiefly a matter of funding. It’s also an issue of intake and ethos. Money won’t change the bell curves of ability and aptitude, and it won’t shift egalitarian ideology, which in my experience was one of the major problems. If, for instance, the prevailing thinking in a school is like this example here, in which children are treated as vehicles for propagating an egalitarian worldview, then the biggest problem facing those kids, especially bright kids, is the thinking itself. And if pupils aren’t being taught grammar and spelling on ideological grounds, then not teaching grammar and spelling in a slightly nicer classroom won’t make much of a difference.

And likewise, blaming poor results on racism and insufficient funding, while disdaining expectations of competence as a function of “white supremacy” and therefore something to reject, is, shall we say, a bit rich.

Ray

David, I hope you don't think I was disagreeing with you. I was just trying to say that any reference to failing schools by the education system is invariably a veiled demand for more money. That obviously doesn't apply to any other person's reference to failing schools.

asiaseen

But there’s the issue of whether some people may resent competence that exceeds their own. There being a difference between recognising a thing and appreciating it.

That, being a fundamental attribute of leftish thinking.

David

David, I hope you don’t think I was disagreeing with you

Heh. Not at all.

WTP

Re IQ, I suspect that many of those responsible for this idiocy are themselves of relatively high IQ. Not all, but I'm sure there's a good number of them involved.

Steve E

Re IQ, I suspect that many of those responsible for this idiocy are themselves of relatively high IQ.

Because even those with a high IQ can have trouble distinguishing between logic and rationalization. Especially when they're blinded by an ideology.

Mike

So testing is racist and East Asian kids are only more academic because of 'white supremacy'.

How the f*ck do these lunatics get elected?

David

How the f*ck do these lunatics get elected?

Because a flattering excuse, however laughable, is still flattering?

aelfheld
Re IQ, I suspect that many of those responsible for this idiocy are themselves of relatively high IQ.

It is more likely they're of middling IQ, middling attainment, and outsized self-esteem. Ambitious mediocrities with expensive credentials.

Jonathan

I suspect that many of those responsible for this idiocy are themselves of relatively high IQ.

I think that many high IQ people find it very hard to imagine what it's like not having a high IQ; for them it's easier to 'get' things that others struggle with and they seem to think that if only others put some effort into it, or had better teaching they'd be able to do the same. As someone with average intelligence who went to a school that had some very bright kids I was friends with, they used to get frustrated when I didn't immediately grasp a concept that seemed simple to them.

ruralbob

I worked in higher ed for 30+ years. Believe me, the random loons have been moving into leadership positions for a long time. They're just loonier now. I long suspected that there was a "Journal of Cockamamie Ideas" that only the administrators had a subscription to.

watcher In The Dark

Why are so many Lefties always "fighting" for this that or the other?

Is it because violence is embedded in their hearts, or simply because all their much-praised and strenuous efforts in the past have always been abject failures so it's time to step up the rhetoric?

Trevor

How the f*ck do these lunatics get elected?

Never forget that half of the electorate - indeed of any population - is below average. And I'm not convinced 'average' is quite what it used to be.

Trevor

Believe me, the random loons have been moving into leadership positions for a long time.

Very true. My pee has been boiling more or less continuously since my mid-twenties, just a couple of years after beginning what I suppose I must laughingly call my 'career'. I often feel that my entire adult life has been spent watching a slow-motion train wreck.

Adam

A few years ago a retiring doctor told me "Considering what's going on in med schools now, my best advice is don't get sick."

Joe Ego

It is more likely they're of middling IQ, middling attainment, and outsized self-esteem. Ambitious mediocrities with expensive credentials.

IQ just high enough to be able to make sense of a presentation on various data but not high enough to critique the presentation or to see what is not being presented. Connected just enough that they can only be puppets of their patrons or risk falling into the pit with the proles. Imaginative enough to believe in the lie of equalism but so dense they can't imagine what damage will be wrought tomorrow, never mind in 5 years.

Just smart enough to believe they've reasoned out good solutions but so dumb and self-interested that they don't see they're the do-gooders CS Lewis warned us about.

Jay Guevara

Again, there’s the assumption, common among leftist educators, that an IQ is something you can just pour into a head, any head, with sufficient education. By leftist educators.

Yet, curiously, the same people do not think that athletic ability can be poured into anyone through enough training.

Jeff Guinn

In her favor, Ms. Collins allowed comments. This one successfully takes her to task.

I went to High School in a particularly well off city in Southern California, San Marino, which had its own school district. As a consequence, it was virtually 100% white. On account of reasons, because it happened after I left the area, over a decade or so in the '80s and 90's, the city became at least 60% Asian. When I went to my 30 year reunion, we got a tour of the school, and saw a great many changes. One of which was having to knock out a wall between two classrooms to accommodate all the students in the math club. Before, one had been much more than sufficient.

Ms. Collins fails to take on board that the results of standardized tests are very highly predictive of success. Accepting students with lower test scores will result in one of two things: significantly higher failure rate among those students, or diminished standards.

I went to Air Force pilot training. The scores required on the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test to get in the door were pretty high. Why? Because there was a strong correlation between scores and success in a very demanding — and expensive — program. Below a certain point, the failure rates went through the ceiling.

So which would Ms. Collins want? More failure, or lower standards?

Merit matters.

WTP

Sooo...if I may wade back in here regarding IQ and its value/impact on...well, anything...and JMHO...I did some googling (OK, first hit...yes, I'm that lazy) regarding whether curiosity (why I feel the need to put a 'u' in that word...but I digress) and IQ are related/correlated/whatever and I come to this on Quora...from someone who describes himself as a "Swallower at Seimens (1969-present)"...

LOL great question! curiosity is the fuel which drives intelligence. I’d have to double check but I’m pretty sure that curiosity has been defined as being separate from intelligence, namely that the mental mechanism that run the two are different.

There is one thing for sure. If you are intelligent and you are NOT curious, there is no bigger waste of a human mind. Similarly if you are below average there is no better way to gain equality to your peers.

The urge and drive to find new knowledge resides in all the tools in the shed, dull and sharp alike. It is that drive that has lifted humans to our elite standing on the planet. You can be as smart as you want but if you don’t want to be better, if you don’t need to see whats happening, you will go nowhere

This strikes me as typical of a high-IQ problem person. Now yes, they may very well be a poser but I find this extreme confidence 'smart' people have in what they think they know vs. what they could possibly know to be a big part of the problem we are seeing. While putting all that aside, if IQ were itself of any value I submit that we wouldn't be in these sorts of situations. High IQ people should have the capacity to see such things coming in our society and head them off or at the very least have taken them seriously decades ago. Yet where were all of these upper 10% or so of the population when all this idiocy was picking up steam? I am fairly confident that I at some point spoke about the potentials of this idiocy with at least a couple high-IQ people only to be told by them that there was nothing to be seriously concerned about.

Sorry if that rambled a bit. This subject would require a book along with a staff of contrary-thinking high IQ people to address properly. And thus it would never get written. And thus here we are. But again, JMH(NSH?)O.

WTP

That should read "put a second 'u' in that word". Sheesh, what a dummy.

Jay Guevara

High IQ people should have the capacity to see such things coming in our society and head them off or at the very least have taken them seriously decades ago. Yet where were all of these upper 10% or so of the population when all this idiocy was picking up steam?

That's easy: they were shouted down and demonized by the hard left.

Sam

This is a woman in charge, remember, a figure of authority. Not [JUST] some random loon.

FTFY

/ resumes praying to local Charter School Lottery Gods

Sam

...'merit' is inherently [blah blah blah]...

I'm sure Alison Collins would happily return her worthless degree(s) to whatever white supremacist institution had the sheer gall to do such a thing.

HarvardR

As a Class of 76 Lowellite, I find this most disturbing, and wish I could do the Vader Death-Choke on the fools who voted for this. Lowell was the college prep school in the district. If you could not make the grade (literally) you went to your local high school. To attend Lowell, you were expected to be pulling, as I recall dimly, a 3.5 or higher in junior high. And even then, there was a culling to get the number down. Apparently SFUSD has obtained a copy of South Africa's apartheid rule book on racial identification and is going with the "Asians are honorary whites" approach to "diversity" and "equity". Then again, it has always been thus, high achievers are shunted to the Harrison Bergeron track.

Smallish Bees

Character is a crucial part of success, which I haven't seen addressed yet. Academia is filled with high-IQ but low-wisdom people, whose very intelligence and lack of character make them menaces to society. Universities are filled with high-IQ folks who firmly believe that the system is broken because it allows slogging (i.e., hard-working) C students to run and own the businesses that they believe should belong to those with fancy degrees. And that resentment turns to anger, turns to bitterness, turns to grievance studies and the BLM-Antifa-Left.

Ideally, good education would consist of solid academics with strong attention on the Classic and Judeo-Christian virtues.

Jay Guevara

Academia is filled with high-IQ but low-wisdom people, whose very intelligence and lack of character make them menaces to society.

Actually, it isn't filled with high IQ people, not any more. Humanities and social "science" departments nowadays are chock-a-block with dolts, who succeed by spouting leftist tripe and being rewarded for it. The more outrageous, nonsensical, or laughable the assertion, the greater the social kudos. Talk with, say, a sociology major - or for that matter, sociology faculty - and prepare to be underwhelmed.

exdemocrat

My teen was accepted to Lowell for this year but chose a parochial school alternative instead. More $$ from us, but evidently dodged a bullet.

Jay Guevara

The Left's song now is:

Teach ... your children well crap ...

WTP

That's easy: they were shouted down and demonized by the hard left.

Because taking shit from stupid people is the 'smart' way, not just to live your own life, but to allow society in general to be run.

WTP

Academia is filled with high-IQ but low-wisdom people, whose very intelligence and lack of character make them menaces to society.

This 'wisdom' thing. Perhaps there's something there. Personally, much like my issues with 'smart' people, AISI those whom society says possess great 'wisdom' are usually the ones advising that it is best to do nothing and thought a fool than do something, whether it succeeds or not. They can always join in the mockery of those who made an earnest effort. If action is taken and said action fails, well of course the wise look wise. But even when action succeeds, the 'wise' know that they can spin the story as failure and thus still look 'wise'.

Johnny Caustic

Ms. Collins is openly, objectively, inarguably, explicitly fighting for low quality schools and she's not trying to hide it. So when she says she's “fighting for safe, high quality schools,” I wonder what's going on in her head? Leftists seem to think that words mean what they want them to mean. Maybe in her head, "high quality" means "ideologically compliant"? Maybe she's so dumb that she just rattles off "high quality" without ever thinking of it as having a meaning at all? While I have no doubt that she lies compulsively (she's a leftist), I nevertheless doubt that she's actually thinking "I want lower quality, but I'll say high quality just to fool the rubes." She's sociopathic enough but not smart enough to have that thought.

WTP

Perhaps an example is in order...let’s say a person of moderately above average IQ is in an American pool hall. Say he’s had three beers on an empty stomach. He might say something ‘smaaahrt’ to the barmaid like give her a twenty and ask for an Alex and a couple of Abes. See, this would be stoooopid. Yet it happens.

NateWhilk

So when she says she's “fighting for safe, high quality schools,” I wonder what's going on in her head? Leftists seem to think that words mean what they want them to mean. Maybe in her head, "high quality" means "ideologically compliant"?

Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1946):

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". […] Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. […] Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

(On preview I see blockquote gets through. I hope that's okay. If not, sorry and it won't be repeated.)

Daniel Ream

Ms. Collins allowed comments. This one successfully takes her to task.

It's fairly well known that the primary determinant of high grades in school is parental investment in their child's education. It's so powerful that it washes out socioeconomic status and knocks IQ down an SD. Every single study shows this; it gets buried because it means that beyond a baseline level of competence, teachers don't matter very much.

David

In her favor, Ms. Collins allowed comments. This one successfully takes her to task.

The question is whether, following such corrections, Ms Collins is likely to revise the conceits on which her career and political identity are based. Judging by her zealotry and willingness to ignore reality, all those practised evasions, I’m guessing not. Flattering excuses are more lucrative - for the shameless, at least - and very fashionable.

And when the predictable happens - when grades fall, and standards fall, and the school’s once-glowing academic reputation takes a major hit, those responsible – Ms Collins and her pinhead peers - will most likely demand more of the same “equity” policies that result in failure. While calling parents “racist” for daring to object.

Hal

Relatively parallel news from The Times.

On Newsnight this week Sir Keir Starmer was attacked by Diane Abbott as “a Very Clever Man”. Low blow. Diane is herself a mighty intellect but after the latest PMQs you wonder if she is right about the newish Labour leader.

Ahem. Stop giggling, you.

randian

Of course, "failing schools" just means some schools don't have enough "resources", it's not an admission that some schools are crap

Interesting how it's always framed as teacher incompetence and a lack of money. Some student populations are crap too. That's not something that can be publicly admitted though.

randian

Yet, curiously, the same people do not think that athletic ability can be poured into anyone through enough training.

That's because the left has made it acceptable to say athletic ability is genetic, but you can't say IQ is. Ergo, superior athletic ability cannot be trained, but superior IQ can. Never mind the obvious unreality of the proposition, and the racism it creates in pro sports, racism that the left would deem unacceptable if different racial groups were the beneficiaries of it.

David

Interesting how it’s always framed as teacher incompetence and a lack of money. Some student populations are crap too.

IQ matters and it ain’t distributed on an egalitarian basis, much as leftist teachers, and leftist education ministers, might wish otherwise. Or as my dear grey-haired gran would say, “You can’t shove toothpaste up a hummingbird’s arse.”

Captain Nemo

And when the predictable happens... Ms Collins and her pinhead peers - will most likely demand more of the same... While calling parents “racist” for daring to object.

That. In spades.

David

That. In spades.

It’s by and large what happens.

APL

This 'wisdom' thing. Perhaps there's something there.

On a family level, older sister is high IQ type, undeniably smart, having Mensa membership and all. But she has gone all in with SJW causes, immigration from the third world, BLM, Biden, Orange Man Bad, Russia Collusion, etc.. A near constant Woke outpouring on Facebook has made it a chore to weed through the postings just to find anything that might be of general interest. By contrast the siblings, although smart, are not Mensa material and much more conservative in outlook. On the other hand, the difference could be that the siblings all have children whereas Mensa type has only 3 cats. So maybe it's just Toxoplasmosis and not IQ.

Governor Squid

...those whom society says possess great 'wisdom' are usually the ones advising that it is best to do nothing and thought a fool than do something, whether it succeeds or not. They can always join in the mockery of those who made an earnest effort.

I'm not sure we have the same understanding of wisdom. To wit: 1) those whom 'society' says possess great wisdom probably do not. Society is pretty consistently wrong about everything. B) I've never seen anybody I consider wise join in on mockery of those who make an earnest effort. Quite the opposite, in fact. iii) Please be careful with convenient redefinition of words. It's already a terribly annoying habit in one of the regulars here; I'd hate to see the behavior spread to others.

High IQ people should have the capacity to see such things coming in our society and head them off or at the very least have taken them seriously decades ago. Yet where were all of these upper 10% or so of the population when all this idiocy was picking up steam?

They were positioning themselves and their loved ones to weather the storm, rather than wasting their time trying to hold back the tide for the benefit of people who've loathed and abused them since childhood. Or at least that's how I assume I would behave, if I were part of the high-IQ set.

Governor Squid

On a family level, older sister is high IQ type, undeniably smart, having Mensa membership and all.

Hrmmm. How to express my experience with Mensa types without insulting APL's family? This one's a stumper...

WTP

To wit: 1) Agree
B) Same here. Thus our definition of the word 'wise' is pretty much the same
iii) Agree. But while you and I may agree on the meaning of a word, the world at large doesn't GAF. That pooch has already been screwed. If you've followed the ACB SCOTUS confirmation news you will note that meanings and shades of those meanings are effectively meaningless. Alas, Babylon.

They were positioning themselves and their loved ones to weather the storm, rather than wasting their time trying to hold back the tide for the benefit of people who've loathed and abused them since childhood. Or at least that's how I assume I would behave, if I were part of the high-IQ set.

And thus the world we have. I find it interesting that men (well it's overwhelmingly mostly men) can risk their very lives to preserve freedom and such but getting "wise" people to simply speak up about these things in order to cut the process off at the pass is simply asking way too much. And yet the former are generally considered the dumb ones and the latter the smart ones. But again, see 1, B, and iii above.

WTP

Toxoplasmosis and not IQ

Heh. Something I've noticed since getting a dog (and he's the finest animal you would ever meet and much smarter and loving and brave and smart...did I say smart?...than most children so shut up to whatever you might say back) is that the closer one gets to a pet shop, the higher the concentration of crazy/stupid people. Toxoplasmosis...hmmm....

exdemocrat

" ... the difference could be that the siblings all have children whereas Mensa type has only 3 cats."

you may have the causation reversed there.

fnord

So which would Ms. Collins want? More failure, or lower standards?
Merit matters.

====
As long as she an be made to appear important, who cares?

Squires

...lack of money...

My great-grandmother on the West Virginia side was a schoolteacher. She spent something like 7/9 of her life without indoor plumbing, yet all of the Shakespeare that I own was inherited from her.

...older sister is high IQ type...

I was long ago warned that con artists particularly love to target the highly educated and highly intelligent, not because they are more likely to excess money, but because they are more likely to successfully fool themselves.

bobby b

So, the new way to not be racist is to assume that blacks are naturally too dumb and unambitious to hope to keep up with whites and asians in school.

Interesting flip.

wiggiatlarge

This from a local newspaper shows the same mindset, nowhere in the article is anything said about why the BAME and travelers were excluded from school, it is all white privilege that caused it!
https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/education/fixed-term-exclusions-in-hackney-1-6864831

“Instead, it remains a place which privileges white, middle class people, in all sorts of ways, but particularly in our education system.”

David

nowhere in the article is anything said about why the BAME and travelers were excluded from school,

It seems they’ll point anywhere, to anything, except of course the obvious.

WTP

It seems they’ll point anywhere, to anything, except of course the obvious

Because the obvious is for stupid people. Just as common sense is for commoners. Smart people understand the layers and layers of systemic racism intrinsic in the obvious. It's what they went to school for.

NateWhilk

On a family level, older sister is high IQ type, undeniably smart, having Mensa membership and all. But she has gone all in with SJW causes, immigration from the third world, BLM, Biden, Orange Man Bad, Russia Collusion, etc..

C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength:

"Why you fool, it's the educated reader who can be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. ... But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They're all right already. They’ll believe anything."

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