Whenever I'm linking to Sailer or VDare, people might already be prepared to wince, because it tends to be info that if true, we might keep quiet about anyway. I absolutely get that. People have decent, kind, smart, hardworking friends who they don't want to come even close to offending. They would poke out an eye before letting a friend think "Does he really think that about...me?" But there are local policy decisions all over the country that flow from this. Improving schools is good, but punishing teachers and schools for wrong reasons doesn't get us very far. We have had repeated national panics and complaints as long as I can remember about the schools, and all the bad, stupid stuff we doing.
Yet what if our schools are doing a better job than any other country in the world, but we are just measuring wrongly? What if all those other countries aren't eating our lunch? What if we were #1, or at least consistently in the top few, in educating our children? Wouldn't our rhetoric and solutions be different?
Here are the data on the primary international test. The short version (qualifiers below) is that Asian-American students outscore Asian countries/regions; White American students outscore all those white European countries: American Hispanics outscore all Latin American countries; African-Americans outscore African and Caribbean nations.
Qualifiers: Shanghai, and sometimes Singapore and one of the coastal provinces of China are roughly the same as Asian-Americans, who are largely descended from those areas.
Finland and New Zealand may be a little ahead of white Americans.
No African nations compete, so the comparison data is sketchy. But as best as we can tell, African Americans outscore all other blacks in the world, probably by a large margin.
Maybe Sailer is wrong, badly wrong, not just because we don't like the implications but because he has made major errors. Fine, then. But if he's even close to right, then what are all these federal initiatives and school programs even about? And why are are we forever kicking millions of teachers teachers as if they have made some major screwups, letting down the nation and the kids, if it's just not true?
Interesting tidbit: the Finnish schools are apparently very laid back, the NE Asian schools rigorous and intense, but both produce excellent students.