A report has come out, showing that math and reading proficiency dropped nationwide during the COVID lockdowns. Maryland students have the lowest test scores in reading and math of any US state or territory, with only 19 percent of Maryland students performing math that is appropriate for their grade level. Some schools in Baltimore had NO students who were proficient in math.

It doesn’t take long to figure out why. The scores are available online. It isn’t that the test is too hard or that teachers in general aren’t doing their jobs- there are schools in Maryland that had 91% of students proficient in math. In general, whites and Asians score higher on standardized tests than do other races, and the more affluent a student is, the higher the test scores.

The 5 cities with the best scores (racial makeup, median household income) were:

  • Bethesda: 88 percent white and Asian, $173K
  • Ellicott City: 83 percent white and Asian, $136K
  • Clarksville: 87 percent white and Asian, $161K
  • Rockville 68 percent white and Asian, $116K
  • Glenelg 88 percent white and Asian $181K

Some would see that and think that there was racism involved. That is what “equity” is all about- looking at outcomes, then trying to make them the same, but that is simply saying that correlation means causation. Instead, let’s look at the correlation and see if we can find the causation.

Parents who make more money do so because they value education, hard work, or some other trait. That doesn’t always mean college- it can mean trade school, learning to run a business, something. Those parents are also clever or intelligent, which is inheritable. The point is, parents who make money tend to impart the values that made them successful upon their children. Parents who are not successful pass their traits on as well. So children in affluent households tend to be successful. The children in poor households tend to be less successful.

How do you fix this? School and teachers can’t. Teachers who are with a student for less than 1100 hours a year can’t fix 18 years bad parenting coupled with the handicap of losing the genetic lottery. All of the programs in the world won’t turn a student with a 75 IQ and no motivation into a scholastically successful person. In that case, you are doing nothing more than trying to teach a pig to sing.

The other thing that I would like to point out is that the response to COVID had an effect on an entire generation of students, who lost learning opportunities that will hurt them in lost learning gains, thereby affecting them for their entire lives. The knowledge gap that they have as a result of missing a year or more of school will cause them to play catchup for years.


Tim Mc Cann · February 15, 2023 at 7:06 am

I would test their teachers and see how proficient they are.

grumpy51 · February 15, 2023 at 7:59 am

Article is behind a paywall. Anyway, this is GREAT news (MD)….means MS isn’t dead last in the country anymore……

It's just Boris · February 15, 2023 at 8:38 am

I’ve heard repeatedly that the best way to ensure kids get a good education, is get the parents engaged.

That, flatly, is a cultural issue as much as anything else.

    Jonathan · February 15, 2023 at 4:01 pm

    The best way to get people educated is for them to see the value of an education so that they put in the work required.

Gryphon · February 15, 2023 at 3:22 pm

Just like “Teaching Pigs to Sing” it’s “Teaching Math to Monkeys”

and Maffs be hard,Yo’.

Aesop · February 16, 2023 at 3:18 am

Disagree. Seen it.
Think about kids with childhood illness, for but one counter-example.
The kids who would have succeeded anyways will make up for the lost time, probably in half that. Most schools hold them back more than advance them forward anyways.

The Dindus and trailer trash who were headed for a career on welfare or the state pen will merely slip under that much faster.

Life is remarkably like swimming in the ocean in that respect.
Those who can, do.
Those who cannot, feed fishes and crabs.*

*(Which societal prospect is exactly of what folks like Jordan Petersen are “deathly afraid”. “What happens to a society where 10-20% of the population has no chance to ever claw their way out of poverty and crime, because they simply lack the basic and essential tools to do that? What do you do with them??

Don W Curton · February 16, 2023 at 11:45 am

What do you do with them??

Put them in govt housing in the ghetto, far away from the nice parts of town. Pipe in water, cable TV, and Hennesey. Limit their mobility so they can’t just drive/bus over to our part of town and cause problems. Mandatory snip-snip for any adult with one kid and no job to prevent two kids and no job. Drop off fatty fried food (maybe clogged arteries will take care of it). Segregate their social media so they don’t influence the rest of the world. Then ignore them. As long as possible. Call it reparations town.

    Aesop · February 16, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    That’s mostly what we already do now.
    Howzat plan working out for ya? 🙂

    Jordan’s point is that at some point, they’re either going on an island they can’t get away from, in perpetuity, or we’re bringing back camps and showers. He’s certainly not advocating either, but I think he can see the writing on the wall getting pretty clear, and it’s disconcerting, to say the least.

    IQ is destiny.

Comments are closed.