Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama Effect on Test Scores?

That's right! In less than three months Obama has reformed schools and raised black test scores!!!

I mean, really? REALLY. Let's break this down quickly.

First things first, there is a stereotype threat. Basically when told or reminded that one belongs to a certain group, said person ends up doing worse than they normally would have done. Example, if a black test taker is reminded that he/she is black prior to the test beginning they do worse than if they are asked what race they are after the test. Here's some more on it:
That gap reflects, in part, what psychologists call “stereotype threat”. In this now well-established phenomenon, being reminded that you belong to a group that, according to prevailing stereotypes, isn’t good at something causes you to do worse on a test of that something than if you were not so reminded. Similarly, if you are told that you are being assessed on something that stereotypes say your group is not good at (“girls can’t do math”) you do worse than it you’re told the test does not... When girls who are about to take a math test are reminded of their sex (basically they just check M or F on a line asking their gender), or when African-Americans about to take a standardized test such as the SAT are reminded of their race, or even when white males take a test that they’re told Asians excel on, they do worse than otherwise.
Okay, so this exists. It's real. And now some guy wants to tell us it doesn't exist with black students any more because of Obama.
Before the convention and in early October, the performance gap was as wide as ever: white students got a median score of 12.1 compared to blacks’ 8.8 before the convention; the scores were 12.9 and 8.4, respectively, in early October. But just after Obama’s convention speech, and just after election day, “when Obama’s stereotype-defying accomplishments garnered national attention,” as the researchers put it, there was a remarkable effect. Among students who watched Obama’s speech, blacks’ and whites’ scores were statistically equal (10.3 vs. 12.1) after the acceptance speech and 9.8 vs. 11.1 after election day.
Okay... by electing a black President we have managed to erase the ENTIRE WORLD HISTORY and treatment of blacks. And here's the kicker, because of this IT PROVES THAT OBAMA HAS BROKEN THE STEREOTYPE THREAT!




I mean come on... But here is the real kicker:
"The difference is considered statistically insignificant--that is, likely due to chance."


Are you kidding me? Not only are they wasting my time writing about this study that has NO STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE but well, I started that sentence poorly.

But I wanted to point out that the Newsweek editors are morons and Sharon Begley should never ever have wasted our time.

The moral: If someone brings this up at a cocktail party, call them an idiot and tell them that the study was statistically insignificant and if it is real, we won't know about it for years.


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