That question is not as preposterous as it might sound. Here is a selection from Pat Buchanan’s most recent syndicated column:
Every three years, the Paris-based OECD holds its Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests of the reading, math and science skills of 15-year-olds in developing and developed countries. Gurria was talking of the results of the 2009 tests.
Sixty-five nations competed. The Chinese swept the board.
The schools of Shanghai-China finished first in math, reading and science. Hong Kong-China was third in math and science. Singapore, a city-state dominated by overseas
Chinese, was second in math, fourth in science.
Only Korea, Japan and Finland were in the hunt.
And the U.S.A.? America ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math, producing the familiar quack-quack.
“This is an absolute wake-up call for America,” said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “We have to face the brutal truth. We have to get much more serious about investment in education.”
But the “brutal truth” is that we invest more per pupil than any other country save Luxembourg, and we are broke. And a closer look at the PISA scores reveals some unacknowledged truths.
True, East Asians—Chinese, Koreans, Japanese—are turning in the top scores in all three categories, followed by the Europeans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders.
But, looking down the New York Times list of the top 30 nations, one finds not a single Latin American nation, not a single African nation, not a single Muslim nation, not a single South or Southeast Asian nation (save Singapore), not a single nation of the old Soviet Union except Latvia and Estonia.
“If the brains and the will to learn are absent, no amount of spending on schools, teacher salaries, educational consultants or new texts will matter.”
And in Europe as in Asia, the northern countries (Finland, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Austria, Germany) outscore the southern (Greece, Italy, Portugal). Slovenia and Croatia, formerly of the Habsburg Empire, outperformed Albania and Serbia, which spent centuries under Turkish rule.
Among the OECD members, the most developed 34 nations on earth, Mexico, principal feeder nation for U.S. schools, came in dead last in reading.
Steve Sailer on VDARE.com got the full list of 65 nations, broke down U.S. reading scores by race, then measured Americans with the countries and continents whence their families originated. What he found was surprising.
Asian-Americans outperform all Asian students except for Shanghai-Chinese. White Americans outperform students from all 37 predominantly white nations except Finns, and U.S. Hispanics outperformed the students of all eight Latin American countries that participated in the tests.
African-American kids would have outscored the students of any sub-Saharan African country that took the test (none did) and did outperform the only black country to participate, Trinidad and Tobago, by 25 points.
America’s public schools, then, are not abject failures.
They are educating immigrants and their descendants to outperform the kinfolk their parents or ancestors left behind when they came to America. America’s schools are improving the academic performance of all Americans above what it would have been had they not come to America.
What American schools are failing at, despite the trillions poured into schools since the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is closing the racial divide.
We do not know how to close the gap in reading, science and math between Anglo and
Asian students and black and Hispanic students.
And from the PISA tests, neither does any other country on earth.
The gap between the test scores of East Asian and European nations and those of Latin America and African nations mirrors the gap between Asian and white students in the U.S. and black and Hispanic students in the U.S.
Which brings us to “Bad Students, Not Bad Schools,” a new book in which Dr. Robert Weissberg contends that U.S. educational experts deliberately “refuse to confront the obvious truth.”
“America’s educational woes reflect our demographic mix of students. Today’s schools are filled with millions of youngsters, many of whom are Hispanic immigrants struggling with English plus millions of others of mediocre intellectual ability disdaining academic achievement.”
Pat often gets demonized as “far Right” by neocons and Left-liberals, but we shouldn’t forget how much a part of the Establishment he is. The three-time presidential candidate, advisor to presidents, MSNBC commentator, bestselling author, and pal of many DC insiders is making, essentially, HBD-wise arguments and quoting from authors whose work has appeared at guerrilla outfits like AltRight, Takimag, VDARE.com, The HL Mencken Club, and American Renaissance.
Worth noting as well is that HBD in the social sciences has proceeded almost entirely without academic support. For every Henry Harpending, who’s studied the implications of evolutionary theory freely, there are many John Philippe Rushtons, Bruce Lahns, Christopher Brands, and Kevin MacDonalds, all of whom have been attacked by colleagues, administrators, and publishers for reaching politically incorrect scientific conclusions. The “conservative movement” has been particularly rigorous in expelling race realists—and even those concerned with Western Identity—as Kevin Lamb found out. The leading “paleos” are now seemingly embarrassed by the writing of Sam Francis and have dropped sociobiology altogether.
As Steven Pinker observed, racial realism challenges the “assumption that all group-wide social differences (e.g. in crime, poverty, and health) are caused by discrimination or a rigged economic system.” It opposes egalitarianism on the most fundamental level, and doesn’t simply put forth the wishful thinking of conservatives, who claim that Blacks would flourish and racial differences—maybe even race itself—wither away if only affirmative action were abolished and Al Sharpton silenced.
We are the vanguard, and our unspeakable truths are becoming harder and harder to ignore.
How's that for optimism.
P.S.: The situation is analogous to the Austrians' advance in economics: academia is dominated by Keynesians and Chicago School types, but the spirit of "End the Fed" has captured the youth, to the chagrin of David Frum.