Call it the Obama Effect.
A poll released Thursday by Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., found that 70 percent of black students ages 15 to 18 thought their standard of living would be better than their parents, compared with just 36 percent of white students.
Overall, 39 percent of respondents thought they would have a higher living standard.
Those numbers and the level of optimism among black students appeared to be closely tied to their enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, making for what some called the "Obama effect."
Asked about the president's performance, more than two-thirds of black students rated his performance as "good" or "very good," compared with 23 percent of white students. Overall, about a quarter of the students who were surveyed rated the president highly.
The mainstream believes that there are psychosocial reasons for why whites do better than blacks, among them African American being less hopeful about what they can accomplish in a society conspiring to hold them back. Now that we find they’re more optimistic than their white counterparts, and assuming that this is a new development, will any brave blogger, writer, TV pundit, liberal activist, or professor put forth a prediction that the pesky achievement gap is going to be significantly cut within the next few years? If so, why not? Honest people with theories about the world make predictions consistent with those theories. Let's see those who deny inherent race differences show how confident they are in the alternative.
If you're thinking "of course nobody would be foolish enough to think that a poll on attitudes can tell you anything about test scores," then you understand how silly theories like the stereotype threat are.