Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Study Sees an Obama Effect as Lifting Black Test-Takers

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:38 PM
Original message
Study Sees an Obama Effect as Lifting Black Test-Takers
In the study made public on Thursday, Dr. Friedman and his colleagues compiled a brief test, drawing 20 questions from the verbal sections of the Graduate Record Exam, and administering it four times to about 120 white and black test-takers during last years presidential campaign.

In total, 472 Americans 84 blacks and 388 whites took the exam. Both white and black test-takers ranged in age from 18 to 63, and their educational attainment ranged from high school dropout to Ph.D.

On the initial test last summer, whites on average correctly answered about 12 of 20 questions, compared with about 8.5 correct answers for blacks, Dr. Friedman said. But on the tests administered immediately after Mr. Obamas nomination acceptance speech, and just after his election victory, black performance improved, rendering the white-black gap statistically nonsignificant, he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/23/education/23gap.html

In many ways I'm not surprised. But I love the ammunition. This may be my favorite factoid of the election.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Frontline: a class divided
Jane Elliott's famous 'Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes' experiment proved this forty years ago


On the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott's third graders from the small, all-white town of Riceville, Iowa, came to class confused and upset. They recently had made King their "Hero of the Month," and they couldn't understand why someone would kill him. So Elliott decided to teach her class a daring lesson in the meaning of discrimination. She wanted to show her pupils what discrimination feels like, and what it can do to people.

Elliott divided her class by eye color -- those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes. Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott. On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group.

What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher. On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work. In contrast, the "superior" students -- students who had been sweet and tolerant before the exercise -- became mean-spirited and seemed to like discriminating against the "inferior" group.

<more>

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/divided/e...

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
traxster Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I am not surprised
...that the election is having this effect. But, I don't expect it to be long-standing. His election has caused a spark and that is wonderful, but as a black female, I feel that his impact on race relations is being overstated. Especially since the racial divide is deeper because it is also impacted by the financial divide, which I think has a bigger effect.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I think this election has affected..
our national psychology. I'm not sure that I have really accepted it yet. I think there's a part of me that is still in disbelief.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Brother Buzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Sister, what's with them negative vibes?... have a little faith
Why shouldn't it be long-lasting?

Now, the financial divide is a another game entirely, and you are mostly correct. But it's not just racial, it's generational; old white people have the money in this nation. Old people with golden pension and cash to burn. Kids are gone, the house is paid for, money in the bank, social security check, and if they were halfway fortunate, a pension check.

Oh, welcome to DU :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
traxster Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. When I said long-lasting...
I was thinking in my head (and should have typed) that the spark is there and it is real, but for it to be long-lasting, the parents have to get involved and stay involved. All the parents who made their kids watch the inauguration (me included) have to keep that spark going.

And you are so right about the financial divide. I'm from a small town in NC, so I know all about the influences of old money!

Thanks for the welcome! I have been lurking for about 6 months and have finally decided to step in the ring, so to speak. LOL
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. yes, I remeber that, and the tests with children and white and black baby dolls
I'm with Michelle. For the first time in my adult life I'm really proud of my country.

This may make a difference.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Number23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Never underestimate the power of seeing those like you positively represented
Michelle and Barack will probably do more for black folks with their very PRESENCE than a decade's worth of affirmative action programs.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Agreed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ben017 Donating Member (7 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Obama Effect
"But on the tests administered immediately after Mr. Obamas nomination acceptance speech, and just after his election victory, black performance improved, rendering the white-black gap statistically nonsignificant, he said."

Interesting & hopefully there is some positive effect. But I'd be cautious about this study for a number of reasons. Failure to reject the null hypothesis doesn't prove it, especially in a study with a small sample size. Also, it's my understanding that releasing the results of a study prior to peer review is generally regarded as a red flag.

Other possible issues:

1. Note that they give the scores pre-Obama, but not post-Obama. So there was still a gap, but perhaps only at a 90% significance level rather than a 95% level.
2. The number of questions is very small.
3. Self-selection effects (it's an internet study, not a representative sample).
4. Different times of year may catch students in or out of school, different people who may have heard about the study (including from the experimenters, who may have sent flyers or emails to different places), etc.

The real test is whether the change in the gap is statistically significant.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
10. It's up to the individual and their family support for education as a means to an end.
Edited on Mon Jan-26-09 09:04 AM by ClarkUSA
I know plenty of post-Boat refugee period Vietnamese kids who grew up in poor neighborhoods, attended
less-than-optimum public schools, and graduated at the top of their class, then going onto professional
careers galore. They had families who pushed them to succeed in school.

Many African-American kids do not have that familial support, which is something the POTUS and Bill Cosby
have touched on. Now, maybe, hopefully, things have changed with the example of Barack leading the way.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Aug 23rd 2014, 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC