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Sunday, January 17, 2016

"My year of terror and abuse teaching at a NYC high school"

Illuminating article in this morning's NY Post.

Everybody who says the key to helping our students is better teachers should read this.


Anonymous said...

Spartan said….

Teaching in these dumps should me mandatory for all liberals. It seems that this guy received a better education in this school than he did in all his years in college. His experience probably debunks everything he learned from his pinko professors about poor disadvantaged youths. These type of liberal professors are the ones that think it would be a great idea to take these kids and disperse them throughout white areas in the name of social justice. This teacher may have once thought this way, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want any of these animals that he attempted to teach anywhere near his residence.

Mark Caplan said...

The critical excerpts left by some leading intellectuals on the book's Amazon page say the book is "funny," "hilarious," "humor[ous]," and "moving." After I read the NY Post article, "nauseating," "infuriating," "spine-chilling," and "Bell-Curve-confirming" seemed more on the mark.

mark said...

Thank you for the post but the author of the book didn't even come to your conclusion. He seems to be in the more, more, more school of insanity. I felt like I knew what the story was going to be 3 or 4 sentences into the article so it wasn't illuminating to me. I was more interested in the author and what did he exactly think was going on in the schools before he became a teacher. The stories he tells are disturbing but not that shocking. The fact that he was gay made his job tougher and he might not have been aware of how sensitive male teenager's gaydar is. Perhaps they have been reading this blog and picked up clues. I do admire that he left his cushy job(I just suspect that) to try to help kidkind. I do wonder about the white kid in the school. Keep up the good work.

Shaun F said...

I read the article. What a mess. I can't say I've ever heard of or seen anything like what was described going on in classrooms. What I hear about are parents successfully banning cupcakes from school or pepperoni on pizza day. Or the occasional lockdown of a school where the students stay under their desks until they get an "all clear" over the P.A. Reasons for lockdown vary from school to school. From a teaching point of view, the hope that one may contribute to the improvement of these students lot in life seems - naive.

John Craig said...

Spartan --
I couldn't agree more. Liberalism is all about hypocrisy. Put them in other people's neighborhoods, but not your own. Reminds me of Teddy Kennedy insisting (via his pawn Judge Garrity) that those South Boston Irish neighborhoods be integrated by having black kids be bussed in from Dorchester and Roxbury. Meanwhile, of course, he sent his own sons to Groton and Andover, far from any such danger.

John Craig said...

Mark Caplan --
Well said, your adjectives are right on target. For the life of me, I can't see what was "funny," "hilarious," and "humorous" about that account. Maybe someone can explain it to me. Or maybe the reviewer is merely finding humor in the author's initial naivete.

John Craig said...

Mark --
I got the impression that the author of that book did come to a similar conclusion, even if he wasn't quite willing to spell it out.

John Craig said...

Shaun F --
The reason we rarely hear accounts like this is because the media in general doesn't encourage them -- they simply don't fit the liberal narrative. We're all programmed to believe that the schools are failing these kids, not that the kids are failing the schools, or that they are basically uneducable. And a lot of the kids who are described in that article seem to be sociopathic, which is something else that neither teachers nor anyone else can possibly cure.

It would take a lot more than banning cupcakes to educate these kids.

Anonymous said...

People who want to spend more money on such unpromising targets (I should say "waste more money") are at pains to find ways in which it is not the fault of the kids, as if aping the role of God at Judgment Day weighing the innocence of their souls. But to me it does not matter as a practical issue who is at fault, these kids are (as a group, on a cost/benefit basis) never going to become anything useful or valuable to me. My life would be better if they didn't exist. Extra money should never be spent on them, but rather on well-testing smart productive children, with some potential for return-on-investment.

It is similar to pharmaceutical design of new drug molecules, or airplane-wing-design wind tunnel stuff. The designers run some preliminary assessments, pick out the better-performing versions, and then spend time and money trying to improve the function of those that actually work. I am not aware of any successful business model on earth where good results are obtained by pouring extra money into losers.

People don't like to say "gee, these kids are garbage," but, amazingly, despite every effort to pretend otherwise, every few years they are discovered to still be garbage anyways. I figure, "I ain't God, I didn't do it, not my problem, I ain't paying for it, to Hell with them." Such an attitude may be mean BUT IT IS NOT RIDICULOUS, unlike the hemorrhage of happytalk liberal alternatives.

John Craig said...

Anonymous --
Every word you say is true. Spending more money on the education of people with IQ's of 80 is about worthwhile as taking a bunch of guys who are built like me -- 5' 11" and 160 -- and spending a lot of money trying to turn them into an NFL team. You could apply all the same cliches to me that are applied to these kids, about how I deserve an opportunity too, etc., etc. But I am just not NFL material, period.

And when you add sociopathy into the mix, as seemed to be the case with some of those kids, the odds of them ever making positive contributions to society are even less.

In the meantime, our society continues down its almost willfully dysgenic path.

Spychiatrist said...

John, your article reminds me of an account that I had read many years ago about a white teacher in Alabama.

I tried to find the original but here it is re-posted on another site.

John Craig said...

Spike --
Thank you. I've seen that article before, and actually thought of it when I read the one linked above. But I wasn't sure where to find it. That kind of honesty is rare, but we need more of it if we're ever going to come to any realistic conclusions about education.

Quartermain said...

It makes wonder if military type boarding schools with no-nonsense Marine vets as teacher with relaxed disciplinary rules maybe the answer. It may not smarten them up but it may knock the j. d. bs out of them.

John Craig said...

Allan --
That's what those military type boarding schools were originally created for: disciplinary problems. Unfortunately, none of these kids' parents seem to see them as that.

Anonymous said...

I have a cousin who had to do her student teaching in a black school. She told me that the kids were wild, that the black teachers could get away with stuff that white teachers would be reprimanded for. Lol - she ended up switching her major - today, she's an RN.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
I've always gotten that impression, that black teachers are much better at handling black students than white teachers are. And a big part of that equation is that they don't have to tiptoe around for fear of being accused of racism.

Anonymous said...

I have a niece by marriage (her mother is a super liberal) who taught at a black school in Chicago. Another difficult teaching experience. I think she is now teaching at a better school. It's not worth the headaches you'd face even trying to teach in a black school. No thanks. Let black teachers teach their own people. With age, you wizen up, realizing who is or isn't worth your time.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
My cousin taught at a similar school -- though not quite that bad -- and has had a similar experience.

Chris Mallory said...

I loved how one of his solutions was "ending poverty". You could give each of those families a million dollars and this time next year they would be broke with nothing to show for it other than a few new tattoos.

Lady Bug said...

John, I'm gonna play devil's advocate and blame the kids' upbringing. But hear me out, bear with me. I'm certainly NOT saying these kids are Einsteins. Most of them are probably manual laborer material, at best. But what's wrong with that? Is it their fault that they have 85 IQs, any more than it is my doing I am (whatever, I don't my IQ).

I've known many blacks from foreign lands who come here and who do not behave this way. They were not brilliant, but they were humble and decent people who did their menial jobs with dignity.

These kids have the worst of all worlds: a permissive society, low IQ, being black, and usually from a mother-headed home. It's disgusting how we cater to their degraded lifestyles. Pop culture is a toxic dump. It's not life threatening when white boys listen to rap, but when blacks wallow in the mud, it's their way of life.

So maybe their IQs are mostly genetically endowed, but their behavior patterns are totally inculcated by our society. Shame.

Steven said...

It sounds like the school is for kids with the worst behavioural problems, from the worst homes, a last chance kind of place. Its not the average school of black kids or a representative sample, so I don't know how much it can tell us.

Generally though, when there are behavioural problems, I think the key is discipline. The teachers have to have the power and control. The kids have to be trained from a young age to obey the teacher and sit silently to do their work and there has to be proper consequences. Its probably best if the teachers can use corporal punishment.

There was bad behaviour in my high school and I don't think there was such problems decades earlier when the teachers had more power and could be more physical. In those days, the power lay with the teachers and the parents would back them up. Some teachers probably went too far but overall it was better. Now, the power lays with the kids who know the teachers 'can't touch' them and have feckless parents who will side with their kids.

There needs to be an attitude that it doesn't matter what problems you have at home, you are expected to behave well and there are no excuses.

In an ideal situation, children would grow up in a gentle, loving, positive environment and nobody would ever get hit, at home or school. There are some traditional cultures where kids aren't hit and behave well. This seems ideal. But in a rough environment, when things aren't ideal, I think they have to be a bit more hardass to make sure the adults run the school, not the kids. And it has to start young.

Steven said...

By the way, it occurred to me that every time I've seen African school children in classrooms on tv, the behaviour has been impeccable. Granted it has usually been young children but I bet that the high school teens are well behaved too. African teens I've seen on interviews have tended to seem humble and nice.

That led me to conclude that it is a cultural problem rather than a racial one and it could be radically different with the same kids.

So I googled 'school discipline in Africa' and found this:

Is this why they behave so well? I don't see any mini gangstas there.

Steven said...

the video maker says 'we've got to stop this' but has he/she seen the alternative? I bet these are really nice kids.

Steven said...

Sorry for all the posts, but here is basically the polar opposite of the school described in the article:

John Craig said...

Lady Bug --
Oh come on, tell us your IQ.

I agree with everything you say. It's not just IQ, it's a combination of things. But one difference between the races that's rarely touched upon is the difference in inhibition: blacks seem to have fewer of them, and that is reflected in all sorts of behaviors. Think of it this way: there are plenty of whites with IQ's of approximately 85, and they don't act like blacks. And that's not a function of society, that's every bit as genetic as the IQ difference. So, yes, all the things you mention factor in, but so do their IQ's (which I agree it's silly to blame them for) and their smaller frontal cortexes.

John Craig said...

Steven --
True, it was a last chance school for wayward kids, so in that sense, not representative. But I've heard similar stories about regular high schools in the inner city…..Agreed, discipline needs to be enforced, and it just doesn't seem to work with white teachers who are terrified of being accused of "racism."

Wow, they don't fool around in African schools. But in a roundabout way that actually shows it might be a racial problem: in white schools, they don't need that kind of punishment to get kids to behave.

Steven said...

It was like that in England when my parents and grandparents were kids. The Kenyans probably got it from the British. In fact, that specific punishment almost certainly came from the English because 'the cane' was the normal punishment in England up until about the 1970's.

My high school was 95% white and I've personally witnessed a teacher cry and another teacher have a nervous breakdown with slightly bizarre behaviour in front of the class, all because of our behaviour. The kids were really fucking with him that day and some were laughing at his behaviour. The weak teachers would have very little control over the classroom and we could be pretty cheeky. It wasn't as bad as the article describes but I've heard of other more inner city type schools where teachers were attacked.

If you can have African kids with impeccable behaviour and white English kids behaving like a pack of wolves, taking no notice of the teacher and driving him to a nervous breakdown, then I'd say that environment plays quite a big roll. We at least know the above is not an inevitable outcome for black kids and that they can be made to behave as well as any white kids.

I'm not sure IQ can be a big factor, for the following reason: black kids might test at the same IQ level as white kids a couple of years below in school, so then they should be able to behave as well as the white kids a couple of years below. And even 6 year olds can be trained to behave very well.

Inhibitions or testosterone or whatever else might be a factor. But I think kids from loving and stable homes will tend to behave significantly better than kids from troubled or violent or neglectful homes, in either race. Its not just about corporal punishment, its a whole package.

I think culture and environment are a big thing with this one.

Terrekain said...

Mark said: I do admire that he left his cushy job(I just suspect that) to try to help kidkind."

To each his own.

I do not admire Ed Boland one bit. A cursory glance at his description disqualifies him for gainful employment in my profession (among others). Morever, people like this don't offer themselves up for serious jobs in the first place.

A man of such hubris, ignorance, and "magical" thinking is a danger to himself, his colleagues, and his community. Needless to say, many community spheres would never allow such a reprobate into our company, let alone allow him to teach our children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren. It is frankly shocking that people still pay ideologues like Ed Boland and Steve Hsu to "educate" their children. Mentorship and Apprenticeship is the fast-track today, in the wake of the bankruptcy of the Public and College system.

Boland, Hsu, and millions like them are diseased. They afflict susceptible and weak-minded people and communities with a contagious and deadly illness. Men like this are instrumental in turning promising children into mentally-ill ideological cripples, beautiful suburbs into rotting ghost towns, teeming cities into ruins that time forgot.

Like the HIV virus, they are not lethal in and of themselves. They look deceptively "harmless" to their victims as they emasculate a community's immune system (to speak or act violently in defense of the community), inevitably rendering a community defenseless against a horde of malefactors from black criminals to white opportunistic jackals - like Boland or in the case of Hsu, an Asian jackal. People like Martin Luther King, Hsu, Boland, etc have long since profited financially by parasitizing and compromising the health of American communities, draining their equity, and bolstering their own vanity calling themselves "charitable", "altruistic", "intellectual"...

...before distancing themselves of the ruin they've wrought and "moving on".

Invite these "harmless" vampires into your home (and your hearts) at your own risk.

Lady Bug said...

Girl Scout's honor: I don't know my IQ. It doesn't matter. I think I'm reasonbly bright, but I never went far in life. My temperament has gotten me into trouble. Same goes for my neighbor, very bright, but flighty temper, and a hot reactor. Meanwhile I see people who are not half as bright as she but who have gone much further because they know the key to success is discipline and winning ways, not raw intellect. If raw intellect was the whole deal, the Unabomber wouldn't have been living in a shack. (Have you ever read his Manifesto? It's a bizarre combination of genius & insanity.)

Totally disagree with you about blacks and inhibition. I have known many low IQ whites* who are simply hopeless in the way the Lakishas are. Drunken, feckless, out of wedlock births, the whole shebang.

Blacks in the US have been treated with a special, unique brutality. Slavery isn't the half of it. And people respond to this. Nowadays I notice a lot of whining about white death rates - it's terrible, I agree. But all of these people dismiss the fact that blacks have in the past reacted to their mistreatment with bad behavior. So when whites, who are now being mistreated, are reacting the way oppressed people do, it's environment, but when blacks react, it's genes? This is totally WRONG.

*The issue is percentages and IQs. I don't dispute the mean IQ and what that predicts about numbers. You simply have more low IQ blacks as a percentage of their pop. than whites.

Lady Bugged said...


I'm with you 100%. This is culture, not genes. Not parenting. And nothing will change. Our society - and in this case UK & US = same thing, is a weak, feckless, obesity-producing wreck. Only a few can survive this nightmare - those who protect their kids from the toxins of pop culture.

Here is one example:

She is a top gymnast, she's going to Stanford (one of our best universities), she has a normal name (not Takwanda), her two (not twenty) younger brothers have normal names -- and she was home-schooled. It is quite obvious that her parents take seriously the threat of toxic pop culture, esp. its wasting effects on black youth.

I say this as someone who mostly has seen bad, criminal behavior from blacks. It's a fact. I don't deny this. I'm NOT a liberal, perish the thought!!!

But that's my environment. In my travels in the US, I've seen some really terrifying white people. And as I've said, I notice that foreign blacks who come to the US, including uneducated ones, are better behaved.

I do not like this business on so-called HBD blogs of blaming blacks for everything and judging the whole by the actions of a few. They do that with all groups (Asians, Jews, blacks) except their own - whites. No, whites are exempt.

This bugs me. LOL.

Lady Bugged said...

Just to be completely clear, I don't mean that we should be EXCUSING* these kids. If I were in control of the schools, I'd give the teacher freedom to punch these kids in the face 10 times when they act up. Or cane them, easier on the hands. Because that's the only thing that will work. I am making the point that it's the larger society that is encouraging them. We should look at ourselves.
*Not mad!

PS I've seen Nice White Ladies in charge of black/Hispanic kids, not big enough to be trouble at that point, the kids still have the sweetness of tiny children - and My God, the ruination they are visiting on these kids with their smarmy, ass-licking behavior is horrible. A TEACHER SHOULD BE A FIGURE OF RESPECT AND AUTHORITY and yes, I put it in ALLCAPS BECAUSE LADY BUG IS MAD AS HELL!!!

John Craig said...

Lady Bug --
I was just teasing about revealing the IQ; it sounded as if you were being coy above, my misinterpretation. I couldn't agree with you more about the Unabomber, in fact wrote about his manifesto here:

We'll have to agree to disagree about inhibitions. Yes, white trash exists, but they are a far smaller percentage of their ethnic group (which is why they have a label to distinguish them).

Nobody argues about the oppression blacks have faced in the past. That's all I ever heard about growing up. But we've been living in Affirmative Action Land for the past 45 years, and it has changed nothing.

Douglas Carkuff said...

What bothers me is that this will be blamed by many on white racism and white privilege. That being said, I am troubled by the inclination to blame behaviors on racial differences. The only real differences are cultural. It has little if anything to do with "race". Certainly, the various human gene pools (which are all flooded into each other)have differences other than skin tone and physical features, but the differences within gene pools vastly dwarf the differences between gene pools. I blame progressivism and the drive to eliminate personal responsibility and self ownership. It is moral hazard writ large.

Anonymous said...

The private high school I attended had a program for bringing in "underprivileged kids". Of a total 2000 students, maybe 100 were from this program, and maybe 70 of them were black. They could not have been handed a better opportunity. 99% of our graduates went on to college. But guess what... the black students were almost always a nuisance in class. They always under-performed and they were frequently in detention, on suspension, and ended up expelled. Ther were few exceptions... that is students who made it all the way to graduation. And they often made up the small 1% that didn't go on to college. As for the underprivileged whites, there was not nearly as much of a problem. I know because I happened to be one of them. Poverty often made it different for them to fully participate in sports programs, or to go on expensive school trips, but it didn't seem to affect their motivation or behavior. If anything, you often saw the reverse. Actually, I remember specifically that one went to Harvard. Equality of opportunity can only accomplish so much.

Lady Bug said...


Just read your take on Kacynski - my thoughts exactly. I paid no attention to him when he was caught, and read his manifesto because some other issue prompted me, and I was impressed with his forceful logic. (Suggestion: he always refers to himself in the manifesto as "we", which I found rather pompous - but perhaps he really was a split character - the bright, troubled man who wrote the manifesto, and the vicious whacko who hurt people. Dunno - but on some website they have other writings, stuff he wrote to the many people who have contacted him during his imprisonment. They are equally as insightful as the manifesto.)

Yes we'll have to agree to disagree but let's be clear on what. I'm not denying the mean IQ scores of blacks which are a standard deviation lower than that of whites. What I'm saying is that a white person w/an 80 IQ will be comparable in most ways to a black person w/an 80 IQ. There are just many less 80 IQ whites, proprotionately, because of the mean, and distributions, and stuff.

The same downfall in behavior among poor whites that happened among poor blacks a generation (or two) ago has been noted by Charles Murray, in Coming Apart. It's just hitting us later. Watch and see. Whites are now dying of opiate addiction at record rates.

John Craig said...

Lady Bug --
Thank you for reading it. Yes, I'm still not sure he's not schizophrenic. I was actually surprised when they declared him fit to stand trial way back when. His IQ is supposed to be 170, and I can believe it after reading the first part of his manifesto, particularly considering his specialty was math, which had nothing to do with what he was writing about. The bombing, I still don't get at all.

Anonymous said...

IQ is but one socially constructed method of identifying racial differences.

What is intelligence? That is a philosophical question.


We use IQ to show that blacks behave in a way that is radically different than whites. Yet, IQ is not the end all be all of studying race; what IQ actually does is show that certain traits like math skills and literacy skills are found more in some races than others. But this does not mean that IQ identifies all the differences of the races such as violence proclivity, impulse control, or empathy.

John, you said that an 80 IQ white will be the same as an 80 IQ black, but can we honestly say that? The fact is, there are many simple, low IQ whites that are not crime oriented; they instead, live a quiet and humble life of manual labor, functional illiteracy, and passive consumption.

It is one problem that blacks tend to be lower IQ, but it is another problem that blacks are also more prone to violence.

The Bell Curve is not the solid piece of evidence for race realism I once thought it was. There are strong criticisms of the book and the problem lies with our focus on IQ and lack of focus on earlier works done by those who actually visited Africa prior to the late 20th century and made their own unique discoveries of biological racial differences.

PS: IQ has been shown to change over time, rather than remain stagnant. IQ is not the best marker for racial differences.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Look at my comment on this post of January 18, 9:53PM: I say quite clearly that whites with IQ's of 85 do not act like blacks. Someone else on this thread said that it all boils down to IQ, but I disagree with that. I agree completely that racial differences also have to do with testosterone levels and also levels of inhibition, both of which feed into proclivity to violence and impulse control.

That said, I would say that IQ is an important component of racial differences.