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Beyond the Bricks: The Happy Bell Curve


Via the website Beyond tThe Bricks Project, “The Happy Bell Curve – How Current Research on Race and Achievement is Duping Black Progressives and Liberal Americans into Accepting Black Inferiority,” Dr. Ivory A. Toldson writes:

“Last week I wrote a response to Trip Gabriel’s New York Times editorial, “Proficiency of Black Students Is Found to Be Far Lower Than Expected.” Among my criticisms was that the author cited that Black males’ representation in college of 5 percent was an indicator of failure, when Black males’ representation in the population is between 5.8 and 6.5 percent. I am pleased that in a November 12th correction, Mr. Trip omitted that reference, noting “that figure did not represent one of the areas in which blacks showed a lack of achievement.” However, the spirit of the editorial remains unchanged, and unfortunately, reflects a larger problem of deficit statistics being promoted and embraced among people who would have challenged its merits years ago.

In general, the nation’s response to educational disparities is reminiscent of how we responded to AIDS in the 1980s. By designating AIDS as a gay disease, proactive solutions were stalled by moral invectives and political twaddle. Similarly, when you really dig into the numbers, educational inferiority is less of a Black male problem and more of an American problem. If trends continue, educational disparities between Black and White, will pale in comparison to American education and educational systems in other developed nations.”

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ABOUT: Dr. Ivory A. Toldson ( is a senior research analyst at CBCF, an associate professor of counseling psychology at the Howard University School of Education, and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Negro Education. He is the author of the Breaking Barriers Series, which analyzes academic success indicators from national surveys that together give voice to nearly 10,000 African American male pupils from schools across the country.

Follow Beyond the Bricks on Twitter at @BeyondTheBricks

Follow Dr. Ivory A. Toldson at @toldson

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