Stupid and lazy in Kindergarten, stupid and lazy forever. The Cart-Before-The-Horse Syndrome.

There is a common discordant narrative I see often in MSM articles that attempt a layman’s interpretation of certain sociological phenomena for which reasons and causes might appear familiar or obvious to those of us who don’t allow modern sensibilities and niceties to cloud our visions.

The layman’s interpretation is often guilty of putting the cart before the horse….in ascribing to one set of data a direct correlation to another set which really might have little to do with directly eliciting the data but which, if anything, might have secondary, or tertiary, or beyond, roles in the chain of events, which can most likely be explained by some unsavory and harsh truths which shall not be allowed to see the light of civilized day where it may offend our delicate sensibilities of fairness and equality.   Simply put, correlation does not imply causation.  This sounds prettier and slightly more delicate than my horse/cart metaphor, but sometimes overdoing the fragrance on a pile of shit is more offensive than the shit.

The MSM interpretation of educational achievement is frequently fraught with the horse > cart dissonance and today, I happened upon an MSN article where it appeared this was about to happen.   Titled Kindergarten skills vary by kids’ social, economic status, the author, Karen Doyle, appears to embark on the standard intellectual struggle of today’s sensible and non-offending cultural denizen who feels illogically impelled to give all groups a break regardless of how inept they appear to flail when give free reign.  She begins:

Kids’ math and reading skills when they start kindergarten can vary greatly based on their social and economic status, according to a new study.

“We knew economic circumstances have an impact on early child development, but it was surprising just how big the reading and math ability gaps really are between children in different socioeconomic status groups by kindergarten entry,” said lead author Kandyce Larson of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

As our little ones enter Kinder, everything is still fresh and equal and everyone has a chance and the sky is blue and the sun shines. Our young children beam and their little faces shine with the anticipation of a fresh slate, but this nubile optimism ends quickly as they begin to assert their minds and habits in the classroom. Then we note that the old familiar habits begin to rear their ugly head.

We point out the obvious as a reason, not an accompanying quality that might not explain poor performance, but will explain other concurrent risk factors that frequently go hand in hand with bad school performance.

Compared to kids in the higher socioeconomic bracket, those in the lowest tended to have younger mothers, lower average family reading scores, fewer books in the home, and were less likely to have rules about bedtime, food and chores.

Why of course, this is a true thing.   The litany:  young mothers, no books in the home, lack of rules;  these are the elemental trademarks of unintelligent, unconcerned family units.  These are the innate qualities of parents lacking conscientiousness and analytic, long-term thinking.  These, along with school performance, are results, not causes.  The mediocre results of one grand communal cesspool of life from a familial culture lacking brains and civilized life strategies.  These are innate limitations that no amount of spending or intervention will alter.  Educators and their damned do-goody schemes.

The author continues with a schizophrenic pair of dichotomous paragraphs, one which appears to trump the expected dialog when rationalizing poverty and lack of intelligence, and then another which just goes off the deep end into…that realm of rare public accuracy and honesty.  I’ve bolded this startling statement that you generally don’t see sneak into MSM sociological screeds like this:

“Families with higher incomes are able to provide a cognitively stimulating environment for their children as they can purchase educational toys, books, and offer variety in the child’s life such as bringing them to museums, as well as purchasing better quality food which will also help their development,” said Orla Doyle, a lecturer in the school of economics at the University College Dublin Geary Institute for Public Policy.

“However, income is also a marker for underlying characteristics within the family,” said Doyle, who was not involved with the new study. “Parents with higher incomes typically have more desirable (traits) such as higher IQ, motivation, persistence, and consciousness,” she told Reuters Health by email.

Wow.

Is Orla Doyle related to the author?  The article clearly states Orla is not involved in the cited study, but Kandyce Larson, who is, was quoted with a predictable busy-bodied spiel that hopefully alleges that everyone is equally qualified, and that poor families and their diseased dynamics can be overcome with enough intervention.

Parents who plan to send their children to college may establish early routines and practices to reach that goal, Larson said.

She pointed out that access to high-quality preschools, books and home computers is not equal across the socioeconomic spectrum. Neither is knowledge about the importance of early reading.

“The good news,” Larson wrote in an email, is that modifiable factors, like parent reading and preschool attendance, may improve children’s outcomes.

The first five years of life are a critical period for brain development, she said.

“Studies show that cognitive functioning at school entry predicts future educational attainment and health and well-being into adulthood,” Larson said. “This is why it is so important that we intervene early to optimize developmental capacity for all children.”

Perhaps these children are battling genetic limitations that simply won’t respond to our good intentions.  The problem is likely a horrible, non-nurturing environment lacking in cerebral activities, and in fact, where cerebral activities are suppressed and mocked.  These children are popularly the victims of a bad childhood environment which is, in itself, the root cause, and lifelong predictor, of their own poor intellectual performance.

Cart…before…horse.

Larson cautioned that several other factors may also contribute to the gap in cognitive ability, but were not measured in this study.

For example, she said, low-income parents may experience obstacles, such as inflexible work schedules that interfere with family routines and participation in childhood programs.

They also did not have information on parental intellectual ability, she noted.

It’s not the low income, stupid;  it’s the stupid.

These parents are not poor, they are stupid.  And their children will not fare much better.  This is why they can’t keep up.  The parents are stupid and their genetic legacy will be more and more stupid.  Amazing that the most important part of this equation, “parental intellectual ability,” goes unmeasured.  How convenient.

No one wants to be guilty of being the naysayer in polite society that must break the news:  the horse is really the cart, and vice versa.