Greg Abbot Waxes About Those Inner City Kids

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is challenging Wendy Davis for Governor of Texas, unveiled an education reform plan this week that cites Charles Murray as a basis.

The citation comes in the second paragraph of the introduction of the education proposal.

“Family background has the most decisive effect on student achievement, contributing to a large performance gap between children from economically disadvantaged families and those from middle-class homes,” the sentence read. It’s accompanied by the footnote “Murray, Charles. Read [sic] Education. New York: Crown Forum, 2008.”

Being economically-disadvantaged does contribute to a performance gap, but Murray, author of The Bell Curve, is hardly someone you want to cite while speaking of “family background” and performance.

Murray’s 2008 book that Abbott cites, Real Education, argues that students with lower IQ’s are not as educable as smarter children and should be siphoned off to vocational programs instead of sent to college. He estimates that only 10 to 20 percent of young adults are capable of doing college-level work.

“Family background” and IQ has the most decisive effect on student achievement? That wouldn’t be a eugenicist argument in disguise would it?

Couldn’t be.

Then again, Abbot’s plan would only exacerbate the problem. Under his plan, funds would be distributed based on performance rather than need. So if your child’s school is not a bastion of scholarly achievement, I suppose you’re out of luck. Those funds will be distributed to programs that are already doing well.

Abbot is also a proponent of the $200 million cut to the state’s Pre-K grant program, making it even more difficult to believe that Abbot is actually interested in helping those who need it the most.

Are we getting warm?

The Abbot campaign clearly wasn’t paying attention when House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) cited Charles Murray while denouncing “generations” of lazy inner city men who have no work ethic. Or maybe they were.

I’m not sure how many parents would take kindly to being told their children don’t deserve a shot at a college education, and if Charles Murray had his way only “10 to 20 percent” would make the cut.

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  • muselet

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is challenging Wendy Davis for Governor of Texas, unveiled an education reform plan this week that cites Charles Murray as a basis.

    They’re not even trying to hide it any more.

    –alopecia

    • D_C_Wilson

      First Ryan, now Abbott. There was a time when citing Murray was political suicide. Now it’s almost fashionable.

      • muselet

        Many moons ago, someone I worked with suggested that George HW Bush had chosen Dan Quayle for his running mate as a bar bet. “Hell, I could beat Dukakis with anybody! Even Dan Quayle!”

        Now, the entire GOP seems to have bet that none of them can say something so outlandish that they’d lose an election because of it. So far, they’re winning their bets and in the process have rehabilitated Charles “White Men Rule, The Others Drool” Murray’s reputation.

        We are so screwed.

        –alopecia

  • http://cendax.wordpress.com/ Norbrook

    I said a while back that the only differences between the KKK and the Republican Party is that Republicans don’t wear white robes, hoods, and burn crosses on lawns. Yet.

  • trgahan

    My guess is Murray’s work is re-surfacing because conservative white America has been collectively shitting its pants for going on 6 years now because someone from a low income single parent home actually seized government supported opportunities to become a highly educated, integrated, productive member of society and achieved all the way to the White House. Worse, his example inspired millions that conservatives had thought they had successfully marginalized years ago.

    Abbott’s crap as much to with trying to ensure political and ideology homogeny in the upper middle class on up and controlling social mobility as it does holding any particular group down. Also, if you don’t firmly believe people not of your tribe are “inherently inferior” suddenly the reality that your own success was really just handed to you and not truly earned is a bit of a buzz kill.

  • jimbo57

    We-all don’t hold with none of that there Darwinism, now. ‘Ceptin’ fer SOCIAL Darwinism. We eat THAT shit up with a spoon, yo.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Under his plan, funds would be distributed based on performance rather than need. So if your child’s school is not a bastion of scholarly achievement, I suppose you’re out of luck. Those funds will be distributed to programs that are already doing well.

    “Well, we’ve got these two children with colds. We’ve given some of these pills to one of them and he seems to be recovering fine. The other hasn’t received anything and they’re still congested, coughing and might be developing pneumonia. So clearly what we need to do with these remaining pills is give them to the healthy child.”