Sowell challenges conventional wisdom about test-score gaps

Thomas Sowell‘s latest column explores a fascinating finding from The Economist: Among the poorest students in British schools, whites tend to score lower than immigrants from Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the Caribbean.

What do low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common? It cannot be simply low incomes, because children from other groups in the same low-income brackets outperform whites in England and outperform blacks in America.

What low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common is a generations-long indoctrination in victimhood. The political Left in both countries has, for more than half a century, maintained a steady and loud drumbeat of claims that the deck is stacked against those at the bottom.

The American Left uses race and the British Left uses class, but the British Left has been at it longer. In both countries, immigrants who have not been in the country as long have not been so distracted by such ideology into a blind resentment and lashing out at other people.

In both countries, immigrants enter a supposedly closed society that refuses to let anyone rise — and they nevertheless rise, while the native-born at the bottom remain at the bottom.

Those who promote an ideology of victimhood may imagine that they are helping those at the bottom, when in fact they are harming them, more so than the society that the Left is denouncing.

We in America have gotten used to vast gaps between blacks and whites on test scores. But this was not always the case, in places where there was anything like comparable education.

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