Rather than wasting my time reading the American Conservative or watching Bonanza on ME TV, I took a look at the 2011 TerraNova math and reading scores of Blacks and Whites in every DoDEA school in Heidelberg and Bavaria. As can be seen below, the averaged math and reading gap, n-weighted by Black sample size, was 0.6 SD. For comparison, the 2011 civilian NAEP averaged gap was 0.9 SD.. In no country (Guam, Japan, Korea, Okinawa Germany, Italy, Uk, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Turkey) was there not a DoDEA B/W gap. Apparently, being abroad or in a non-civilian school doesn’t magically obliviate the differential.
Similar results can be found with regards to the SAT for all DoDEA schools — unfortunately scores are not broken down by region. The overall DoDEA B/W (M+W) SAT score difference is approximately 0.75 SD, as compared to a national difference of one sigma:
As Brown (2006) noted, the military-civilian difference in the magnitude of the B/W gap can mostly be explained by differences in parental selectivity:
The central message of the data on military parents in Table 2 is that military parents have higher test scores than their civilian counterparts. This difference is .36 standard deviations for white parents, .74 for blacks, and .64 for Hispanics. In interpreting this result, note that the DMDC data refer to the military parent. Since the military uses AFQT scores as a screen, it is not surprising that the military parent has above-average test scores. The non-military parent would also be expected to have above-average scores to the extent that assortative mating is important. Bouchard and McGue’s (1981) survey suggests that a correlation between spouses (for IQ scores) of .33, though they note that values of .5 are often used. If this range can be applied to AFQT scores, it suggests that mothers’ scores would be higher in military families by about .12-.18 for whites, and .25-.37 for blacks and .21-.32 for Hispanics. If we could select one parent at random from military families and civilian families, we would have a test score gap in favor of military parents of roughly .25 standard deviations for whites, .52 for blacks, and .45 for Hispanics…
…Multiplying this inter-generational test-score correlation times the difference between AFQT scores of military and civilian parents gives us an estimate of the effect of these differences on test scores of their children. For white children, the .358 difference in scores among parents would translate into a .15 difference in scores among children – i.e., essentially all of the .17 σ difference in Table 9. For black children, parents’ scores account for .32 σ, compared to an overall difference of .48 σ. Among Hispanic children, differences in parents’ scores account for a .27 σ difference, compared to an overall difference of .60 σ. Thus, for black and Hispanic children, parents’ test scores account for some but not all of the observed test score advantage of their children. Brown, 2006. Relatively Equal Opportunity in the Armed Forces: Impacts on Children of Military Families
Ad hoc sociological explanations are not needed.