Headline, October30, 2013




A recent historic sweep; and where it counts:

In 1994 The Most Controversial Book of the year was The Bell Curve by Charles Murray and Richard Hernstein. Educators were outraged by its arguments for the heritablity of intelligence and the substantial IQ differences among racial groups.

The general reaction at the time was that the concept of group IQ is useless to teachers, because they must teach individual children, not group representatives with average IQs.

Furthermore, as one of the 10 children, I knew that even those who share the same herdedity and environment can turn out very differently.

Despite all the protestations that greeted its publication, The Bell Curve seems to be the prevailing ideology in much of the educational world.

Today educators and public officials across the board, even those who condemn the book, set lower standards for college admission, for special minority groups, tacitly accepting the arguments of The Bell Curve.

Later, -the same logic was used by the College Board to explain that SAT scores were ''recentered'' to ''reflect the composition'' of the test takers.

The College Board explained the recentering -lowering the definition of what is average -on grounds that students who take the SAT today -30% from minority groups and 53%women- cannot be expected to achieve the same test scores as the original reference group of 1941, which was overwhelmingly white and 62% male. This seems to suggest that women and minorities aren't as smart as white males.

But it turns out that today's diverse crop of students is earning SAT math scores that nearly equal those of the largely elite group of 1941. By contrast, SAT verbal scores have been pitifully low for 20 years.

Instead of accepting poor verbal performance as the new norm, it would have been far better to find out why today's diverse students lack the vocabulary and verbal skills of earlier generations of students.

My own hunch, writes the author, is that poor verbal scores are the result not of the students' racial, ethnic, or gender composition, but of the schools de-emphasis on careful reading and writing, the near abandonment of basic literary skills:

Like grammar, syntax and spelling and the saturation of popular culture by television.

The post continues

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Colombia. See ya all on the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' !!! Taking The Only Road !!! '''

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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