QUESTION: Is it time to reinstate universal IQ testing for every student in America?

One of our readers named Janine posted the following comment to one of our columns:

I grew up in the 70s. One day all the black husbands and fathers of the family i grew up with just left. They went to just hang out with their friends, or do drugs or violence. My dad was the only father and husband left on our street before we moved to rural area. He did his best to help the other families like cutting their grass and fixing cars and helping the mothers and children with food. They did just leave. The father not allowed in the home restrictions was only 5 years during the 60s and ended in 1968. You can check the history. A black woman petitioned to end those restrictions. The only thing black men has ever petition for is to have access to white women during the same time. You have listened to black men lies. They are only with black women for as long as it benefit[s] them. When they make more money, they partner with white and other women, who are not black. The black race is in the condition solely because of black men, not welfare, not white people or any women; Just like other people are in the condition they are in because of the men of their people.

I never knew they stop giving IQ test[s] in school. Maybe you don’t know when they’re being administered. That is how they place students in advance classes or special Ed. They must be tested.

After reading her comment I felt compelled to write about Intelligent Quotient (IQ) testing and their impact on children in America.

Multiple IQ tests are still available and used, however they are not universally given to every student. Parents can request an official IQ test for their child from a licensed psychologist or a school psychologist. Click here to learn where someone can request to take an Official Intelligence Test.

In a February 8th, 1984 Education Week column titled “Court Finds I.Q. Tests Racially Biased for Black Pupils’ Placement” Susan G. Foster wrote:

In what some are terming a landmark decision, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit late last month upheld a lower-court ruling that prohibits California school districts from using iq tests to evaluate black students for placement in special-education classes on the grounds that the tests are culturally biased.

In a Washington Post July 6th, 1987 article titled “IQ Tests Restricted by Race Jay Mathews noted:

Unbeknownst to her [Mary Amaya the mother of then 14-year old Demond Crawford] and most other Californians, a lengthy national debate over intelligence tests in public schools had just ended in the nation’s most populous state, and the anti-test forces had won.

Henceforth, no black child in California could be given a state-administered intelligence test, no matter how severe the student’s academic problems. Such tests were racially and culturally biased, U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Peckham had ruled in 1979. After losing in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year, the state agreed not to give any of the 17 banned IQ (intelligence quotient) tests to blacks. [Emphasis added]

Read more.

What is the Larry P. v. Riles case and how did it fundamentally transform IQ testing?

According to Disability Rights California:

The Larry P. v. Riles (Larry P.) case was filed in 1971 when five African-American children who had been placed in special education classes for the “educable mentally retarded” (EMR) in the San Francisco Unified School District filed suit in the Federal District Court of Northern California claiming that they had been wrongly placed in the EMR classes based on their performance on intelligence tests that were racially biased and discriminatory.  [Larry P. v. Riles, 495 F. Supp. 926 (N.D. Cal. 1979).] The suit also claimed that a disproportionate total number of African-American students were placed in EMR classes compared to the number of African-American students in the school system.

The Court decided in favor of the students, and the District was prohibited from using IQ tests to identify or place African-American students in EMR-type classes. The Decision was upheld on appeal in 1984.  [Larry P. v. Riles, 793 F.2d 969 (9th Cir. 1984).] The Court expanded its ruling in the case by banning the use of IQ testing for all African-American students who have been referred for special education services.

The federal district court case of Crawford v. Honig prompted a reexamination of the rights of multicultural children in special education.  This case has challenged the Larry P. ruling banning the use of IQ tests for African-American children and has, preliminarily, resulted in three African-American children being allowed to take IQ tests because their parents wish to have them do so. After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Crawford, CDE issued a Legal Advisory in October 1994, continuing the directive which banned IQ testing. [See Crawford v. Honig, 37 F.3d 485 (9th Cir. 1994).]

QUESTION: Was this decision the right one for multicultural children in California and beyond?

Should IQ Testing be required of all students in America?

I received an email linking to a 2014 op-ed published on American Renaissance titled “Ten Percent is Not Enough.” The op-ed states:

The black/white experiment has failed.

[ … ]

Some argue it’s a problem of “culture,” as if culture creates people’s behavior instead of the other way around. Others blame “white privilege.” But since 1965, when the elites opened America’s doors to the Third World, immigrants from Asia and India–people who are not white, not rich, and not “connected”–have quietly succeeded. While the children of these people are winning spelling bees and getting top scores on the SAT, black “youths” are committing half the country’s violent crime–crime, which includes viciously punching random white people on the street for the thrill of it, that has nothing to do with poverty.

The experiment has failed. Not because of culture, or white privilege, or racism. The fundamental problem is that white people and black people are different. They differ intellectually and temperamentally. These differences result in permanent social incompatibility.

Read more.

Is there a “permanent social incompatibility” between blacks and other ethnicities? Are blacks different intellectually and temperamentally?

The answer can be found in a study done in 1994. Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray in their seminal book on cognitive ability The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life state,

“The question is how to redistribute in ways that increase the chances for people at the bottom of society to take control of their lives, to be engaged meaningfully in their communities, and to find valued places for themselves.”

Herrnstein and Murray found,

Ethnic differences in higher education, occupations, and wages are strikingly diminished after controlling for IQ. Often they vanish. In this sense, America has equalized these central indicators of social success.

Herrnstein and Murray asked,

“What are the odds that a black or Latino with an IQ of 103 – the average IQ of all high school graduates – completed high school? The answer is that a youngster from either minority group had a higher probability of graduating from high school than a white, if all of them had IQs of 103: The odds were 93 percent and 91 percent for blacks and Latinos respectively, compared to 89 percent for whites.

Herrnstein and Murray concluded:

  • We have tried to point out that a small segment of the population accounts for such a large proportion of those [social] problems. To the extent that the [social] problems of this small segment are susceptible to social-engineering solutions at all, should be highly targeted.
  • The vast majority of Americans can run their own lives just fine, and [public] policy should above all be constructed so that it permits them to do so.
  • Much of the policy toward the disadvantaged starts from the premise that interventions can make up for genetic or environmental disadvantages, and that premise is overly optimistic.
  • Cognitive ability, so desperately denied for so long, can best be handled – can only be handled – by a return to individualism.
  • Cognitive partitioning will continue. It cannot be stopped, because the forces driving it cannot be stopped.
  • Americans can choose to preserve a society in which every citizen has access to the central satisfactions of life. Its people can, through an interweaving of choice and responsibility, create valued places for themselves in their worlds.

Herrnstein and Murray found,

Inequality of endowments, including intelligence, is a reality.

[ … ]

Trying to pretend that inequality does not really exist has led to disaster. Trying to eradicate inequality with artificially manufactured outcomes has led to disaster. It is time for America once again to try living with inequality, as life is lived: understanding that each human being has strengths and weaknesses, qualities to admire and qualities we do not admire, competencies and in-competencies,  assets and debits; that the success of each human life is not measured externally but internally; that of all the rewards we can confer on each other, the most precious is a place as a valued fellow citizen.

Finally, Herrnstein and Murray wrote,

“Of all the uncomfortable topics we have explored, a pair of the most uncomfortable ones are that a society with a higher mean IQ is also likely to be a society with fewer social ills and brighter economic prospects, and that the most effective way to raise the IQ of a society is for smarter women to have higher birth rates than duller women.

Shocking words in 1994 and indeed even more so today. Is it time to have a national public debate on cognitive abilities?

The key factor in setting goals is IQ. Is it time to reintroduce IQ testing for all students?

RELATED VIDEO: Demographic Bomb: Demography is Destiny

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

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