October 14, 2012
Tenure would be a terrible thing to waste: Prominent US judge comments on race and IQ; good thing he can’t be fired
Except for the “estimated” part (which there have to be figures for) these are just facts, based on decades of testing on hundreds of thousands of individuals:
Finally, I am not clear what we should think the problem of American education (below the college level) is. Most children of middle-class (say upper quartile of households, income starting at $80,000) Americans are white or Asian and attend good public or private schools, usually predominantly white.
The average white IQ is of course 100 and the Asian (like the Jewish) almost one standard deviation higher, that is, 115.
The average black IQ is 85, a full standard deviation below the white average, and the average Hispanic IQ has been estimated recently at 89.
Black children in particular often come from disordered households, which has a negative effect on ability to learn and perhaps indeed on IQ (which is only partly hereditary) as well. Increasingly, black and Hispanic students find themselves in schools with few white or Asian students.
The challenge to American education is to provide a useful education to the large number of Americans who are unlikely to benefit from a college education or from high school courses aimed at preparing students for college. The need is for a different curriculum and for a greater investment in these children’s preschool environment.
We should recognize that we have different populations with different schooling needs and that curricula and teaching methods should be revised accordingly. This recognition and response should precede tinkering with compensations systems.
UPDATE: Conservatives are making all the pre-approved outraged noises over this decision in Florida, I see.
Just as “stereotypes are stereotypes because they contain a grain of truth”, so too is the “soft bigotry of low expectations” occasionally justified.
Basing your worldview on a sentence written by some “compassionate conservative” speechwriter makes as much sense as basing your immigration policy on a bad poem carved into an old French statue.
The idea that “everybody should go to college” is a white elitist notion.
It may be well-intentioned — and on the surface, who could possibly object? — but the damages it continues to do can be seen all around us.
The world needs people who will question even the most sacred received liberal wisdom, but many among us are determined to punish them.
How many internet commenters have been persecuted and prosecuted for stating these very same stats about race and IQ?
Will the great online Nazi hunters go after Judge Posner as well?
Of course not:
He is a member of their caste.