Website owner:  James Miller

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IQ Concept and Standardized Tests

   I have been typing up my diaries from the last 50 years and 
   just encountered a diary entry regarding the IQ concept and 
   standardized tests that I felt just had to be included in my 
   web site: 

   Mon, 26 May 69          9:35 PM

   I was reading in a book, "The Truth about College Entrance 
   Exams and Other Standardized Tests" by Hillel Black yesterday 
   and came across something that surprised and encouraged me.  I 
   discovered that the Russians have the very same philosophy 
   toward all this intelligence testing and college entrance exams 
   and other standardized tests as I have.  To quote: "The 
   Russians, on the other hand, unlike the Americans or the 
   British, have done away with all intelligence and multiple-
   choice testing. ....  the British continue to place a great 
   amount of emphasis on innate intelligence.  In direct contrast 
   to the English, the Russians see all intelligence and aptitude 
   testing as villainous works of the capitalist devil.  Condemned 
   as class-biased, intelligence testing was tossed out in the 
   1930's and never reinstituted.  As one Soviet spokesman, A. A. 
   Smirnov, recently put it, "If, in capitalist countries, the 
   children of workers achieve worse results in tests than the 
   children of the property owners, it is not because they are 
   less gifted but because they were greatly hampered in 
   developing their abilities by their conditions of life, 
   determined by the oppression, exploitation and social and 
   economic inequality prevailing in these countries.  ...  The 
   Russians insist that ability differences are explained not by 
   inherited intelligence but by the differences in motivation and 
   quality of teaching. .... Naturally, the Russians, following 
   their own theories, have totally rejected "talent discovery" 
   through testing.  ....  Instead of talent hunting, they have 
   emphasized talent development.  Their contention is that 99 
   percent of the population can absorb stiff academic training."  

   All this is the best statement of my philosophies I have ever 
   seen in print -- philosophies, theories, beliefs and 
   convictions I have come to through years of independent 
   reflection, thought and concern.  They are convictions I hold 
   to and defend with violent passion.  And I consider those who 
   believe in the opposite view as being enemies of people, 
   destroyers of people, the real criminals in this world -- the 
   people who have really caused the most of the frustration and 
   neuroses that permeates our American society today.  I have 
   absolutely no use for intelligence testing, aptitude testing, 
   and all of the standardized tests, speed tests, etc. being used 
   today.  I view the idea of IQ or innate intelligence the 
   greatest hoax, the greatest crime ever perpetrated against 
   mankind.  To me, the people who started those ideas and the 
   people who are carriers of them (the people who believe in them 
   and spread them) are criminals for which I have no love and no 
   sympathy.  No one can bring on himself my dislike (and hatred) 
   the way a man can who starts propounding ideas which presume an 
   innate intelligence.  I have no tolerance for this idea at all. 


   A number of years ago I read that Russia stood at the top in 
   the field of mathematics.  Why would this be true?  I think it 
   is because of their basic philosophy and attitude in this 
   regard toward personal intellectual development.  The best 
   written mathematics books I know are written by Russians.

   I am quite certain that I have also read that the Japanese also 
   reject the IQ concept and emphasize instead that, in regard to 
   intellectual development and rigorous academic training, 99 
   percent of people can do it -- it is all a matter of hard work 
   and perseverance. 

   Dec 2005

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