Scholastic Aptitude: Can Blacks Ever Rise to Equal Others?

The Scholastic Aptitude Test has for decades shown a stark gap between scores by black students and scores of other ethnic and racial groups. No matter what is done, nothing seems to help to even the score. Will blacks ever be able — as a group — to match the performance and aptitude of other groups?

The average white score on the SAT (1,123 out of a possible 1,600) is 177 points higher than the average black score (946), approximately a standard deviation of difference. This gap has persisted for decades. It is not explained by socioeconomic disparities. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported in 1998 that white students from households with incomes of $10,000 or less score better on the SAT than black students from households with incomes of $80,000 to $100,000. In 2015, students with family incomes of $20,000 or less (a category that includes all racial groups) scored higher on average on the math SAT than the average math score of black students from all income levels. The University of California has calculated that race predicts SAT scores better than class. __

Anyone who pays attention to these things already knows that raising the incomes for blacks will not automatically raise the aptitude scores of their children. Instead what we tend to see is a regression to the mean, with wealthy black students badly underperforming students from other groups, no matter the income levels of the others.

And when one looks at Asian SAT scores, the effect of family income is even less significant:

Asian students outscore white students on the SAT by 100 points; they outscore blacks by 277 points. It is not Asian families’ economic capital that vaults them to the top of the academic totem pole; it is their emphasis on scholarly effort and self-discipline. Every year in New York City, Asian elementary school students vastly outperform every other racial and ethnic group on the admissions test for the city’s competitive public high schools, even though a disproportionate number of them come from poor immigrant families. __

IQ Distributions for Four Populations

When one looks at average IQ test scores, one sees a stratification by group which is similar to the stratification one sees when comparing group results of scholastic aptitude and achievement tests. Again, this should not be a surprise to anyone who has looked at this issue previously.

Comparing US white IQ scores with black (American) IQ scores in context of occupational demands, one can better understand the practical implications of these group differences. There are many important pieces of the puzzle that must be intensely studied before any policy decisions should be made — other than to understand that all the best intentions in the world cannot change evolutionary reality.

Black White Group IQ Differences
Modified from Gottfredson (w Black distribution added for comparison)

More effort by black parents to make the most of the aptitudes of their children is one thing that certainly can help. And that is the one thing that may give black children more confidence in setting their own life’s course, separate from the education bureaucrats who only want to use them as pawns in their own nefarious schemes.

Black parents need to focus as relentlessly as Asian parents on their children’s school attendance and performance. They need to monitor homework completion and grades. Academic achievement must no longer be stigmatized as “acting white.” And a far greater percentage of black children must be raised by both their mother and their father, to ensure the socialization that prevents classrooms from turning into scenes of chaos and violence.

At present, thanks to racial preferences, many black high school students know that they don’t need to put in as much scholarly effort as non-“students of color” to be admitted to highly competitive colleges. The adversity score will only reinforce that knowledge. That is not a reality conducive to life achievement. The only guaranteed beneficiaries of this new scheme are the campus diversity bureaucrats. They have been given another assurance of academically handicapped students who can be leveraged into grievance, more diversity sinecures, and lowered academic standards. __

Blacks, whites, Asians, and other ethnic/racial groups evolved over tens of thousands of years under different selection pressures. Different selection pressures lead to different evolutionary results. This should not be a shock. But denying these obvious differences can be both financially wasteful and highly destabilising to multicultural populations, leading to lowered trust and increased animosity.

It is clear that blacks — on average — do not have the same scholastic aptitude (or IQ), as other groups. Pretending otherwise helps no one.

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4 Responses to Scholastic Aptitude: Can Blacks Ever Rise to Equal Others?

  1. UpsideDown says:

    Sometimes I think there is wisdom in keeping some types of information in the bottle. Especially given the human race’s predilection for race based war I’d prefer we avoid putting more fuel on that particular fire.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Coverups can lead to exaggerated backlash. Best to keep it honest and emphasise that what is true for population groups is not necessarily true for individuals. Race-based government policies (affirmative action, race preferences etc.) tend to be mistakes. They lead to discord and misunderstandings.

  2. Gavin Longmuir says:

    “Blacks, whites, Asians, and other ethnic/racial groups evolved over tens of thousands of years under different selection pressures. Different selection pressures lead to different evolutionary results.”

    No-one would contest that Americans of African heritage punch above their weight in sports — the best of them set global standards. And no-one complains. There is no significant push for athletic teams to be “representative” of the community, no push for basketball teams to hire a quota of short Americans of European heritage. The only significant push from the public is for sports teams to be the best they can be.

    Why is the attitude to scholastics and intellectual achievement any different?

    • alfin2101 says:

      Only a relative few succeed in professional sports. Scholastic achievement is the path to success in the professions, STEM, social sciences, corporate business, upper level civil service, and many other high pay and high prestige occupations. In addition, the ability to succeed at difficult cognitive tasks suggests that a person might be earning his success. The inability to solve difficult problems might suggest that the person receiving affirmative action did not earn her success. Such a viewpoint does not fit the politically accepted narrative.

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