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ERIC Number: ED402544
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Bell Curve and the Future of Literacy: If This Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
Wahlstrom, Ralph
This paper takes the position that the main premise of "The Bell Curve" (by Richard Murray and Charles Herrnstein) is that significant advantages exist for possessing an IQ toward the top of the range--advantages that pertain to school success, career, and income. The premise is that people with high IQs have naturally acquired scholarly and economic advantages in life as well as moral superiority. The position is taken that although the book's authors argue against the trends towards an increasingly isolated wealthy and cognitive elite, they fail to see that their plan will create further inequity while bolstering the existing hierarchy. The implications of their plan are (1) test children early and educate those with high IQs; (2) eliminate remedial programs at the high school and college level in favor of job skills training; (3) the radical pedagogies that address the inequities of class, color and gender are inherently flawed; and (4) advanced literacy, higher education, professional status, and political power can automatically be assigned to those who provide intellectually capable. The position is taken that the assumptions set out in "The Bell Curve" would establish an educational and economic Jim Crow system for disenfranchised Americans. The question of who decides who among us is fit to become literate, get good jobs, go to college, and partake fully in the democratic process may be more important than the answer postulated by "The Bell Curve.""The overriding question that Murray and Herrnstein ask in 'The Bell Curve' is this: What do we expect to discover in this research; moreover, what do we believe and want to conclude?" (Contains 16 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A