Standardized exams measure intrinsic ability, not racial or socioeconomic privilege

Milky Eggs:

Typically, the disadvantaged groups (exam scores underestimate ability) are thought to be poor, Black, Hispanic, or Native American students, and the advantaged groups (exam scores overestimate ability) are thought to be Asian-Americans.

These motivations are wrong.

However, it is important to be clear about why they are wrong. They are not wrong because I disagree with them on an ideological basis; rather, they are wrong because they conflict with the existing scientific literature on cognitive ability, the heritability of intelligence, and standardized testing. They are empirically wrongand run against decades’ worth of detailed studies spanning the fields of psychology, sociology, education, and modern genetics.

In this post, I outline a clear, step-by-step argument that lays out a strong case for the pro-standardized testing viewpoint. I establish the following points:

  1. Intelligence is measured by a single factor, g
  2. The majority of differences in intelligence are genetic
  3. Common objections to heritability estimates are invalid
  4. Standardized test scores are good measures of intelligence
  5. Test scores are unaffected by parental income or education
  6. Test preparation has a minimal effect on test scores
  7. Asian culture does not explain Asian-American exam outperformance