Over the years significant debate has emerged as to whether most, if not all, tests by
which individual intelligence is quantified have a cultural bias. If so, the implication is an
explanation as to why, in aggregate, minority students’ score differently then those
representing the majority. So, does cultural bias really exist?
Of course it does!
The factors contributing to the existence of Cultural Bias are numerous. The issue presents as a murky mess
aggitated by the many emotional facets of accumulated fear, anger, guilt, etc. It is as if the issue is something
of which nice people do not discuss or perhaps a topic reserved exclusively for academic discussion.
The verdict is indisputable yet the very admission of such- by any individual perceiving self
to be impartial- seems to contradict the very notion of innate equality among all humans.
Do we subvert the awareness to dodge accountability relative to that instinctively known to
be in need of fix? Where would you begin anyway?
In order to move this discussion into the arena of broader society it will probably be
necessary that emotional associations associated to the issue are reduced or at least
acknowledged as a factor with attached dubious influence. Society may be served well if
the focus were to convert from affixing blame to one of deciphering, and perhaps
re-defining associated implications while simultaneously determining needed change.
Perhaps the most needed modification lies in committing to the on-going
change in perspective as it pertains to assigning proper proportion to
cumulative learning tests. Presently performance on “IQ” tests, SAT’s, etc are
significant but are assigned disproportionate importance as so-called predictors
of future performance/success. In reality such tests simply reflect the current
values of the society in which they are conducted. The many other factors
contributing to a more “holistic intelligence” are often of low priority or not
acknowledged at all.
Tests highlighting the skills to perpetuate “the way things are” may create conditions unfavorable to the
recognition of skills relevant to “the way things will be”.
REALLY MEANS WHAT?
What does it really mean if a particular block of minority students performs at a level
significantly below that of a perceived counterpart group? If we focus merely upon
the 'answer' we may fail to question the relevance of the question?...Are we asking
the wrong questions?
Do those who make policy truly believe that all people are created equal? If the answer is
unequivocally to the affirmative, we have answered the riddle pertaining to the measured
aptitudes we hold in esteem. So…are we asking the wrong questions?...If all humans are
equal we can establish a ‘not necessarily’ with absolute certainty. That of which we can
establish with certainty is that we are not asking enough of the right questions... The questions that reveal
attributes we do not presently measure and/or value.