Mary Jo Bane and Christopher Jencks argue that if intelligence is inherited there is nothing the schools or anyone can do to improve a child’s chances in life. Below are five “myths” Bane and Jencks say are commonly accepted as true. What do you think? Using your own experience, respond to each “myth.”
IQ tests are the best measure of human intelligence.
The poor are poor because they have low IQs. Those with high IQs end up in well-paid jobs.
Your IQ is overwhelmingly determined by your genetic endowment.
The main reason African American children and poor, white children have low IQ scores is that they have “bad” genes.
Improving the quality of the schools will go a long way toward wiping out the differences in IQ and school achievement and, therefore, in children’s life chances.
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