Eugenics and the SATs
I personally think that the SATs and College Board nowadays are a bit of a sham - the fact that one company could determine the future of most students and high schoolers in America still blows me away. College Board practically holds a monopoly on the testing industry while also being a "not-for-profit", despite the fact that they make millions off students (and let's be real, it does not take 100 dollars to print one AP test). Although the majority of students in America takes the SATs, which I think is a merit since it helps with uniformity in determining a baseline, I think it is also the problem. Students come from various backgrounds and the SAT can't take into account students that may come from poor-income neighbourhoods that do not have a leg up in comparison to other students that may have SAT prep classes, books, or programs. However, I find its intentions, to open up universities and colleges to all based on merit instead of family status, admiring, considering the context of the US then, where colleges were primarily dominated by uninterested wealthy white boys. The original goal of a "truly universal educational opportunity at every level" is one that still should be strived today.
A link between the eugenics movement and the testing industry could be seen in the obsession with IQ and intelligence. If a person scored low on an intelligence or IQ test, they would be considered challenged, and furthermore according to The Bell Curve, should be herded off into a reservation to rot. Carl Brigham when he created the SATs also made a conversion chart for SAT scores to intelligence tests scores. Chauncey and Conant were also interested in forming a new and more "natural" aristocracy, in which the members were virtuous, talented, smarter, and selected based on merit. This mirrors the eugenics movement in sorts because both were trying to improve (in their own image) society via certain methods of science and seeks to capitalise on human's dreams of an idealised utopia.
I agree with Gladwell, correlating IQ and race is misleading. People are ultimately shaped more by their environment and surroundings than by what they were born as, as shown with Asians, who supposedly have lesser IQs but technically "overachieve" due to their environment of constantly striving and pushing for professional success. Similarly, as Flynn pointed out during the debate in the article, the IQ of black people were lower not because they are black but rather of the social environment they were more likely to be in, a single parent home, which supposedly are "less cognitively complex" than a two-parent home. On a slightly off-topic note, the fact that IQ fundamentalists were taken a bit seriously in 2007 still shows how eugenics still left a mark on current day 21st-century society.
One question I would like to pose is that in the article The Structure of Success in America, Carl Brigham noted that he eventually moved away from his original position on intelligence, denounced the spread of the SATs, and predicted a bleak future for America if it continued - "the very creation of powerful machinery to do more widely those things that are now being done badly will stifle research, discourage new developments, and establish existing methods, and even existing tests, as the correct ones." Do you think that his predictions hold some truths to it?