Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Thoughts on Race and Equality, Part II: How Do We Deal with the IQ Gap if it Is Real?

See also: Thoughts on Race and Equality, Part I: What is it We are Dealing with?

Last week, I posted this piece about race and IQ, detailing the dimensions of what we would have to deal with if there is a real racial IQ gap (particularly in terms of blacks vs. whites) and if we cannot easily close it.

Obviously, the next aspect of such a discussion involves what policies should be put in place, either by government, or by society through private institutions (preferably the latter), in order to deal with a racial IQ gap and to prevent it from becoming disruptive to society or an insurmountable barrier to people’s aspirations.

I should point out right now that a large amount of this is simply the compiling of a lot of ideas that Steve Sailer mentioned. Thus, most of the links will be to relevant Sailer articles.

First of all, the whole education system needs to be overhauled as to the way progress is measured. This will help students with low IQs regardless of any racial correlations. There needs to be extensive aptitude and IQ testing at an early age and throughout the formative educational years (i.e. K-5 or K-6). The educational goals used to determine the success or failure of the school need to be somewhat influences by that. That is to say, if a school has students with an average IQ of 90, it should be judged by a somewhat different standard than one with an average IQ of 105 in terms of determining how successful it is. Or, as Sailer puts it, Schools should be evaluated on how much value they add to their students..

Moreover, the program of study for each student should be influenced by that. I am not saying that lower-IQ students should get crappy lesson plans. Rather, I am saying that students who have lower IQs need to have special attention paid to make absolutely certain that they get the basics (ability to read, write, use proper grammar, and do arithmetic). While I’m not against providing them with culturally enriching classes such as art and music, I think that for the first year or so (perhaps the first three years), science and social studies should be largely ignored except as they can be integrated into reading and arithmetic lessons. Not that such classes need not be taught, but the overriding goal should be to get these kids basic skills first of all. Without those, I doubt that history, science, etc. classes will be beneficial to any great degree. (Obviously, the more gifted students should be taught science, social studies, etc., at a much earlier age, as they can learn the basic skills more easily).

Throughout education, there should be a basic “basket” of skills that students need to be taught, and these should be most highly emphasized on the lower-IQ students. After they have sufficient skill to get by in those skills, then issues such as critical thinking, appreciation of literature, and scientific understanding of the world around them.

Any programs that temporarily raise IQ (e.g. Head Start) during these formative years can be pursued, with the understanding that during whatever period IQ is raised there will be a redoubled effort to teach the basic skills. In other words, the goal of such programs vis a vis education should not be to increase the kid’s cognitive function permanently so much as it should be to provide an extra boost during periods where learning would be particularly assisted by temporarily increased function.

In short, IQ ought to be used to determine how much emphasis should be put on learning the basics (lower IQ = more emphasis) and how much confidence we should have that the students have mastered the basics (i.e. students with lower IQs ought to have more attention paid to them on this issue). The first goal of education ought to be teaching kids the skills they need just to function in society. Aside from classes and activities that are designed to be somewhat recreational (including, at this grade level, the fine arts), most of the other goals of education (e.g. teaching kids science, social studies, how to think about history and interpret literature) should be considered secondary, particularly for kids who are going to have a hard time learning even the basics.

Second, there needs to be more of an emphasis on making certain that there are jobs available for those with lower IQs and that they are prepared to be able to do such jobs. Amongst other policies, restricting immigration, particularly of low-skill workers, is a very important step. Vocational programs need to be made widely available and high-quality, and if college-style training in vocational careers is helpful, its availability and quality ought to be increased.

It would also help to make certain that policies which are designed to make college more affordable are also expanded to include non-college training (e.g. apprenticeships). (There was a mention of this from Mr. Sailer, mentioning the fact that apprentices did not receive the same type of state aid as college students, for example, but I can’t find the link).

Moreover, there should be an attempt to determine what types of technology really do not need great intelligence to operate effectively, and training for such jobs should be made more available for low-IQ individuals; intelligence should only be a barrier to technological jobs where it is actually necessary.

Above all, there should be respect for jobs that do not require a college education, and while it is not wrong to want to increase the opportunities to go to college, we need to be careful not to make it so that college becomes a necessity; that is, that people who choose not to college (or who are unable to go) have good options in life.

Third, there should be service opportunities available to people whose IQs are not high enough to join the army. Steve Sailer’s idea of a disaster relief corps seems about right, but there seems to me no reason to create a new program ex nihilo. I think we could get such a program simply by expanding the National Guard; adding a new “wing” to it, so to speak, that is not eligible for use overseas as a military force (by overseas, I really mean anywhere outside the U.S.). This wing could handle all of the domestic issues that the National Guard currently handles, with the military-eligible National Guard also being called in to help when they are able. Presumably IQ would be less of a requirement in situations that do not require the mastery of complex weapons, of learning and combating enemy strategy, and of continuously shifting plans based on the actions of a sentient enemy.

[So far, all of the policies I have suggested are aracial; they are designed to deal with lower-IQ individuals regardless of any racial correlations. Now we come to the stuff that is more specifically aimed at improving the situation to the extent that it correlates with race.]

Fourth, if there are racial groups with lower average IQs (as in lower than the aggregate national average IQ), it would behoove society to make certain that the members of those groups who have higher IQs are given the same educational opportunities that would be given to a person of another race with the same IQ. To give an example, if a smaller percentage of blacks or Latinos are “Yale material,” then we should make the effort as a society to make certain that those who are “Yale material” are encouraged to go there and helped to succeed there. This sort of policy would be made vastly easier, of course, if we made certain that every minority who got into Yale actually was “Yale material.”

Fifth, it would also be a good idea to help those with non-academic talents to make money off their talents and to save it aside to provide for themselves later on in life (again, an idea floated by Steve Sailer). In Steve’s idea, people who, for example, can excel at college basketball but who are unsuited for the commensurate academic pursuits should be allowed to make money off of playing college basketball (or some sort of equivalent) in an explicitly separate program, and to save that money so that they will have a nest egg if they are unable to turn pro (as will be the case in the vast majority of instances).

Sixth, I would argue that those in a lower-IQ racial community who have the higher IQs need to have a sense of noblesse oblige instilled in them, as well as being strongly indoctrinated (for lack of a better term) in the need for capital investment in their communities, and in the need for their intellectual resources to be used for their communities’ betterment. There also should be an effort to encourage a culture of saving amongst those who have enough so that saving is a possibility (that is, for those who would not likely think ahead enough to save, their should be a strong social pressure that saving is a moral imperative). By saving, I am including stocks, mutual funds, and all other sorts of investments as well as bank accounts; although most likely a relatively secure set of mutual funds would be the best for the lower IQ segments as those would require the least amount of conscious maintenance.

It is also of major importance to create a sense of noblesse oblige amongst celebrities and aspiring celebrities. In addition, we need to encourage those with lots of money (e.g. if we are talking about blacks, sports stars and rappers) to make large capital investments within the community. Particularly in the case of those who aspire to celebrity but have not achieved it yet, there is the need to drill into them a sense of responsible behavior, and for athletes, of modesty and teamwork.

I think the biggest element in all of this analysis is to realize that the goal ought to be not to use IQ as a way to excuse the existence of certain problems, but as a tool for solving them. Moreover, lower IQ people need not be dismissed as hopeless cases, but rather we may need to work harder on their education (as well as working smarter).

That is all.

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