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Arthur Jensen: A Latter-Day “Enemy of the People”?

Ralph Scott

Published: 2013/06/01

Abstract

Arthur Jensen’s life is emblematic of the extent to which American scholarship is inhibited by political orthodoxy. James R. Flynn In the context of Ibsen’s play An Enemy of the People, wherein the physician Dr. Thomas Stockman is pilloried for warning of avoidable health problems in a small Norwegian village, Arthur Jensen’s legacy of candidly discussing unpopular views on inflammatory psychological issues is examined. Focus is placed on high societal costs to Black as well as White students, families, schools, and communities by ignoring implications of three primary empirical postulates advanced by Jensen: evidence that the racial achievement gap (RAG) exists before students enter school and hence the value of examining the impact of prenatal, postnatal, and biophysical concomitants of human learning; individual differences in ability and subsequent problems of “mainstreaming” students irrespective of demonstrable academic skills; and contributions of standardized testing to enhancing colorblind educational quality.

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