The Politics of Biological Determinism

By 1999


2
winter
we believe that Gould’s remarks shed some insight into the sociopolitical context of increased calls for high-stakes standardized tests. This is particularly the case when standardized test scores are seen as proxies for intelligence and are used to determine which schools are granted society’s best educational resources and rewards and which students get into the best colleges and universities.

I regard the critique of biological determinism as both timeless and timely. It is timeless because the errors of biological determinism are so deep and insidious and appeal to the worst manifestations of our common nature. It is timely because the same bad arguments recur every few years with a predictable and depressing regularity.

No mystery attends the reason for these recurrences. They are not manifestations of some underlying cyclicity