Typically, the disadvantaged groups (exam scores underestimate ability) are thought to be poor, Black, Hispanic, or Native American students, and the advantaged groups (exam scores overestimate ability) are thought to be Asian-Americans.
However, it is important to be clear about why they are wrong. They are not wrong because I disagree with them on an ideological basis; rather, they are wrong because they conflict with the existing scientific literature on cognitive ability, the heritability of intelligence, and standardized testing. They are empirically wrong and run against decades’ worth of detailed studies spanning the fields of psychology, sociology, education, and modern genetics.
In this post, I outline a clear, step-by-step argument that lays out a strong case for the pro-standardized testing viewpoint. I establish the following points:
In sum, I supply a succinct argument that rebuts all of the typical arguments in favor of eliminating standardized exams. Upon a comprehensive review of the literature, I find that cognitive ability is a coherent, innate, and heritable trait; that standardized exams are good measures of cognitive ability, and are largely unaffected by parental income or education; finally, that exam scores are not meaningfully affected by student preparation, motivation, educational quality, or parental pressure, and certainly not to a degree necessary to explain group differences in performance.