chapter  39
37 Pages

Desegregation and Black Achievement: A Review of the Research


The performance of blacks on achievement tests is also of concern because for seventy-five years the lower performance of blacks on such tests has been used to support beliefs in their racial inferiority. Further­ more, it is likely that many black as well as white elites still subscribe to the theory that one can measure the economic productivity and, for that matter, the moral worth of human beings in terms of whether they can state correctly the Pythagorean theorem, add two improper fractions, or select the answer on a multiple choice battery that indicates they have properly decoded a paragraph about the nesting habits of bluebirds. Even assuming that achievement test performance is important, it is still questionable whether factors like the rate of change in cognitive per­ formance between the ages of seven and nine will have any great bear­ ing on a student’s ability to perform cognitive tasks as an adult.