Category Archives: Equality

A curiosity with Lewis Terman and George Stoddard

I heard of Lewis Terman and George Stoddard’s argument while mulling over a quiet disaster.

For five Saturdays over a recent semester I taught an “Advanced Language Arts” class to seventh and eighth-graders identified as gifted. Hosted by a nationally-known program advocating for gifted education and selected after advertising the class to an unspecified number of schools, our group was small, five girls and two boys, and met for three hours at a time. Our focus was creative nonfiction: personal narratives. No grades, no testing, just exercises, encouragement and feedback. Looking back on it, I shouldn’t have been surprised the class didn’t go as planned but these children had been identified as gifted, they were giving up several Saturdays to meet, their parents had paid three hundred bucks for the privilege and—this is where I made my first mistake—I accepted the assertion by one of the administrators in the program that I should assume they could read and write at the same level as the first year college students I’d been teaching for the past few years.

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Intelligence testing…a smattering of articles

From The New York Times (and Magazine)

The Junior Meritocracy, by Jennifer Senior

Gifted Programs’ Criteria Vary Widely by Pam Belluck

Raising Our IQ by Nicolas Kristof

(I’ll add more as time goes on…if you’ve got any send ’em my way.)

John Hope Franklin on apologies and discrimination

Here’s a rather cool interview with John Hope Franklin offering his take on the North Carolina General Assembly’s apology for slavery.

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If corporations are people does that make me a corporation?

By a 5-4 margin and sparked by the quasi-film/political ad “Hillary: the Movie,” the Supreme Court has issued a broad ruling overturning all restrictions on campaign donations by corporations and unions. That’s thirty-plus years of legal precedent out the window. Pitt’s School of Law provides a cooler tone in their assessment. And here’s the New York Times article Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit. Their editorial says the Supreme Court has thrust politics back to the robber-baron era of the 19th century.” Fun.

To my reading it means no limits of any kind except for disclosure. Exxon, for example, used to be limited in how much they could donate to political campaigns and they were restricted from using general company funds for political advocacy (meaning they had to raise it internally from employees). They now have no restrictions and can spend as much as they want to and however they wish. (I’m imagining some stock holders might not be thrilled about this depending on how much money they end up spending.)

I’m not a lawyer and need to learn more about this, but at the core of the decision is the claim that a corporation has the same rights to free speech as a person. How did that come to pass?

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