Alfred Binet, French psychologist, designed the IQ (Intelligent Quotient) test, in 1905. It was used to separate and differentiate intelligence from those with a mental illness. The IQ test became popular to decide who can be an officer during World War I. Let’s not forget the military is already segregated. This test was created to prove the genetic advantages of the superior race. Basically, it was believed that intelligence is race-based. Scientists thought “inferior” people were a threat to the general welfare of the superior. The American Eugenic Society decided these people should be “sterilized.” Also, five million people should be segregated from society based on their poor educational achievements. This project was defined as “racially-preventive medicine.” This sterilization program was upheld in the Supreme Court. The AES didn’t only influence and affect the United States. Nazi Germany relied on the AES research, which led to extermination camps. Arthur Jensen, professor at University of California, Burkeley, is known for his research with “race-based differences in intelligence.” Carl C. Birgham worked with the IQ tests and stated that “race mixing” made society dumber and weaker. He, then, made changes to the test and called it the Scholastic Aptitude Test. According to a 2009 report by the College Board, Black students score, on average, 100 points less than white students on the SAT.
Needless to say, there is an achievement gap in America. This is institutional racism. Why is the SAT, a test rooted in biased ideologies, used to indicate future achievement in higher education? Making it less important will level out the playing field.