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An American Affidavit

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

228 The Bell Curve: The Underground History of Amercian Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

The Bell Curve 

We still have to face the propaganda barrier set up by statistical psychology — I mean the 
scam which demonstrates mathematically that most people don't have the stuff to do it. 
This is the 

rocket driving School at breakneck speed across the barren land it traverses as a mobile 
hospital for the detritus of evolution. Could it be that all the pedagogical scientists have 
gotten it wrong? Are ordinary people better than they think? 

I found a telling clue in Charles Murray's best seller, The Bell Curve, at the spot when 
Murray pauses to politely denounce black schoolteacher Marva Collins' fantastic claim 
that ghetto black children had real enthusiasm for difficult intellectual work. Oddly 
enough that was exactly my own experience as a white schoolteacher with black thirteen- 
year-olds from Harlem. I was curious why Dr. Murray or Dr. Herrnstein, or both, became 
so exercised, since Marva Collins otherwise doesn't figure in the book. So certain were 
the authors that Collins couldn 't be telling the truth, that they dismissed her data while 
admitting they hadn 't examined the situation firsthand. That is contempt of a very high 
order, however decorously phrased. 

The anomaly struck me even as I lay in the idyllic setting of a beach on the northern coast 
of Oahu, watched over by sea turtles, where I had gone to do research for this book in 

America's most far-flung corporate colony, Hawaii. Bell-curve theory has been around 
since Methuselah under different names, just as theories of multiple intelligence have; 
why get out of sorts because a woman of color argued from her practice a dissent? Finally 
the light went on: bell-curve mudsill theory loses its credibility if Marva Collins is telling 
the truth. Trillions of dollars and the whole social order are at stake. Marva Collins has to 
be lying. 

Is Marva telling the truth? Thirty years of public school teaching whisper to me that she 

George Meegan 

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