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 ofevolution. 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 is.