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New evidence on racial test score gaps

In the United States, past research has consistently found that Black teenagers underperform White teenagers by an average of about one standard deviation on tests of IQ and academic achievement. Substantial racial test score gaps are found as early as age five.

Roland Fryer and I have written two papers on racial differences in test scores in the past (see here and here). In those papers, we were able to answer some interesting questions, but we didn’t have the right sorts of data to get at the question of whether the differences in test scores across races that are commonly observed might have a genetic component.

In a new paper, we tackle that controversial issue, using a large U. S. government data set that administers a test of mental functioning to children aged 8-12 months. No one has ever looked carefully at racial test score differences in children this age using a large, nationally representative data set.

As they approach their first birthday, how do you think the Black children do relative to the White children on these tests? Our preliminary answer is here. But before you look, make your own guess as to the results.

I think we will be seeing a lot of Steve Sailer on this site in the near future — this issue is even closer to his heart than legalized abortion.