Education Report Roundup

Black IQ Scores Seen to Narrow Racial Gap

By Debra Viadero — July 11, 2006 1 min read
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“Black Americans Reduce the Racial IQ Gap: Evidence From Standardization Samples” is available from the Brookings Institution.

The gap in IQ scores between black and white Americans has narrowed by at least a quarter since 1972, a pair of researchers contend in a paper that attempts to skewer the argument that intelligence is a mostly inherited trait.

Researchers William T. Dickens, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Washington-based Brookings Institution, and James R. Flynn, a professor of political studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, analyzed 30 years of test-score data from four commonly used intelligence tests.

From 1972 to 2002, they found, IQ scores rose for all groups, but scores for African-Americans rose faster. They gained 5 to 6 IQ score points more than whites did—an improvement the researchers characterize as considerable.

A version of this article appeared in the July 12, 2006 edition of Education Week

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