An excellent read.

An excellent article by one America's great thinkers.
Thomas Sowell

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- thank you!

I like this segment, about where the "luck" truly is:

If “luck” is involved, it is the luck to be born into families and communities whose values and choices turn out to be productive for themselves and for others who benefit from the skills they acquire.

The author's next bit, though, is way too simplistic to actually capture the complexity of the realities of testing, and in particular high-stakes testing:
Observers who blame tests or other criteria for the demographic imbalances that are the rule — not the exception — around the world, are blaming whatever conveys differences for creating those differences.

They blame the messenger who brings bad news.

If test scores are not the same for people from different backgrounds, that is no proof that there is something wrong with the tests. Tests do not exist to show what your potential was when you entered the world but to measure what you have actually accomplished since then, as a guide to what you are likely to continue to do in the future. Tests convey a difference that tests did not create. But the messenger gets blamed.

Testing is a well-researched domain...
- Actually, there is a lot of evidence that when test scores are different for people from different backgrounds, there can very well be something wrong with the test, at least in terms as a valid, statistical measure of what it says it is trying to measure, which is the gold standard for a good test. That's the key - a test isn't a test isn't a test. They are applied for very specific, discrete reasons - aptitude, intelligence, content knowledge, procedural knowledge, etc.. Differences in test scores may in fact be an artifact of the test itself, or in how the results are being applied.
-What the author doesn't bring up is that a ton of other children who are pretty much on equal footing have to be left out of quality schooling because of their luck, not just their test scores. It's not that it isn't fair that test scores help outline the entrance criteria, I'd say that it's a shame that in many communities a school like this one is the exception and not the rule, and that if you aren't one of the .001% who make it in, you are sentenced to an incredibly substandard education.

Clarence Thomas who may be a little senile.

Did you read this: written by Sowell from Black Red Necks and White Liberals, "What the [white] rednecks or crackers brought with them across the ocean was a whole constellation of attitudes, values, and behavior patterns that might have made sense in the world in which they had lived for centuries, but which would prove to be counterproductive in the world to which they were going — and counterproductive to the blacks who would live in their midst for centuries before emerging into freedom and migrating to the great urban centers of the United States, taking with them similar values.

The cultural values and social patterns prevalent among Southern whites included an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, reckless searches for excitement, a lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery. This oratorical style carried over into the political oratory of the region in both the Jim Crow era and the civil rights era, and has continued on into our own times among black politicians, preachers, and activists. Touchy pride, vanity, and boastful self-dramatization were also part of this redneck culture among people from regions of Britain where the civilization was the least developed"................hmmm

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