Evidently, a UK researcher dared to point out that IQ and social class correlate. This has two implications for academia — one, colleges shouldn’t be shocked when they disproportionately admit students from richer families, and two, we need to stop blaming researchers for this fact:
Gemma Tumelty, [National Union of Students] president, said: “Of course, social inequality shapes people’s lives long before they leave school, but the higher education sector cannot be absolved of its responsibility to ensure that students from all social backgrounds are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential … many talented individuals from poor backgrounds are currently not given the same opportunities as those from more privileged backgrounds. This problem will not be addressed as long as academics such as Bruce Charlton are content to accept the status quo and do nothing to challenge the inherent class bias in education.”
Of course, Charlton said nothing of the sort. He did not suggest ignoring “inherent class bias,” but demonstrated the lack of any evidence for such bias to begin with:
Evidence to support the allegation of systematic unfairness has never been presented. Nevertheless, the accusation has been used to fuel a populist ‘class war’ agenda. Yet in all this debate a simple and vital fact has been missed: higher social classes have a significantly higher average IQ than lower social classes.
There should be absolutely nothing surprising about this. IQ is significantly heritable — both through genetics and through the environments that parents provide. IQ also correlates with social class — smarter people tend to make more money — and this relationship is getting stronger. Therefore, on average, the children of rich parents will be smarter than the children of poor parents. By all means we should make sure that smart poor kids can excel, but doing so will not eliminate the IQ gap.