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Looking at IQ and learning if the level of intelligence has anything to do with success in life: Part 1 of 3

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Over on Diane Ravitch’s Blog, a site to discuss better education for all [highly recommended to discover what’s going on in public education in the United States], I left a comment for one of her posts that mentioned an author’s lecture I attended back in the 1980s. The comment was about a memoir written by the father of a son who was retarded [the father/author’s words not mine]. The son also had learning disabilities.  After more than thirty years, all I remembered was the basics and I think the father said his son had an IQ of 80 [I could be wrong. It might have been lower]. I’ve forgotten the name of the author and his memoir. I once had a video of the lecture but loaned it to another teacher who loaned it to another teacher and I never saw the video again.

Anyway, the anonymous person who replied to my comment didn’t think the kid was retarded with an 80 IQ, and it turns out this anonymous commenter was right.  He also said 80 wasn’t far from average—also correct.

I attended that lecture more than thirty years ago, and the son did have learning disabilities severe enough to land him in special education classes. The parents had to fight to get him in regular classes. They also unplugged the TV at home and stored it on a shelf in the garage where it sat until both of their children were in college. The TV was replaced with family reading time. The result, the son ended up at Harvard and graduated with a degree in engineering.

The Stanford-Binet Fifth Edition IQ Classification [it’s obvious that the language has been changed to placate critics of IQ tests—check out older versions of IQ tests to see what I mean]:

40-54: Moderately impaired or delayed
55-69: Mildly impaired or delayed
70-79: Borderline impaired or delayed
80-89: Low average
90-109: Average
110-119: High average
120-129: Superior
130-144: Gifted or very advanced
145-160: Very gifted or highly advanced

There’s also the Current Wechsler IQ classification; the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities; the Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test, etc.

I don’t want to spend much time on learning disabilities [LD], because I want to focus on the small fire that I seemed to have started when I brought up IQ on Ravitch’s Blog. But  LD’s should be mentioned because they may affect children with even high IQ’s. The home environment, lifestyle, health, diet and exercise also play an important role in a child’s ability to learn.

LD’s are a group of varying disorders that have a negative impact on learning. They may affect a child’s [or adults] ability to speak, listen, think, read, write, spell or compute. The most prevalent LD is in the area of reading, known as dyslexia, and as  child I had severe dyslexia; so did my older brother, but the education experts didn’t know what dyslexia was in the early 1950s. Instead, my mother was told that I was so retarded I would never learn to read or write. Years later when I took my first IQ test, the results said I had an IQ of 135, and it’s obvious that I overcame the dyslexia and learned to read and write, but my brother didn’t.

It seems that one politically-correct camp in the United States and maybe Europe—because I have no idea where the critics of IQ live—believe we shouldn’t use IQ to measure a child’s intelligence. In fact, this politically correct group wants IQ removed as a way to measure intelligence probably because it might hurt the child self-esteem. In fact, the politically correct self-esteem movement would like to do away with all competition, grades and GPA ranking. They’ve had some success in this area—one of the causes of dumbing down the schools in the United States.

Continued on January 19, 2014 in Looking at IQ and learning if the level of intelligence has anything to do with success in life: Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to kill Americans.

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The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 3/3

Wanna Be bet his future on a belief that he didn’t need to get an education because he was going to be drafted into Major League Baseball (MLB) and earn millions.

My brother Richard’s (1935 – 1999) oldest daughter (from his second marriage) graduated from high school engaged to another student that had signed a contract to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The weekend after he signed the contract, he threw a wild party to celebrate. A fight broke out and he was hit in the head with a baseball bat and lost his ability to pitch. The contract was cancelled and no money changed hands.

Depressed, he fell into booze and drugs along with my niece, and the marriage fell apart.

I don’t know if Wanna Be’s dream came true but most don’t.

I recently read that an average of 40,000 young people flood Hollywood annually dreaming of being the next super star to eventually win an Academy Award.

However, less than one percent lands a role on TV or in film let alone super-star status.

The tragedy is that Wanna Be wasn’t alone.  Too many of the students I taught saw no reason to work in school since they had been convinced by a parent boosting the child’s self-esteem that if the child dreamed it, that dream would come true, which is another absurd example of the damage caused by the Self-Esteem movement.

Return to The “Wanna Be” Natural – Part 1 or discover A Ten Year Old Named Oscar


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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