Q. Who cares about test scores besides the Ivy League?
A. The military. A disproportionate number of Hispanics don’t qualify to enlist. A 2009 RAND Corporation report for the National Defense Research Institute to look into this sizable problem, Military Enlistment of Hispanic Youth: Obstacles and Opportunities, found that “Hispanics are underrepresented among military recruits.”
A major reason for this is that to get into the military these days, you have to score on the Pentagon’s entrance exam (the AFQT) at least at the 31st percentile (what the Pentagon calls Category IIIB). RAND reported:
Only 36 percent of young Hispanic high school graduates would score in AFQT Category IIIB [31st percentile] or above, compared with 68 percent of white high school graduates. A key implication of this result is that increasing the high school graduation rate among Hispanic youth may not lead to comparable increases in enlistment eligibility. [Bold mine.]
At age 25, there was a large difference in educational attainment among racial and ethnic groups. NonHispanic blacks and Hispanics were about twice as likely as whites to be high school dropouts in the October they were age 25. In comparison, whites were more than twice as likely as blacks or Hispanics to have received their bachelor’s degree by this age. Thirty percent of whites had received their bachelor’s degree, compared with 14 percent of blacks and 12 percent of Hispanics.
That’s not horrible, but getting slightly less education than African-Americans isn’t good, either. As I point out in my FAQ in Taki’s, because Hispanics average higher overall on IQ tests than blacks, they ought to be getting more years of education than blacks get. Thus, IQ testing implies that Hispanic educational achievement is being depressed by the Hispanic culture of apathy toward education, which is something that could be fixed in the very long run — an insight for which everybody ought to thank the IQ testing experts, not sneer at them.