IQ tests hurt kids, schools — and don’t measure intelligence

The research proves that IQ tests poorly predict learning disabilities. So why are schools still using them?


1991: As I settle into my seat in the back of the classroom, I can’t take my eyes off the perfect girl. She is the lead in every play, the soloist in every choir performance, and the winner of every writing award. Quite simply, she is the pride and joy of every teacher at the school. She also happens to be beautiful, and I am infatuated. I decide I’m going to talk to her after class. It’s sixth grade and I’m back in the public school system. A fresh start. A new, improved— and I hope, suaver—me.

“Is Scott Kaufman here?” the teacher asks. My trance is interrupted. Without hesitation I raise my hand. “Can you come sit up front please?” she requests. Confused, I pick up my backpack and move down, inching closer and closer to the perfect girl, who is sitting in the front row. As I get closer, my heart starts beating faster. Why am I being asked to move to the front? What if I have to sit next to her? What would I say? Walk smooth, Scott. Smooth.I start to slow down. I put on a big, confident smile. Finally I reach my destination. The desk right next to hers. ..