OK, I may not be reading this correctly, but are you saying that kids in the US take IQ tests instead of proper exams? If so, the implications are profound and disturbing, as almost every method of so-called IQ testing has been exploded.

Here in the UK, kids take SATs at the end of Key Stage 1 (6-7 years old) and Key Stage 2 (11-12). Theses tests are designed to test the skills of the children and the level at which they are working. Not intelligence.

The GCSE examinations taken at 16 are again tests of knowledge and skills. Though the courses and exams are offered by differing Awarding Organisations the government regulator, Ofqual, is charged with ensuring that all are at the same level and standard, even if the content may differ. For those who stay on at school until 18, there are the A-Levels, considered the gold standard for University admission. Again, these are developed and offered to schools by Awarding Organisations and regulated by Ofqual. Again, they test skills and knowledge.

There have been occasional whinges about a bias toward white people in these tests, true, but I'm unsure of their validity. Tests are based upon what students should have learned, and the skills they should have acquired, following a somewhat prescriptive National Curriculum and exam syllabus. If the student pays attention and works hard, they will pass, and pass well.

The cultural problems arising from this system are down to teachers, pupils and parents. Racist teachers, if exposed, are dealt with. Parents whose cultural or religious stances cause conflict with our secular education system (and encouragement of female students), are a more thorny problem. As to the pupils, there will always be some who just don't like school - that's kids.

I gained five O-Levels, three A-Levels and a degree, and not one teacher or lecturer ever taught in the Yorkshire dialect I was brought up to speak, so complaints about the exclusive use of standard English in schools are no excuse!

Snapper-up of unconsidered trifles, walker of paths less travelled by. Advocate-in-Ordinary to His Satanic Majesty.

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