By Jr. Joe L. Martinez
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Extra resources for Chicano Psychology
As incredible as it may seem to any Chicano child, the high scores from the Latino high school in East Los Angeles were viewed with suspicion first, and then the explanation that the students worked harder to achieve higher scores was rejected. However, in West Los Angeles, if students fear low grades from the Educational Testing Service (ETS), they simply pay their fees and enroll in a private test-skill center where they are drilled in tests which bear a remarkable resemblance to those administered by ETS.
Many of them handle two lan guages with ease. They only appear disadvantaged because they were raised in bilingual East Los Angeles and the tests come from an insensitive corporation in New Jersey, which tailors its test for cultures like that of West Los Angeles. The apparent disadvantage would disappear if, as Castro and Garcia (1976) sug gested, each child were tested in the idiom of its own community, on a test reflecting the values and wisdom of its own community. In that way, the pre cious fabric of Chicano culture would not be shredded by oppressive accultura tion into the Anglo community.
Measuring leaves was not that simple, and it soon occurred to me that oak leaf variation would not tell me much about variations in human aptitudes. Things have not improved much over the last halfcentury. S. Stevens would surely assign an F to this explanation by analogy. With the aid of this larcenous postulation, the original mental testers simply eliminated between-group differences from the general intelligence (IQ) scale, queen of all aptitude and admissions tests, to sidestep the vexing questions regarding the role of cultural practice as opposed to natural ability.