My new VDARE.com column on Charles Murray's recent article "The Age of Educational Romanticism" offers a new partial explanation for the triumph of educational romanticism among American K-12 educators while their counterparts in Europe and Asia remain hard-headed about differences in academic potential. Obviously, race plays a big role here, but even more overlooked is the paradoxical influence of the triumph of our exclusive American colleges.
To summarize the reality under the rhetoric:
American higher education today -- ultra-elitist Social Darwinism masked by politically correct rhetoric
German higher education -- leftist egalitarian mediocrity
American lower education -- leftist egalitarian mediocrity
German lower education -- hardheaded realism about human differences
Elitist continental European universities were largely emasculated by sincere leftism after WWII, especially after 1968, so, today, they have dropped far down in world prestige rankings. In contrast, just about the only famous American college to destroy its exclusiveness in response to 1960s radicalism was CCNY. All the other elite colleges (e.g., Berkeley), merely bought off minority radicals with affirmative action and actually increased their elitism in admissions for non-affirmative action applicants. But, as they became more Social Darwinian overall, they became more politically correct in their public expressions, with disastrous effects on the poor saps running the K-12 system in America, who were too thick to get the joke.
It's a complex argument, so Read the Whole Thing.