Almost nothing anyone knows did they know from birth.
On the contrary, the specific example we're discussing - nursery rhymes - is something we certainly do learn from birth. For myself, another example is the Bible; I literally knew Bible verses from memory before I could read. They're still with me sixty years later even though I haven't been to church in thirty years. Asking Hindu children about the Sermon on the Mount would not be a valid test of their intelligence.
No school could get away with restricting itself to only testing those things its pupils should have known from birth.
Nobody has suggested any such thing. What I've said is that things you learned from birth should not be used as a measure of your intelligence - i.e. as a measure of what you can learn.
The tests weren't in a language the children didn't speak.
The tests used a vocabulary that the children didn't know. Big Bad Wolf? Chinny chin chin? It might as well have been Arabic.
It's nothing but cherry-picked numbers judged against irrelevant scales (percentage of U.S. population? WTF? Do you realize that only matters if we think police should be going around shooting people at random and for no cause?)
The preceding was a list of comments people don't usually make when they understand the concept of a bell curve. When trying to discuss large groups of people, working with population averages is really the only valid approach one can take.
Testing cultural knowledge is a perfectly valid thing to do.
I agree - but I believe we should do so in a way which is fair to all of the children being tested.
In the example I gave, it was not fair to ask the children of Asian ethnic origin about Anglo Saxon nursery rhymes - they weren't sung to them by their parents and aren't on any school's required curriculum. It is not fair they be expected to know them.
Similarly, in the studies cited of SAT'S, unfair weighting has been identified, which is to the disadvantage of children from a particular ethnic background.
By all means, test culture. Teach it, learn it, embrace it. But if we are testing it in a way which is unfair to an ethnic grouping, then we aren't doing it well.
Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?
I read where he said, "A child of Asian ethnic origin stood no chance, because Asian origin parents don't generally read their kids traditional white British nursery rhymes," in Message 261, which is exactly what I've been saying. Maybe you can explain why it's ridiculous when I say it, yet you try to use it as an argument against me.