4) It was shown on PBS at about the same time that the Bell Curve was receiving attention from the media.
Does "School Colors" indeed support a central thesis of the Bell Curve, which is that our society is becoming segregated into unequal caste-like groups on the basis of intellectual capacity, and color - and that there is little hope of bringing things together (see, especially, Chapter 21, "The Way We Are Headed," in Herrnstein and Murray, 1994)?
What is important here, as a point of comparison with the beliefs about individual differences exemplified in Bell Curve, is that as far as most Chinese are concerned, whatever innate differences might exist across individuals in cognitive ability do not much matter.
Given the interest in the Bell Curve, however, it appears that they were merely suppressed, but not forgotten.
It should be a matter of interest to us that at the same time that some people in the field of education are seeking to detrack schools (Brewer, Rees, and Argys, 1995; Wheelock, 1992; Bellanca and Swartz, 1993; Oakes and Lipton, 1993) and make them more equitable and democratic, a work like Herrnstein and Murray's Bell Curve should come along with all of the attendant media coverage and public interest we have seen over the past two years.
The timing of the arguments in the Bell Curve was intended to justify not only the differential treatments people receive in our educational and economic systems, but also the outcomes.