Audio & Video for the Antisemitic History of the SAT

of one

Audio & Video for the Antisemitic History of the SAT


The creator of the initial SAT, Carl Campbell Brigham was and continues to be ridiculed for the belief he held that certain races were more intelligent. He was challenged by Stanley Henry Kaplan, a Jewish American, who created ways to prepare students to excel on the exam. Below are videos and photos of Stanley Kaplan, photos of the original SAT, a photo of Carl Brigham (unfortunately there is only one available), and Brigham's highly contested publication, "A Study of American Intelligence". Due to the nature of the requests, some sources we used are older than two years hence.


The original SAT created by Carl Brigham in 1926 is presented on the Smithsonian website in the form of five scanned pages. Various portions of the documents have been highlighted in yellow tabs that are clickable and bring up further details about the original SAT.


Brigham published his influential book, 'A Study of American Intelligence' in 1923, based on data from the first IQ tests, developed using Army recruits during World War I. Brigham concluded that native born Americans had the highest intelligence out of the groups tested. He proclaimed the intellectual superiority of the "Nordic Race" and the inferiority of the "Alpine" (Eastern European), "Mediterranean," and "Negro" races and argued that immigration should be carefully controlled to safeguard the "American Intelligence." In one such summary statement, Brigham wrote: "The army mental tests had proven beyond any scientific doubt that, like the American Negroes, the Italians and the Jews were genetically ineducable. It would be a waste of good money even to attempt to try to give these born morons and imbeciles a good Anglo-Saxon education, let alone admit them into our fine medical, law, and engineering graduate schools."


In a one hour and twenty-two minute video "Stanley Kaplan: Democratizing American Achievement", published in 2014, Kaplan discusses how the knowledge and skills to triumph in education can be taught to any and all students. Kaplan begins speaking eight minutes into the video, following an introduction from two other people.


A transcript of an audio remembrance for Stanley Kaplan was published in 2009 (his year of death) and includes statements from Susan Kaplan (his daughter), Scott Belsky (his grandson), Andy Rosen (CEO of Kaplan), and Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat, New York). Melissa Block, the host, starts off the remembrance by saying, "Stanley H. Kaplan, the man who prepped millions of students to take standardized tests has died. He was 90 years old. Kaplan started his business in a Brooklyn basement and turned it into a $2.5 billion educational company," and introduces Robert Smith, who takes the lead.


PBS Idea Channel published a video in 2015 titled 'What Does The SAT Really Test?' exploring the history and purpose of the SAT and discusses Carl Brigham, the earlier intentions of the test, and other facts. The video description reads: "THE SAT. How’s that SAT prep going? Need some SAT tips? Well, here’s one: The SAT may not actually be measuring your…anything. That’s right, your SAT scores, despite what colleges and high schools across America may like for you to believe, may not reflect anything new. There is actually substantial evidence that instead of broad aptitudes, the SATs only measure a specific set of non-quantitative, cultural values and ideas. Don’t scratch those SAT dates off your calendar yet though, because it is still important, and on this week’s episode of Idea Channel, let’s look at why."
C-SPAN also covers the subject of the SATs in the interview in 2000 between Diane Ravitch, author of 'Left Back: A Century of Battles Over School Reform' and host Brian Lamb; and another video titled: Test Pilot: How I Broke Testing Barriers. The latter video description reads: "Mr. Kaplan spoke about his autobiography, Test Pilot: How I Broke Testing Barriers for Millions of Students and Caused a Sonic Boom in the Business of Education, published by Simon and Schuster. He described founding what would become the Kaplan Center in 1938 by tutoring students in the basement of his parents' home in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Kaplan started his first SAT preparatory class in 1946 which would be the basis for future test preparation courses. He talked about his creation of an empire in the field of educational test preparation. After the presentation the author answered questions from members of the audience." Both of the aforementioned videos include transcripts.

Photos of Kaplan:
Kaplan teaching a classroom of students — from Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation
Kaplan and his wife, Rita J. — from Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation
Kaplan in front of a blackboard — from The New York Times
Kaplan smiling — from CUNY
Photo of Carl Brigham — from PBS


Within the scope of one request, we found the scanned copies of the original 1926 SAT on the Smithsonian website, a full text of the publication detailing Brigham's writings (A Study of American Intelligence), one photo of Carl Brigham used by every publication about him, as well as four photos of Stanley H. Kaplan and a video of speech given by him. We also included commentaries: three videos of people talking about the history of the SAT (one by PBS and others by C-SPAN), and one audio transcript about Kaplan's achievements shortly after his death (NPR).