Political correctness often dictates that we refuse to see what is right in front of us if it runs counter to some liberal agenda item. In fact, political correctness often means that we can’t even discuss reasons behind observable phenomena. Ask Larry Summers, former president of Harvard.

He famously became the former president of Harvard after he suggested that the reason fewer women are in higher mathematics is that fewer women have the aptitude and interest in such work. Political correctness requires that there be only one explanation for this discrepancy: gender discrimination. It is verboten to even talk about other possibilities, as Larry Summers now knows.

Political correctness is often the butt of jokes among us conservatives. But some of the consequences aren't funny. It may even be that political correctness is keeping us from finding and nurturing scientific and engineering skills which the country desperately needs.    

SAT tests are an important tool in identifying not only which students are right for which colleges but in assessing skills and talents that we as a country want to see developed. As Charles Murray points out today on the AEI blog, the tests are currently deficient in measuring one particular kind of talent: spatial reasoning.

We might be missing as many as half the spatial reasoning whizzes. IQ tests, writes Murray, do measure this ability. It would be easy to incorporate the appropriate elements of IQ tests into the SATS. Problem solved, right?

No.  Political correctness is likely to prevent the College Board, which administers the SAT, from testing for spatial reasoning as long as PC holds sway. Why?

Because the largest gender differences and the largest ethnic differences are found in the subtests that measure spatial skills. Here’s the dilemma facing the top brass at the College Board: if they add a spatial component to go with their math and verbal components, they will indeed identify lots of extremely talented students whose potential is underestimated by the existing components of the SAT.

But that spatial component will also show larger gender and ethnic differences than the other components (if you’re curious, the big winners from such a revision of the SAT would be Asians and males). What do you suppose the chances are that the College Board will be willing to take the heat for such a result? If you want to make a bet, I’ll take zero and you can have everything else.

This PC blindness is going to cost us as a nation.