Education: Talent Census

Vital to the overnight build-up of the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II were the new aptitude tests that transformed bakers and brokers into pilots, bombardiers and navigators. The tests downplayed such culture-linked criteria as college degrees and IQs. Instead, they matched raw abilities to the skills needed.

The chief designer of those tests, Harvard-trained Psychologist John C. Flanagan, is now professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the nation's top testmakers, e.g., his nonprofit American Institute for Research tests prospective pilots for U.S. and foreign airlines....

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