MixedThe Washington ExaminerThe Cult of Smart takes the commonsensical observation that children’s academic careers are profoundly shaped by their innate ability and buttresses it with mountains of research into human genetics. That this obvious fact has to be laundered through statistics and peer-reviewed research is a testament to the smart kids’ power. American elites tend to resist arguments that their success has been preordained by genetics, but they’ve also been conditioned to accept the verdict of science ... I suspect the book’s critique of our educational establishment would be less cutting if deBoer was another impeccably credentialed insider. DeBoer’s diagnosis is persuasive, but his proposed cures are radical ... As a teacher who wants to make schools more hospitable to a wide range of students, I would have preferred more about some of deBoer’s intriguing reform proposals, including lowering the dropout age to 12 and getting rid of high school algebra requirements, and less about the coming revolution.