From today's WSJ "Science Journal" article, written by Sharon Begley:
For as long as there has been a science of intelligence (roughly a century), prevailing opinion has held that children's mental abilities are highly malleable, or "unstable." Cognition might improve when the brain reaches a developmental milestone, or when a child is bitten by the reading bug or suddenly masters logical thinking and problem solving.
Some kids do bloom late, intellectually. Others start out fine but then, inexplicably, fall behind. But according to new studies, for the most part people's mental abilities relative to others change very little from childhood through adulthood. Relative intelligence seems as resistant to change as relative nose sizes.
I'm not sure why Ms. Begley thinks that this is somehow new. Arthur Jensen argued in a Harvard Education Review article in 1969 that scholastic results were almost entirely a result of genetic ability, and it was completely convincing back then. I don't think it was ever the "prevailing opinion" among those who truly understood the intelligence research that intelligence was "highly malleable."
But the good news is that another major newspaper reveals the truth. Public policy will improve immensely once the people making the policy have the correct understanding of human nature.