War on standards

Sen. Cotton responds to latest HUD overreach

Featured image We’ve discussed how the Obama administration, through disparate impact theory, seeks to coerce employers into the assuming the risk of hiring criminals. It does so by arguing that African-Americans are overrepresented among ex-cons, and thus that excluding applicants based on criminal records has a disparate impact on this group. So far, to my knowledge, this approach has yielded little if any success in court. However, it may well be that »

Civil Rights Commissioner warned Minneapolis against quota discipline [UPDATED WITH LINK]

Featured image Last week, Scott and I wrote about an article by Katherine Kersten regarding the ruinous impact on schools in the Twin Cities of racial “equity” in school discipline. As Kersten demonstrated, the attempt to reduce the number of disciplinary actions against minority school children, on the theory that they are disproportionately disciplined, has helped turn some schools in the Twin Cities into war zones. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the »

Refuting Kersten, Onion style

Featured image My friend Kathy Kersten wrote the devastating column featured in the Star Tribune this past Sunday on disorder in the St. Paul public schools following from the directives of the Obama administration. Kathy’s column was published as “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more.” I drew attention to Kathy’s column in “Kersten’s discipline.” Paul reviewed the column at length in “The war on standards in Twin Cities schools.” Yesterday the »

The war on standards: gifted student programs edition [UPDATED]

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the Montgomery County school district (which covers an affluent suburban county just outside of Washington, D.C.) is concerned about racial disparities in its “gifted student” programs. A report it commissioned found marked disparities by race and ethnicity in enrollment and acceptance rates, with white and Asian students faring much better than their black and Hispanic counterparts. The report notes, for example, that enrollment in the »

The war on standards in Twin Cities schools

Featured image I hope you read Katherine Kersten’s article, presented yesterday by Scott, about the impact of “equity” in disciplinary action on schools in the Twin Cities. As Kersten explains, “equity” in this context isn’t about fairness — that is, the same rules for everyone. Rather, it means that “if one group’s outcomes on social measures are not identical to all of the others’, the cause is presumed to be discrimination and »

Federal overreach and the war on standards

Featured image The Justice Department has instructed local courts throughout America about how to treat people who violate local ordinances. DOJ has already sued Ferguson, Missouri for allegedly violating citizens rights by virtue of its treatment of people who run afoul of local rules and refuse to pay the resulting fines. Now, Vanita Gupta, head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, has sent a warning letter that, in her words, “articulate[s] a set »

Stats on police shootings undercut “Black Lives Matter” narrative

Featured image The Washington Post reports that police officers fatally shot 965 people this year. One can’t draw any important conclusions from these numbers alone, since they don’t tell us anything about the circumstances and/or justification for the police conduct. However, the Post presents some additional information. It says that cases in which white officers killed unarmed black men represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. This statistic doesn’t quantify »

Ominibus bill rewards Department of Education overreach

Featured image On Friday, the House will vote on the year-end omnibus spending bill, formally known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016. As Heritage Action says, the bill should have been an opportunity for conservatives to reassert their prerogatives on a host of important issues, ranging from appropriate spending levels to substantive action on refugee resettlement, executive amnesty, Planned Parenthood, and many more. Instead, the omnibus spending bill falls far short »

Ed Meese denounces the rush to pass sentencing reform

Featured image Ed Meese was Attorney General of the United States when the nation finally said “enough” to crime and to the lenient sentencing by federal judges that was helping to fuel it. This was the beginning of reforms, most notably in the form of mandatory minimum sentencing, that led to a 50 percent reduction in crime. Naturally, then, Meese is concerned about the attempt of a “gang” of bipartisan Senators to »

Judiciary committee goes through the motions in hearing on major sentencing reform

Featured image This afternoon, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015. Echoing what many have said, Chairman Grassley called this legislation “the most significant criminal justice reform legislation in a generation.” Yet, the Committee saw fit to hold only three hours of hearings on it. Moreover, the hearings took place on the Monday after a long recess, a nearly unprecedented move by the »

The war on standards makes major headway in New York City

Featured image Bob McManus of the New York Post wonders whether Demetrius Blackwell, who shot NYPD officer Brian Moore dead, would have been on the street with his gun had the old stop-and-frisk policies, which Mayor de Blasio eliminated, been in effect. Chances are that Blackwell, a reckless hard core thug, would have been, but we will never know for sure. More broadly, McManus wonders about the consequences of what he calls »

DEA adminstrator balks at Obama-Holder’s latest attack on standards

Featured image As befits an administration that exalts leftist politics over law enforcement, the Obama administration has been plagued by several “revolts” by its law enforcement arms. When President Obama nominated Debo Adegbile, who led an ideologically-based defense campaign for a convicted cop killer, the FBI Agents Association balked. When Attorney General Holder came out in favor of legislation that would drastically cut back on mandatory minimum sentences for drug pushers, the »

The War On Standards Comes to College Debate [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Paul has been writing about the war on standards in various aspects of our society, generally as a means of advancing the interests of minorities (or purporting to advance them, anyway). Now it appears that the decline of standards–indeed, the abolition of any standards at all–has come to the world of college debate. The Atlantic reports: These days, an increasingly diverse group of participants has transformed debate competitions, mounting challenges »

The war on standards — standards win a round

Featured image I have written often about the left’s war on standards, an attempt to bulldoze standards of conduct and achievement that stand in the way of equal distribution of society’s benefits and prizes to Blacks. One major front in that war is the federal government’s attack, via EEOC lawsuits, on employers that use the background checks to screen applicants for employment. The government takes particular exception to the use of criminal »

The SAT and the American dream

Featured image I’ve received some useful comments about my post on the dumbing down of the SAT. A long-time college professor suggests that the changes will have very little impact. Scores will rise, so colleges will adjust their evaluations accordingly. He adds, however, that the changes will make it harder to identify the truly exceptional, which will impact the top schools. And, of course, making the test easier will help mask the »

The war on standards — dumbing down the SAT

Featured image The College Board is once again altering the SAT. According to the Washington Post, the SAT’s writers appear to be doing two things: changing what they test and making the test easier. To me, it sounds as if the SAT will be made easier largely by changing what it tests. For example, the Post says that students will no longer be expected to know “difficult, lesser-used vocabulary words” and “advanced »

The federal prosecutors’ revolt against Holder — the letter

Featured image I wrote here about the revolt of hundreds of career prosecutors against Attorney General Holder over his support for legislation that would drastically cut back on mandatory minimum sentences for drug pushers. Their letter to Holder now appears on National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys website. The letter is phrased respectfully, of course. No one wants to insult the boss. But it presents very forceful opposition to Holder’s position »