War on standards

The war on standards, Rhodes Scholarship edition

Featured image Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded based, in part, on race for at least 50 years. A friend from high school, and one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, was up for the prize in 1971. In the late stage of the process, he was in a room with other candidates from his region. When a tall African-American, an athlete whom I also knew, entered, a buzz went through the »

The war on standards, woke U.S. Army edition

Featured image The U.S. Army apparently has decided to gender-norm scores on the test it administers for combat fitness. As I understand this report in the Washington Post, rather than comparing men’s and women’s scores, women will be judged based on how they perform in relation to other women. This radical change is a response to the unsurprising fact that women are failing the Army’s combat fitness test to a disproportionate extent. »

The war on standards, knife fight edition

Featured image When I began my “war on standards” series many years ago, I recognized that the left was trying to tear down core standards of behavior and merit for no other reason than the fact that one racial group was failing, disproportionately, to meet them. I expected the rot to spread far and wide, and it has — to the detriment of society. However, I never thought it would spread to »

Is America doomed? Part One

Featured image Maybe not. Peter King reports that 10.5 percent of all NFL regular-season games last season enjoyed a bigger television audience than Oprah Winfrey’s interview of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Mike Florio adds that “most if not all of the 13 January postseason games generated dramatically larger numbers” than that interview. But maybe so. David Goldman foresees China vastly outstripping America because it is a merciless meritocracy whereas America increasingly »

The war on standards, Yale Law Journal edition

Featured image The Yale Law Journal has been accused of racial bias by some Black students. And it does appear that the Journal is biased — in favor of Blacks. According to the Washington Free Beacon: The conflagration began on Tuesday after a Journal editor, Gavin Jackson, resigned, saying he felt “used and tokenized” in his position. Jackson’s resignation elicited furious statements from a raft of affinity groups at the law school, »

The war on standards, public libraries edition

Featured image This is pathetic: Beginning today, Montgomery County [Maryland] Public Libraries (MCPL) will no longer charge overdue fines. In addition, MCPL will waive all existing overdue fines from customer accounts. The new policy ensures that all County residents have equitable access to MCPL resources and services, while eliminating the financial barrier of overdue fines. Customers who previously had outstanding late fines will now be able to resume borrowing physical and digital »

The war on standards, West Point cheating edition

Featured image In the past, cheating scandals at America’s military academies have been dealt with severely. The cheaters were expelled. It didn’t matter whether they were football stars or what their race was. They were dismissed. But that’s not how West Point is dealing with its current cheating scandal, in which 73 cadets, the majority of whom are athletes, have been accused of cheating on a math exam. Most of the accused »

The war on standards: Magnet school admissions edition

Featured image America’s top colleges and universities grant preferential treatment to Blacks applying for admissions. For example, Black applicants need not perform nearly as well as White and Asian applicants on standardized tests in order to gain admission. Admissions data from Yale exemplify the preferential treatment. Thus far, the Supreme Court has found that race-based preferences in college admissions are permissible if granted (or couched) in a certain way. But the Court »

Resentment, Critical Race Theory, and the war on standards

Featured image In the mid-1960s, when colleges began admitting black students who didn’t meet the standards applied to white ones, some observers presciently warned that the students admitted based on race preferences would carry a stigma. To my knowledge, however, no one one was prescient enough to realize that, in response, Blacks would try to stigmatize Whites — including those granting them the benefit of preferential treatment and those suffering the burdens »

Does a high percentage of black arrests in schools justify kicking the police out?

Featured image Few who are paying attention will be surprised that, in Maryland public schools, black students make up a disproportionate number of those arrested by police officers working in the schools. According to the Washington Post, black students make up 56 percent of those arrested (but only 34 percent of the student population), while white students make up only 28 percent (compared to 37 percent of the student population). Eight percent »

The war on standards, military justice edition

Featured image Black members of the military services are disciplined more frequently than white military services members. This fact isn’t surprising. Black public school students are disciplined more frequently than white public students. Black civilians commit a disproportionate number of homicides and other violent crimes. There is no reason to infer discrimination from the fact that blacks are disciplined by the military to a disproportionate degree. It might well be that blacks »

The war on standards, college math edition

Featured image I’m pretty sure I’ve told the story on Power Line of how, years ago, a major university dumbed down its graduate program in public policy, but I don’t think I’ve told it recently. The university in question had always required students in the program to take and pass a course in econometrics. The course was taught by a good friend of mine (a liberal). The program used racial preferences to »

An “unexpected” Ferguson effect that was entirely predictable

Featured image We have discussed from time to time Jim Scanlan’s insight that reducing an adverse outcome tends to increase relative racial differences in rates of experiencing the outcome. Thus, for example, if one lowers the passing score for an employment test because that test is disqualifying minority applicants at a disproportionate rate, more minority applicants will pass the test but the test will disqualify members of this group at an even »

The war on standards, advanced courses edition

Featured image The Virginia attorney general’s office is undertaking an investigation of the Loudoun County Public Schools to determine whether the school system denies African-American students equal access to advanced programs. The investigation is a response to claims by the NAACP that Loudoun County does so. What is meant here by equal access? No particular racial group is entitled to equal participation in advanced programs. But everyone, regardless of race, has the »

The war on standards and the assault on American excellence

Featured image I have written many times about the war on standards — the effort to discard or lower standards because members of certain groups fail, to a disproportionate degree, to meet them. Battlegrounds in the war on standards include, but are not limited to, college admissions, employment selection, school discipline, and the criminal justice system. A new book by Anthony Kronman bears the title The Assault on American Excellence. Predictably, American »

The war on standards: NIH edition

Featured image Heather Mac Donald has warned that identity politics, having engulfed the humanities and social sciences on American campuses, is now taking over the hard sciences. Here is an example: A friend sent me this application form for the Graduate Data Science Summer Program at the National Institutes of Health. Those accepted to the summer program “will spend the summer at the NIH learning how to use their computational skills to »

“Restorative justice” in action

Featured image “Restorative justice” is a euphemism for trying to impose less punishment on disruptive students because these students are, as a group, disproportionately African-American. The motive for “restorative justice” is racial. The sociology/pedagogy brought to bear on its behalf is superstructure, to put it as kindly as I can. The Obama administration tried to impose “restorative justice” on schools by threatening to cut off federal funding. It did so through its »