War on standards

Meritocracy at Brooklyn Tech

Featured image The virtues of a meritocracy may be lost on Harvard students like that “queer Middle Easterner,” but they come through clearly in this excellent New York Times article by Michael Powell. His piece deals with the subject through the lens of Brooklyn Tech, an elite New York City high school from which one of my cousins graduated in the 1960s. Brooklyn Tech hasn’t yielded to demands that it stop admitting »

War on standards, Virginia edition

Featured image A reader from Northern Virginia follows up on my post about the elimination of grades below “C” in many California school districts by informing me about a lowering of educational standards in his state. He reports: Here in Virginia students can still fail the statewide Standards of Learning (SOL) reading test, but the method used to determine failure was changed so that fewer children would be seen as failing. In »

War on standards, no “D” or “F” grades edition

Featured image Some of California’s largest school districts are dropping D and F grades. Students who don’t learn the material, pass the final exam, or finish homework by the end of the semester would earn an “incomplete” which, I assume, could be converted to at least a “C” later on. Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified, San Diego Unified are among the districts that will make this move. According this »

War on standards, parking ticket edition

Featured image Considering how much I hate receiving parking tickets, this is one war on standards I might get behind. However, it also extends to compliance with driving, vehicle registration, and fine-paying requirements. The Washington Post assigned a team to investigate ticketing in Washington, D.C. The team collected five years of traffic and parking enforcement data containing more than 10 million records of infractions. It then merged that information with data from »

War on standards, bar exam edition

Featured image Black law school graduates fail the bar exam in disproportionate numbers. That’s not surprising when one remembers that, thanks to racial preferences, Blacks are admitted to law schools with worse credentials — college grades and LSAT scores — than are Whites and Asian-Americans. Bar passage rates are unequal, but there’s nothing inequitable about them. Blacks and Whites take the same exam and the grading is color blind. What’s inequitable is »

Princeton drops Greek and Latin requirement for Classics majors

Featured image Using race-based preferences to admit students with qualifications vastly inferior to those admitted without the need for such preferences creates all sorts of problems and dislocations. One of them is the erosion of standards within various departments, especially ones that teach hard stuff. I wrote about one example — eliminating econometrics as a required course for graduating from a major school of public policy — here. Now comes word, via »

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 »