Reverse discrimination? Justices weigh case

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Jon, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    Reverse bias? Justices hear firefighter suit - Race & ethnicity- msnbc.com

    God I hope the SCOTUS overturns this decision.

    "Black historically perform worse than whites on standardized tests." Point being? The minorities were given the same preparation materials and the same time to study as those that passed the exam. Why were the whites denied the promotion because they passed? Such bullshit.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Agnapostate
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    That's not entirely accurate. Part of the basis for affirmative action policies is that standardized testing doesn't accurately measure the ability to perform well in a certain capacity. This is necessarily connected to the fact that inequivalent access to resources (whites have schools that can coordinate standardized testing preparation better, more widespread Internet access, more educated parents, etc.), doesn't grant races equality of opportunity in such matters. Ultimately, it's possible that exposure to a similar environment (in a university, for instance), would compensate for these preconceived differences and make the minority individual no less capable.
     
  3. Zoom-boing
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    Zoom-boing Gold Member

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    If group A passed the test and group B did not pass the test, group A gets the job. Why would you want group B to get the job if they couldn't even pass the test? Where's the logic in that? I don't care what color their skin is, the job goes to the most qualified. Those passing the test are more qualified than those who did not pass the test.
     
  4. Agnapostate
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    ...this was addressed in the post above yours.
     
  5. DiveCon
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    DiveCon gone

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    because he is a racist
     
  6. Agnapostate
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    That's obviously a crude rhetorical term not intended to facilitate informed discussion. Why not try again, and with a different approach?
     
  7. auditor0007
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    auditor0007 Gold Member

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    The bottom line is that for any group or individual to improve themselves, they must put forth more effort. Rewarding mediocrity will never promote the bettering of anyone, short or long term.
     
  8. JohnStOnge
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    JohnStOnge Member

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    I think it'd be closer to the truth to say that it's necessary to attack the validity of standardized testing because standardized testing doesn't tell our egalitarian culture what it wants to hear.

    I'm going to give you some results of the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 12th grade Math test taken by public schools nationally to illustrate something. The NAEP uses a "scientific" sampling approach so you can estimate what would happen with the general 12th grade national public school population(s).

    As you'd expect, students who are eligible for the school lunch program (i.e., low income) and whose parents' educational attainment level was "high school" scored a lot lower, overall, than students who were not eligible for the school lunch program (middle to upper income) and whose parents' educational attainment level was "Graduated College." The defined "disadvantaged" students averaged 129 and the defined "advantaged" students cored 163; a 34 point difference.

    Yet White students in the defined "disadvantaged group" scored slighly higher on average, at 137, than Black students in the "advantaged" group did (134). Turn it around and you find that White students in the "advantaged" group scored 50 points higher (166 to 116) than Black students in the "disadvantaged " group did.

    The point is that measurable environmental factors cannot account for the difference between Black and White standardized test scores. I realize that there's been a lot of effort to explain that away. The "stereotype challenge" thing is an example. But I really don't think they are sufficient to explain away numbers like I referenced above.

    The problem is that the egalitarian dogma holds that, if only all unfairness were to go away, proportions of individuals of difference races, sexes, etc., in given positions would be reasonably in line with proportions made of of those groups in the general population. That is a completely unsubstantiated assumption.
     
  9. Jon
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    Children in high school are not comparable to adult men who should know their jobs. This test was not testing unrelated materials, it was testing the candidates' knowledge of procedures in cases of emergency. Would you want to know that your fire captain didn't know how to react properly if your house is on fire? I sure as hell wouldn't. But because of "affirmative action" the citizens of this town don't know if the people in these leadership roles are actually qualified because they were not tested on their knowledge.
     
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  10. JohnStOnge
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    I was referring to general patterns of standardized testing. The NAEP provides a good example because the NAEP employs probability sampling of students. And I think you will find that the basic patterns of variation in association with demomgraphics you see in standardized testing of high school students hold in most standardized tests. There will be a "race" factor and Blacks will score, on average, lowest among defined racial groups. People from higher socieoeconomic status backgrounds wills core, on average, higher than those from lower socieoeconomic status backgrounds. People who are children of college graduates will score higher, on average, than people who are children of high school drop outs.

    I don't know for sure what the content of that standardized test was. But I was a firefighter once and took a standardized test as part of the job application process. It was basically a test of general knowledge and problem solving (which I guess makes sense since I wasn't a firefighter yet). One thing I will always remember, though, is that they took the three highest scores then went "down" to make sure they had at least one Black and one female. It was a 100 point scale and three white males, including me, scored in the high 90s. They then dropped to the highest "Black" score, which was in the 70s, and the highest female score (which I don't remember or wasn't told).

    There was a subsequent set of physical tests; things like running 1.5 miles below a certain time, carrying so much weight so far up a ladder, doing push ups and pull ups, etc. Another thing I'll always remember is how hard they tried to get the female through those physical tests. First of all, they lowered the standards for her to begin with. She had more time to run the 1.5 miles, had less weight to carry, didn't have to do as many push ups and pullups, etc. But in the end she couldn't do even one pull up so they had to give up.

    Anyway, to me it was a personal experience that really clearly showed me how "they" will hold people to different standards in order to satisfy the egalitarian "ideal" even if it has no resemblence to reality.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009

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