What If America Was A Pure Meritocracy?

For many years, the contention at my house has been that affirmative action and race-based quotas only dumb down a school population by admitting and promoting students who are not able to truly perform (my wife is somewhat of a pariah – she is a lifelong conservative and has taught in the public schools for 30 years). Race “norming”, while commonplace, does not offer a hand up to minorities, it only serves to bring the total population down.

Scott Johnson at Powerline points to this article by Kay Hymovitz in SchoolBook about the recent admissions results for the 3 of the 8 high schools in New York where admission is determined solely on test scores.

Students who took the specialized high school admissions test (SHSAT) also found out today whether or not they received an offer of admission to one of eight schools. Education officials said about 28,000 took the test and a total of 5,229 students received admission based on their test scores.

SchoolBook reported this week on the single-test admissions policy at these schools, along with the test prep programs meant to prepare students for the exam.

The one-test admissions policy is the subject of a legal complaint, which argues that not enough black and Latino students gain admission to the specialized schools — particularly Stuyvesant High SchoolBronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School which are the most competitive.

This year, the racial breakdown of admission offers at these three schools looks like this (race and ethnicity data were not available for about 14 percent of test-takers):

  • Stuyvesant offered admission to 9 black students; 24 Latino students; 177 white students; and 620 students who identify as Asian.
  • Bronx Science offered admission to 25 black students; 54 Latino students; 239 white students; 489 Asian students; and 3 American Indian/Alaskan Native students.
  • Brooklyn Tech offered admission to 110 black students; 134 Latino students; 451 white students; 960 Asian students; and 5 American Indian/Alaskan Native students.

A ninth specialized high school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, offered admission to 984 students based on an audition and review of academic records.

Of course there is a lawsuit about a single test – based purely on the idea that racial quotas are somehow necessary for “equality” – even though that everybody knows that there is a test and has known for as long as these “magnet” schools have been in existence.

They have years to prepare and real life rarely grants you a “do-over”.

It is clear, based on this hard data, that blacks, Hispanics – and to a lesser degree – whites, are simply not performing at the levels necessary to compete with the Asian applicants. No amount of race based quotas will change that. The only thing it will do is force the inclusion of students who are not ready at the expense of those who are and the next lawsuit will be that not enough blacks and Hispanics are graduating, resulting in the curricula being “dumbed down” to the detriment of all students.

If everyone is special, then no one is special.


9 thoughts on “What If America Was A Pure Meritocracy?

  1. It is more a matter of cultural values. If the founders were alive today, their children would be equal to or surpassing those students who identify as “Asian” — because their parents valued education and learning. Our society values….lesser things 😦

    Even the notion of “equality” based on anything BUT equal opportunity based on merit is a sign of how “dumbed-down” we’ve become — especially at the highest levels of govt. and education.

  2. Even the notion of “equality” based on anything BUT equal opportunity based on merit is a sign of how “dumbed-down” we’ve become — especially at the highest levels of govt. and education.

    Yeah, but to promise TRUE equality would be the best way to lose a political campaign that I can think of!
    It’s gonna be a long, long road back.

  3. It’s all comes down to buying the vote by creating servitude to the government. They destroyed the blacks now they are working on the Hispanics and even to some extent the whites are starting to buy into serfdom. Sad, no turning back unless we agree to separate or civil war.

  4. I was going to mention demographics and percentages, but the large numbers of Asian students being admitted over even White students blew that out of the water. 😦

  5. In 1984 I moved to CA to accept a position with a national Personnel Service I’d been working for in Minneapolis. My office was in Oakland, CA. Over time it became clear that applicants were having a hard time passing various pre-employment tests icluding our most basic test–the alphabetic filing test. Many of these applicants were past or present students of a junior college in Oakland so I contacted the school and invited the instructors to visit our office and work with us to get the students prepared for employment. A nice Black instructor spent a day in our office and took the alphabetic filing test that students had so much trouble passing. He would not show me his test, but after completing it he told me we were expecting too much from the students. I explained to him that file clerks were the most entry level applicants we placed and I didn’t think it was too much to expect college students to be able to file alphabetically and he was expecting too little from the students. I never heard from that Instructor again.

    I worked in Oakland for 3 years and folks continued to flunk the basic filing test. After failing they would always tell me “there’s more than one way to file alphabetically.” Go figure.

  6. Trap,

    What did they learn in school? Guess if we all had a one letter name it might be something they could handle if they even knew the alphabet. Once a name progresses past 2 or 3 letters they are toast. A politically correct employer would give them an Assistant, with the skills necessary to complete the task, so that they could have a job as a Supervisor. Oh, I understand now why we have so many employees in government.

  7. Chhelo,

    I think schools changed at some point and starting teaching pc classes instead of fundamentals. No more basic skills, the nuns even taught us how to handle a checkbook and basic household bookkeeping, but by the time I got to college I was learning Women’s Studies, which taught me I had been discriminated against because of my sex.

    Alpha filing is pretty easy, but there are a couple things you need to know. The hardest question on our test was what letter do you file 999 Casino Hotel under? Many folks missed this question and would have been better served to learn this instead of how they’d been victimized because of their sex, race, etc.

  8. Pingback: The Arrogance Of Ignorance | The Rio Norte Line

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