I’m a firm believer that “equality of opportunity” is a good code of conduct to live by. I don’t see any reason why a person should be denied a fair opportunity for something, on account of their membership of a certain race, gender, sexual orientation etc., if none of these things are a relevant factor.
However, a lot of people seem to confuse “equality of opportunity” with “equality of outcome” and therefore assume that if we aren’t seeing equality of outcome in certain places, that this must be down to discrimination. The problem is, that while we might be all “equal” in terms of our rights and protections under the law, that doesn’t mean that we’re equal in every way. And that’s just it, we aren’t all equal. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and some people just aren’t as capable in certain endeavours as others. Some people are simply capable of reaching higher standards than others and it’s impossible to have equality while maintaining these high standards. The only way equality can be achieved is by dragging the standards down to the level of the weakest candidates which of course by definition means a lower quality of standards.
I’ve actually touched on this sort of thing before in a post I wrote nearly two years ago. The post in question dealt with a story about how the United Stated Marine Corps was lowering their fitness standards so that women could qualify (under the existing standards at the time, not one woman had ever passed). The logic given for this was that the test was “sexist”, and “outdated”, and that standards needed to be changed, so that women could pass. The standards that existed had nothing to do with sexism though. They were just the standards that it was felt Marines needed to meet in order to actually do their job properly. Men just had a natural advantage because due to biology, they’re physically stronger than women on average. If a man couldn’t meet the existing standards, he wouldn’t pass either. The obvious endgame of this decision to change the standards, is that in a potential future conflict, there will be marines on the battlefield who are less capable, and therefore, more likely to either die, or cause the deaths of their colleagues. That doesn’t seem to matter though. Not hurting the feelings of unqualified applicants is more important than keeping people alive apparently.
Today’s story deals with teachers, rather than military personnel. I don’t think we can expect any potential deaths because of this decision, but we could see plenty of students having their future earning potential and livelihoods hindered, because of having been taught by inferior teachers. I’m of the believe that the student’s needs are more important than the feelings of unqualified teachers. New York State doesn’t seem to share my views on the topic.
Prospective teachers in New York will likely no longer have to pass a basic reading and writing literacy exam, the Associated Press is reporting.
Who needs teachers who are capable of reading and writing? I’m sure they’ll do an excellent job teaching students how to read and write… without knowing how to do those things themselves.
The state’s Board of Regents is expected to ditch the Academic Literacy Skills Test in part because black and Hispanic teaching candidates struggled to pass the exam, according to the AP.
“Aw sheeeit. We wuz kangz yo. We don’ need no muh’fuggin crackah tests to be able to get dat learn on with those kidz n shit.”
So because black and Hispanic candidates struggle to pass the test, it must be racist somehow. I don’t really understand how this could be exactly. I don’t think we’ll be getting an explanation as to how either. Just that it “must be racist because they aren’t passing”.
Also I would like to once again point out, that if America is such a racist, white supremacist, white privileged society, then why is it that on average, Indians, East Asians, and Jews, are more successful than white people? Why do the racist white people cause blacks and Hispanics to fail, but they don’t do the same for the other groups? It’s just such a mystery. Well, it is if you choose to be willfully ignorant, make certain possible explanations taboo, and therefore limit the possibilities as to what the answer could be.
Just 41 percent of black teaching candidates and 46 percent of Hispanics passed the test on their first try, compared to 64 percent of white candidates.
So a large percentage of white people fail the test as well then? And a fairly large percentage of black and Hispanic do actually pass, but just not as large a percentage as white people. Sounds like it’s just a tough test that passes the qualified applicants, and fails the unqualified, regardless of their race. What could be fairer than that?
The multiple choice exam is meant to ensure high standards among prospective teachers, which many teaching preparation programs have struggled to do.
A December 2016 study by the National Council on Teacher Quality found that 44 percent of teaching programs “cannot ensure that most of their incoming candidates are among the top half of college students.”
Maybe the teaching programs scrapped their own set of standards for prospective course coordinators, and now there are inferior people teaching prospective teachers.
Hey, anything is possible.
A state task force recommended the board scrap the exam because of the number of black and hispanic candidates struggling to pass it. The board is expected to adopt the recommendations on Monday.
Lets not maintain high standards. Lets allow our standards to be dictated by the level of the weakest candidates.
“We want high standards, without a doubt.
Not every given test is going to get us there,” Pace University professor Leslie Soodak told the AP.
“So lets just scrap the tests entirely then.”
Soodak was a member of the task force that advocated abandoning literacy tests for teachers.
“Having a white workforce really doesn’t match our student body anymore,” Soodak added.
But…but…I thought we were all equal, and race doesn’t matter. Surely we should judge people not “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That would be the proper thing to do, right?
Opponents to the exam unsuccessfully attempted to have it struck down in court in 2015, arguing that it was discriminatory because racial minorities performed worse on the test than white candidates.
No explanation as to how exactly a multiple choice questionnaire could be discriminatory. Like I said, there are other possibilities to take into consideration that could more easily explain why these minorities are performing worse on average.
A federal judge declined to strike it down, however.
Nice to see there are still some good judges. Of course, that never stops these people. They’re like religious zealots. If they have a goal, they’ll keep pushing and pushing for it, until they eventually get their way. Ultimately, they can lose a hundred times in a row, and it doesn’t matter, because they’ll just try again until they finally win once.
And they only need to win once.