Monday, October 23, 2023

"The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations"

10/22/23 Portland Oregonian:
"But leaders at the Oregon Department of Education and members of the state school board said requiring all students to pass one of several standardized tests or create an in-depth assignment their teacher judged as meeting state standards was a harmful hurdle for historically marginalized students, a misuse of state tests and did not translate to meaningful improvements in students’ post high school success."

The left has decided high school is too hard for black people, so they do not have to meet the standards for white and Asian students to graduate.  Not being able to read or do math competently is certain to impair their employment and higher education potential but it makes white liberals feel good.  In a few years, being stuck in low paying jobs or dependent on government assistance will be just another sign of "systemic racism."

Well, I guess it is.  The "systemic racism" of saying equity means BIPOCs are not capable of graduating high school like the children of affluent liberals.


  1. Bottom line: Which group do you want designing your bridges?

  2. We are now in an era of varietal diplomas.

    Like a varietal wine, where the vineyard's reputation combines with the region's known characteristics of soil and climate, and with the year of the grape harvest to determine the value of bottle's contents - a varietal diploma depends on the reputation of the local school district's program, within the rigor of the state's standardized testing regime, taking into account the history of scandals, or lack thereof, in the news of school systems in the half-decade or so leading up to the diploma's date. A 2019 diploma from a New York suburban school is more desirable, and valuable, than a 2015 diploma from a deep urban school in Atlanta. Iowa diplomas of any vintage are better regarded than those of Mississippi. School records from Oregon dated 2023? About as prized as a BitCoin account at Sam Bankman Fried's FTX.

    There seems to me to be a market opportunity for a clever entrepreneur to -- not bothering to educate -- test, evaluate, rank, and certify the education attainments of older teenagers. Grade them. Graduate them. Top 1%, next 10%, middle typical average, lower quartile... Gather "vintage", public domain, tests like the old New York Regents' Exam or Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. Maybe a military ASVAB test from the Reagan era. Families pay to be evaluated. A certificate (or two or three) of rank is purchased, issued and recorded. A client unhappy with an evaluated rank can go away, and test again, (paying another fee) later. Employers or colleges or lenders, insurance companies, and marketing agencies pay to receive a certified copy of that latest record. The testing center, of course, collects its fee from both (or many) ends. I anticipate some argue this is the function of contemporary SAT and ACT testing, now. But rather than focusing on "college readiness", a modern testing service relying on traditional HS-level tests would evaluate and rank skills across the entire gamut of secondary educational coursework. These skills were once represented by a HS diploma but now, with those diplomas either worthless, or difficult to trust, there exists a void. How long before the market fills that void?