Fighting Fire with Quotas

This article

http://www.city-journal.org/2010/eon1024hm.html

describes the worst case I’ve ever seen of the “Disparate Impact” fraud. The judge ought to be impeached and disbarred for his refusal to admit the defense’s evidence and avoidance of a jury trial. Mayor Bloomberg is a wussy liberal, but having worked for him in my Wall Street days, I know that he is taking the accusation of being racist very personally and the judge’s willful ignorance of his minority outreach efforts very angrily. He will fight this and will win, so that the ultimate impact will be good.

If I were the Mayor I would respond differently — I would make the test the way it was originally, re-emphasizing cognitive ability, and race-norm it to take the desired number of highest-scoring blacks and highest-scoring whites, and claim to have corrected for the “disparate impact” that way. An obvious quota will produce a far better group of firefighters, in fact the best possible group with that particular racial composition, and would be politically valuable also because the group differences would not be obscured by dumbing-down the test.

 

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10 Responses to Fighting Fire with Quotas

  1. Gorbachev says:

    This just makes too much sense.

    Using, say, actual tests.

    Disparate Impact is just the latest cry from the left. Before, it was unfair admissions, cultural bias, etc.

    Disparate Impact needs to be fought on the ground: This far and no further.

    We’re not obligated to make everyone perform equally. This has now gone into the realm of the arcane and bizarre.

  2. Gorbachev,

    It will be interesting if this gets to the Supreme Court, because Breyer and Ginsburg have too much intellectual self-respect to pretend that the unspoken but logically necessary assumption that different racial groups should be expected to perform equally well on all mental tests was ever established as either a legal principle or a fact proved by admitted evidence. Scalia would be sure to tear them apart. So it will be at least 7-2 to reject the Disparate Impact logic in this case, and probably 9-0 since the two Obama nominees will not want to so obviously indicate their own hackery. This is a very bad test case for the liberals, and they should hope it doesn’t reach the Supreme Court.

    This case is particularly ripe for mockery because of the willed ignorance of one side to plain facts. I agree this is ground we should defend very stoutly.

  3. rebelliousvanilla says:

    It would be amusing to see how Sotomayor would vote on this one since she will get flashbacks to the Ricci vs DeStefano case. If she votes against disparate impact, she will look like an idiot due to her formal ruling on the same issue, while if she votes for disparate impact, she will look like a prejudiced idiot stuck in the Supreme Court for the rest of her life. Also, since she benefitted from affirmative action, if she votes against disparate impact, she rejects the sole basis that affirmative action has to not seem racist, sexist or whatever other codewords of Marxist magical thinking there are out there.

  4. Gorbachev says:

    Scalia is a hope here; but I doubt it’ll get that far.

    No one is going to drag this into the Supreme Court arena. It’s just too fragile. This is the sort of debate the left can’t afford to officially lose.

    @RV,

    Sotomayor is in a hard spot should she have to parse this one. You’re right.

    But the speculation is just that. It’ll never get that far.

    “Race-norming it” is a very smart approach, Poly: That would be a way out.

    You know what I think, though.

    We need real educational reform, and we need to segregate educational policy. We need a tough-love approach in inner city schools. it may not be possible to do much with an average of 85 IQ, but you can do as much as you can.

    But the schooling approach we’re using is dead wrong. We’re not dealing with easy-to-teach 120 IQ types.

    Perhaps inner city schools need to be, … tougher.

  5. Gorb, this is why if I was to have children, I’d homeschool them. There’s no reason to put intelligent children into the American education. I was doing the math that seniors in HS there do in 8th grade, which is quite sad. We need a tough love approach to all students and they need to be pushed – schooling isn’t about self-esteem. I’m really fond of Asians and how they teach their children. We used to do that too a century ago. lol

  6. Polymath says:

    The high schools in most states in the USA (but not in the least “diverse” states) have been destroyed by the abolition of “tracking” which grouped kids by ability. There is still mild tracking (“honors” classes in certain subjects), the dumbing down has hit the kids in the 2nd quartile the worst. Even the “honors” classes are not as good as they used to be, because they don’t want to have too much of a gap between the honors and regular classes (which would have made more sense if the regular classes were better in order to avoid kids getting stuck with no mobility between tracks from one year to the next).

    Why did they abolish tracking? Because it is racist to recognize patterns and it was impossible not to recognize them when the school population became more “diverse”.

  7. Doug1 says:

    There was a push for race norming in the 90s. I think a law was passed against it. Or maybe it was that a law that was going to mandate it in some cases didn’t get passed.

  8. Doug1 says:

    If this judge’s decision is appealed by Bloomberg, I’d guess NY’s 2nd circuit court of appeals though liberal will reverse the district judge, to avoid sending it to the Supremes.

  9. Polymath, education has been degraded everywhere. In my country education is worse than 30 years ago – the only demanding class in high-school that I had was biology and that’s because the teacher was a fossil who didn’t have laxer standards. I quite liked the guy, in a way, but that’s also because due to him I studied the subject. The problem is quite simple, actually – most parents expect their children to graduate, which in turn puts pressure on high-schools to have their teachers pass the children, despite them not deserving passing grades. Any institution that becomes ‘inclusive’ suffers from this. What helps the system not collapse completely is the fact that we have tests for high-school admission so the really dumb people can’t go to good schools. But then you have intelligent children in a high-school, but different in terms of work ethic(smart people can cram down for a test, but you need work ethic to sustain the same pace through a four year education). And the parents with children with crappy work ethic, can’t admit to themselves that their parenting should push the children to work more and hence they go and moan to the school.

    Until the whole mantra of equality gets destroyed, we will have crappy schools.

  10. I forgot to say and it’s actually funny. Under communism, education was far better and far less equal, just like people were saner than white Americans are. That’s because in a democratic system where people care about equality, it will be done like in the US. In a dictatorship, like Romania was, it will be done by making everyone work as hard as they can and then redistribute the results. You didn’t have people on welfare here – those people had to clean streets or take whatever jobs they could. Unemployment benefits? Please. If you were unemployed, they came and put you to do some crappy work they had available.

    So if the US was full blown communist on the economic side, you wouldn’t have crap like integrated schools and whatever. You’d have blacks cleaning streets and carrying materials on construction sites while whites would do the rest and the results would be distributed fairly equally. I’m unsure on which version of communism is better – the American or Soviet one. The Soviet one lasted roughly 70 years. The American one, starting in the 1960s, has about 20 more years to at least tie the Soviet one(actually quite a lot more since it took a while for the Marxist measures to expand in the US since the 1960s and the US wasn’t a feudal country like Imperial Russia).

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