Chicago Police May Scrap Entrance Exam. Why? Not enough minorities pass.

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by madanthonywayne, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Pretty well, you mean - if you want to score higher on many IQ tests.

    Here's one source of bias and sociological limitation that is proving stubborn: some demographic groups score lower on IQ tests whenever they think they are being tested. Others don't. It varies.

    Some groups score better in paper and pencil formats than in physical object formats, other don't.

    Some groups are affected more by time pressure, or scheduling details.

    But little of this is directly relevant to the Chicago Police recruit exam. That hasn't been vetted nearly as carefully as the standard IQ tests, for one thing, and is not (supposedly) a "general merit" exam but one particularly fitted to a job. Is it, really?
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  3. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    I generally keep a close eye on my grammar - but it's not very important in this place.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Sure there variations in scores, but my main point is that's it's not nearly as bad as it was 30 years ago.

    And I'd still like to see the questions that are on that Police exam AND especially on the one that the firefighters took.
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  5. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    The situation seems to me to be that he views any instance in which such a procedure is under disparate-impact scrutiny as an opportunity to rile the gullible and bigoted to his side with cookie-cutter rhetoric about reverse racism. See also the attacks (frequently preemptive) on hate crime legislation.

    It seems like he and BM have been at this template pretty vociferously lately... or perhaps it just stands out more with the signal-to-S.A.M. ratio improvements. Regardless, the impression I'm getting is - apart from racist - anachronistic.
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  7. John99 Banned Banned

    First year in school and that question is on an IQ test?

    Pretty ridiculous. A child that age cannot discern the answer they want to hear and the guy reading the book can obviously be working.
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Reverse racism. What a bullshit term. Racism is racism. There's no such thing as "reverse racism".
  9. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    This is one of those cases where not enough minorities passing seems to be a problem. I mean you would expect minorities would pass in roughly the same percentages that they apply with some exceptions, but apparently that is not happening.

    So why not? One answer is that the test is biased. What is the alternative answer?

    Also, and I say this with my own father having been a firefighter for 40 years, what does a written test tell you about the quality of the firefighting a person will do? The test is there to weed out the dummys in a field that really does not require rocket scientists in the first place and where intelligence is not a great indicator of job performance.

    Why why set up a built in racial bias in your hiring on the basis of intellectual skills (test taking) that do not come up in the performace of one's duties? Even if you feel the test is important because of all those knots and tools you need to know to do the job (No sirree, we can force this door with an axe, we need a halligan tool!), the fact that minorities do worse on the test is evidence of some imbalance somehwere in the system that is disadvantaging them.

    If there is such an innate disadvantage, what is the solution? Some here seem to think the solution includes high fiving your white buddies, then pretending not to be racist.
  10. John99 Banned Banned

    Minorities do pass the tests.
  11. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Yep, that would be the cookie-cutter rhetoric in question. Find a pretense - no matter how vacuous - for asserting discrimination against a white male, and then pour on the crocodile tears about "racism."

    Although I'd agree that the so-called "reverse racism" is no such thing.

    More generally, I'm noting the proliferation of conspiracy-theory rhetoric from the wingnuts these days. Which I suppose is the natural consequence of having ceded the middle of the country, lost a big election and struggled to cope with marginalization. But it seems that the only things we hear from the right these days are conspiracy theories. The global warming and evolution denial rhetoric are of course long-standing examples, as is the racist stuff (all phrased as attacks on an evil conspiracy of ivory-tower eggheads and bleeding heart crypto-communist politicians). But lately conspiratorialism seems to have made the leap from issue-specific rhetorical tack to full-blown worldview, with the Obama administration cast as some sort of cabal of secret socialist/fascists.

    But I guess that's their response every time a Dem is in the White House, so I shouldn't be surprised.

    Anyhow, that this crew can't even decide whether they want to tar Obama as a socialist or a fascist - or, it seems, even figure out the difference - does not bode well for their campaign. The primary advantage of this approach was to cover over the animus with a veneer of reasoning, but when there's too much spittle flying off your lips for you to keep your socialists straight from your fascists, one would hope that it would backfire.
  12. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Why would you assume that all races would perform equally well on any given test? They don't perform equally well on IQ tests, they don't perform equally well on the SAT or the ACT, they don't perform equally well on the bar exam, they don't perform equally well in grade school, high school, or college. So why would they suddenly perform equally well on an employment exam? Check out this quote regarding AFrican American readiness for college:

    "Readiness for college science and math coursework was particularly low among
    African American students. Only 5 percent of African American test-takers scored
    at or above the college-readiness benchmark for college biology
    , and just 10
    percent attained the readiness benchmark for college algebra
    . Ferguson said
    Black students were less likely than others to take tough, college-prep courses
    and "often don't receive the information and guidance they need to properly plan
    for college." ​

    2006 College & University
    Guidance, Scholarships, Money and Info Gateways
    (For Students, Parents, College Advisors, Mentors,
    and Cultural Groups)​

    And here's some date on passing the bar exam:
    When Southern's bar passage statistics are broken down by race, certain patterns emerge as reflected in Table 1. The figures show that 51.54 percent of Southern's white graduates passed on first attempt during the relevant period. For black applicants, only 19.91 percent passed.

    Racial Disparities in Bar Exam Performance...​
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  13. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    I'll buy all those numbers - they look identical to ones I've seen elsewhere.

    But here's something to consider: they may not be actually showing what most people assume they are!

    The assumption is that the educational system failed these students - but it does NOT take into account the desire to learn, the desire and willingness to work hard on assignments and homework nor the involvement of parents OR the emphasis (or lack of) that the parents place on education.

    It also does not take into account the social culture that many teens in minority groups have created - and that is that following the rules and actually learning something is "not cool, man!"
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    The question is whether the specific test in question - not "any given test" - is relevant to the employment in question, in the first place.

    Given that said minorities perform well in the jobs in said department that are not subject to this test, and that positions that are subject to the test exhibit large racial disparities, the test looks pretty suspicious on its face. It's exactly that phenomenon that has municipalities worried about the fairness of these tests, and the liability issues associated with them. If these tests were producing classes of officers that matched the demographics of the police force in general, there wouldn't be much concern. But the fact is that these tests appear to be directly and solely manufacturing racial disparity in the officer ranks, and so the burden is on proponents of them to justify their business utility.

    And, by the way, several of the tests you cite as examples of minority underachievement exhibit well-known racial and cultural biases, so you're only digging yourself in deeper with that argument. The bias in the usual IQ tests, in particular, are by now so well-known that to argue from ignorance of them is to invite accusations of disingenuity and racism.
  15. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Rather, the conclusion is that the entire social system failed them. Only the myopic would pin this failure on the educational system alone. There's only so much that a school can do when faced with several generations' worth of manufactured inequality.
  16. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    What in the hell... literally, what is to stop Corky Thatcher from becoming a cop now?
  17. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    While that sounds good on paper, it's painted with a brush that is MUCH to large to deal with. And it does nothing to address the lack of concern on the part of students and their parents.

    How do you go about convincing a large number of people that the kids COULD actually learn something if they and their parents had the right attitudes? They've got examples out there of minority individuals that have done quite well. I even know one personally that has gone up in the ranks at NASA - and *many* others that have also done well in their chosen fields. And I also know some of their parents - they were people who ENCOURAGED them to get a good education when they were children.

    You can't place the blame on society in cases where neither the kids nor their parents even care. That's looking in entirely the wrong direction.
  18. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Much too large for who to deal with?

    Tell you what: first you establish that such is actually a widespread, relevant phenomenon, and then I'll worry about addressing it.

    Until then, how about you address the blatant racism in your evidence-free assertions that black students do poorly because black people don't care about education.

    Or the bizarre supposition that "the students and their parents," collectively, aren't part of the social system in the first place, since that's central to your charge that my analysis excludes them.

    Why ever not? If said attitudes are widespread (and you have presented exactly zero evidence that they are anything but a marginal phenomenon), then isn't the presumption that social factors contributed substantially to them a fairly reasonable one?
  19. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    Sometimes test questions are just bad. It should raise some suspicion if people of a certain group aren't passing and it's worth looking it over to find out why. It might simply be a coincidence that they all didn't know the material, but there might be another cause and if there is the test or instruction methods should correct for it to make things as fair as possible. I have been the victim of ethnically biased test questions before and they are unfair.

    However I don't believe standards should be lowered or the test thrown away all together, if there truly is no bias and it is just a coincidence that all the members of a certain race didn't pass.
  20. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    HEY!!! Back off, bud and eat your words!! Never once did I ever say "black."

    And I'm not going to find any evidence for you because your mind is totally to biased to accept it anyway. Also, I never said a single word about "your analysis" - it's you who is making assumption here and trying to put words into other people's mouths. I'm finished with YOU on this topic since you're obviously trying to distort things as opposed to having an honest discussion.
  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    The post I was responding to specifically said that we should assume that minorities should pass the test at roughly the same percent as that which they apply to take it. I was questioning that assumption.
    Sure, every time a minority does poorly on a test it's biased. What a crock of shit.

    Guess what? I'm a minority. I've occasionally done poorly on a test. For instance, the first Gross Anatomy test in Optometry school. I flagged it big time. Why? I wrongly assumed the study patterns I'd established in undergrad would be sufficient in Optometry school. Did I sue or blame the bias of the test? No. I studied harder and soon was back to getting A's again.

    Minorities should be treated just like everyone else. Their failures laid at their own feet as problems that can be solved by them not blamed on "society".. Blaming society or cultural bias only serves to turn them into victims. Giving them preferences instead of demanding that they meet the same standards underlines the fact that, in your eyes, minorities are inferior and incapable of ever meeting the same standards as everyone else. It is a racist, condescending.attitude that helps no one.
  22. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    And doing so by citing other well-known examples of tests that are biased against certain minorities. Which is to say that, so far, you've moved strictly backwards in that line of argumentation: not only are we presented with no evidence against the assumption under attack, we are presented with strong evidence of your lack of credibility on the issue.

    But maybe if you lash out at me a bit more, nobody will notice. Worth a shot, anyway.

    It's when minorities systematically do worse on a test (not "a minority"). And the specific tests you cited as examples (IQ, in particular) have been investigated in light of that, by the experts, and found to be flawed.

    You've been told this before, and continue to insist on the unbiasedness of the IQ test. Hence the accusations of disingenuity and/or racism.

    So what?

    If you mean that their employment and general social status shouldn't be subject to arbitrary tests that discriminate against them, I'd have to agree.

    Including the problems created by society?

    Okay I suppose, but you don't seem to be recommending that standard of treatment for white people.

    Not when they've already been victimized by society's cultural bias. Then it's simply an accurate description of reality.

    If that seems incredible to you, congratulations. You've just apprehended what "privilege" consists of.

    Then it's a good thing that what I'm calling for is not preferences, but the application of a single fair standard to everyone.

    Or did you forget that this thread is about a police department jettisoning a standard they'd determined to be unfair and biased?

    So long as you keep presuming that all standards are inherently fair and unbiased, you're going to continue to misapprehend these issues and so produce obtuse, irrelevant and weak arguments. And end up exposing your racist tendencies, to boot. I'd drop it, if I were you.
  23. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Sure. IQ tests are biased. The Bar exam is biased. The SAT and ACT are biased. The MCAT, the LSAT, every test is biased. It's you who's being disingenuous.

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