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There is no money to be made or votes to be accumulated telling people the truth when it comes to the failure of today’s schools which fail to adequately prepare students for college, a career, or a job. The main culprit in the demise of America’s educational system can be blamed on a growing army of bureaucrats, especially in higher education, and their blind adherence to the concept of diversity at all costs. These are the “diversocrats” who have invaded the educational system. For years, they dominated the social sciences and humanities. Not content, they are now invading the hard sciences.
The currency of the diversocrat is racism, mostly imagined. It is not the amount of pigmentation in one’s skin nor the country of origin of their parent that is denying students opportunity. It is the failure of the social structure in the communities of failing schools along with economic disadvantages and lousy unionized public schools. We are privy to a barrage of charges regarding a lack of diversity in schools and charges of discrimination. The reason is simple: a problem must be created and gussied up with big words in order to justify the existence and expansion of the diversity complex.
When it comes to higher education, in order to appease the diversity bureaucrats, universities must consider proportional representation among the student body. It is telling that a failure to achieve such a student body is predicated upon a mathematical metric- proportional representation-, but they likewise discard a more important metric that has been proven over the years to be the best predictor of academic success in college: the SAT.
In 2015, Princeton conducted a study comparing SAT scores and college admission standards as they applied to different ethnicities. They discovered that the scores of blacks are boosted by an average of 230 points, Hispanics by 180 points, and Asians deducted by 50 points. This is systematic bias in favor of less-qualified applicants which will, down the road, magnify the current harm.
So given these facts, what is a diversocrat to do? The answer is simple: deny that the SAT is predictive of college success and undermine the one determinant that predicts success. For example, the University of Chicago has already announced that they would no longer be considering SAT scores when it comes to college admission. The reason: they wanted to increase student body diversity. One can expect a ripple effect of admitting less qualified applicants: the usefulness of a degree, the monetary cost to society, the skills of graduates, and quality of the faculty and courses.
Why should we even care? Why should colleges and universities base admission on a SAT score? Perhaps the biggest reason is to ensure that the country has an adequate future supply of STEM graduates. This is one area where even the most hardline immigration restrictionist agrees there is a need in the labor pool. When you use race or ethnicity over SAT scores in admissions, you get these facts: Only 16% of blacks or Hispanics who enter the STEM fields in college graduate with a degree in that field (about one-half the rate for Asians or whites). Yet as the Princeton study revealed, we actually penalize those most likely to get a degree in a STEM field when it comes to admission. In the name of diversity, we are effectively shutting out those most likely to meet the need in STEM fields thus perpetuating a need from foreign sources for these fields.
Another tool of the diversocrat is to trot out the privilege card. This is rather disingenuous considering that more than half of all students are nonwhite and slightly less than half of all job applicants are nonwhite. In fact, when underrepresented minorities are numerical minorities when it comes to academic success at all levels, it makes even more sense that merit be reestablished as the sole criteria for college admission.
Instead, the diversocrat aims to force a less-qualified applicant into a position where they are at a decided competitive disadvantage. This creates all sorts of havoc in the educational system. It creates bitterness and cynicism in the more qualified applicant who was passed over. It often ends in failure for those given the opportunity where their chances of success were slim from the beginning. Entire industries and institutions are undermined to make room for less qualified people.
Corporations are now bending over backwards to prove they are inclusive and diverse. It makes no sense for a company to be “racist.” They survive by hiring the most qualified applicants regardless of race or ethnicity. But instead, the diversocrats trot out well-worn phrases like “institutional racism” and the like. If minority communities really want to achieve academic success, it would pay great dividends to cease invoking the specter of racism at every turn.
Instead, it may better serve minority communities for their leaders to address the social failures of their communities. Two very salient features that guarantee academic success are gang activity and family status. But, it is just much easier for these leaders to yell “racism” and strong-arm the government to spend more money on failure.