August 10, 2005

Lowered expectations

Via La Shawn Barber: "Denver Fire Department to Dumb Down Test." She says:

For reasons unknown, it never occurs to the clueless in charge of these things to change the people trying to pass the test instead of diluting the test for the people. I assume such tests measure cognitive ability and certain skills set for the job.

Rather than shifting upward and expanding the pool of qualified black applicants (as affirmative action was originally conceived) with the requisite cognitive ability and skills, they’ll shift downward to make the test “passable” for black applicants, specifically. The first thing whites do when making these decisions is appeal to the lowest element. And this is offensive to no black person but me?

Check out the "sullen" photograph of Dept. Capt. Kevin Duncan. Something has got to be done! Denver Fire Chief Larry Trujillo says the blame is on the "Civil Service Commission, which instituted a computerized testing system five years ago that he believes was culturally biased and crafted in a way that largely benefited white applicants."

I've always wondered just what "cultural bias" entails. Everything I've read in the past appears pretty specious to me.

By the way, Denver's efforts to get more minorities into the fold isn't exclusive. It's focused on women, too:

At the time, the boards could give minority and female applicants preferential standing in the rankings. Also, the physical and agility tests accounted for a greater percentage of an applicant's overall score and rank.

Today, civil service rules give little weight to the physical and agility portion of the tests to avoid discriminating against women.

Yeah, you know -- we don't want firefighters to be physically fit! After all, what are a few 3rd degree burns suffered by a fire victim as long as we have a diverse fire company, eh?

The newer computerized test is at the middle school level, and

Civil service officials say many black and Hispanic males between the ages of 18 and 25 also were disqualified because of past criminal activity. Candidates are automatically eliminated if they have a felony or misdemeanor conviction for drug use or distribution, brandishing a weapon or assault, among other transgressions.

OK. So? But they're going to "examine" this:

"The question is where do you make the cutoff for past problems?" [Civil Service Commission president Chris] Olson said. "If someone engaged in significant criminal activity up until age 17, have they all of the sudden become an angel at age 18? I don't know; we're looking at that."

You're looking at it?? Has the term naivete reached all new heights of absurdity?

Man. If any test leads to supposed "disproportionality," are we led to believe this is "discrimination"? There can be no standards? (A middle school level math and reading test? What do we go down to -- 3rd grade? And limited physical and strength standards so as not to "discriminate" against females?) If I ever have to move to Denver, I'm going to make sure my house is devoid of all flammable materials.

Posted by Felix at August 10, 2005 09:54 AM | TrackBack

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Hey Felix, if you ever have to move to Delaware, you won't want to call the state police because they have just been accused of having a 'culturally biased' written exam and now have to lower their standards for minorities who did not make the cut over the last ten or so years with possible job offers or money! This same thing happened in LA where according to a recent American Enterprise issue, as a result of filling quotas, former/present gang members have been hired to the police force who protect their gang members activites! Political correctness run amok again and again and again...............

Posted by: cardinals fan at August 12, 2005 03:12 PM