July 21, 2014

University of Wisconsin Chief Diversity Officer rejects insinuations that our diversity plan involves race/ethnicity-based grading.

Here's the new statement from Professor Patrick Sims, Chief Diversity Officer and interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate. (And here's my post from last Friday about the insinuations.)

Sims writes:
The concept of Inclusive Excellence allows institutions to engage diversity from a vantage poin [sic] of alignment with campus quality efforts, underscoring the educational benefits of diversity for all students, while emphasizing it as a central value of the institution. These laudable goals serve as the backbone for how institutions like UW-Madison, which have a long and rich tradition of academic rigor and excellence, can make excellence more inclusive, hence the term Inclusive Excellence.
That kind of bureaucratese is unlikely to stanch the rumors unless it convinces you that the whole plan is nothing but an incantation that sounds good to the people who like the sound of bureaucratese.

Anyway, as I said in my post last Friday, the "Inclusive Excellence" concept wasn't even part of the plan the faculty senate adopted, as Sims says toward the end of his statement. It did appear in another document, and even there, the "proportional and equitable distribution of grades" was intended to result not from race/ethnic-discrimination in grading but from — as Sims puts it — "fostering living and learning spaces that are inclusive."

I suspect that those who jumped to assume that there would be grade discrimination will say that they don't believe that inclusive "living and learning spaces" will achieve the goals. But that doesn't mean those who wrote and adopted the plan will resort to cheating.

On the other hand, here's a great article in The New Yorker about how the No Child Left Behind guidelines led a very good and admirable middle school teacher to participate in blatant cheating on test-scoring.

126 comments:

Michael K said...

In other words , it's bullshit.

Anonymous said...

"allows institutions to engage diversity from a vantage poin [sic] of alignment with campus quality efforts"

dafuq?

paminwi said...

Re: New Yorker article. The teacher who cheated is admirable to who(m)?

Your words I assume since there are no quotation marks around those words.



Ann Althouse said...

"In other words, it's bullshit."

Even if you assume the plan is bullshit, that does not mean that there will be dishonest grading. Quite the opposite is perfectly consistent.

Tank said...

The Feds are already pressuring schools to "revise" (lie about) statistics about discipline problems.

Why not grades too?

Richard said...

Chief Diversity Officer and interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate.

Diversity and Climate. Wow. Just how Orwellian can you get.

Ann Althouse said...

"Your words I assume since there are no quotation marks around those words."

I'm stating it as if it is objective. Have you read the article? I strongly recommend picturing yourself as that teacher and confronting all of his decision points.

He knows he did the wrong thing. That's not the issue. The issue here is whether instituting a particular sort of plan creates so much pressure on fallible human beings that the plan itself should be seen as flawed.

In the UW case, Hansen and others are blaming the plan where they are predicting the cheating. We haven't seen any cheating thus far, and those who endorse the plan deny any intent that there will be cheating.

Work on the parallelism here.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Ann - what is your opinion of the grades given the Big Ten "student athletes" on campus?

What percentage are honest and fair?

How many "student athletes" at UW-Madison do you think should be able to, say, read at a college level? How many do?

Then we'll talk about what is BS, and what isn't.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Inclusive Excellence"

LOL! I love this phrase. It sounds like something an author would put in the mouth of a bureaucrat to make him sound ridiculous.

DrMaturin said...

What does the Chief Diversity Officer and interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate actually do? How does he fill his day?

MayBee said...

Is there any group who blah-blah-blahs and buzzwords as much as the educator industry?

Fernandinande said...

Sims: The concept of Inclusive Excellence allows institutions to engage diversity ...

AA: That kind of bureaucratese...

... is SOP because socialist racists are liars, unable to accomplish their (vaguely) stated goals but unable to admit defeat, so they lie and obfuscate.

And Sims isn't a real professor: he's in "Theater", and states "2) Eliminating the achievement gap between majority and underrepresented students;"

So what's the harm in wanting Asians to get lower grades and test scores, like those pitiful white folks?

Basil said...

Cheating in school work is bad, no matter the reason.

Seems to be a tough concept for a LAW PROFESSOR.

Crazy times we live in, don't cha know.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Althouse keeps saying "cheating" but that's intentionally inaccurate. Is a minority student "cheating" when they are admitted over better qualified white or Asian student? Of course not.

MayBee said...

You can find a way to cheat ant anything.

But setting goal, giving it a high level of importance, and providing few methods to achieve that goal invites unsavory methods of achieving that goal. Especially if the consequences of not meeting the goal are worse than the consequences of doing it the wrong way.

That's how we end up with the VA scandal and the IRS scandal.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...

"In other words, it's bullshit."

Even if you assume the plan is bullshit, that does not mean that there will be dishonest grading. Quite the opposite is perfectly consistent.
7/21/14, 11:27 AM

Probability. You tend to get what is incentivized. Would you bet your pension that this wouldn't lead towards dishonest grading?

Freeman Hunt said...

The real way to accomplish these goals as much as possible would be to give intensive academic interventions the summer before school starts and throughout the year as needed. Catch people up wherever you can.

If there is pressure on faculty to produce an equality of outcome in grades, the smart bet is on people doing the self-interested (i.e. easiest) thing. Thus, bet on people adjusting grades. That's why the grading by race assumption isn't far-fetched. It's the solution that requires the least amount of effort. They don't even have to lie; they just have to be mentally nudged.

And that's why no pressure should be put on faculty to achieve this goal. Assign the special catch up interventions to some office and put the pressure there.

Tucanae Services said...

Respect your elders!! --

They graduated without using Google.

khesanh0802 said...

It seems to me that a phrase like "proportional and equitable distribution of grades" is ultimately going to lead to to the kind of behavior that Ann denies so vehemently. She may be an honest grader, but there are weak sisters/brothers in various faculties who will use this phrase, or phrases like it, to distribute grades based on ethnicity.

Boltforge said...

Althouse said ...
" how the No Child Left Behind guidelines led a very good and admirable middle school teacher to participate in blatant cheating on test-scoring "

I would lean towards what The Economist saw with socialists ( http://goo.gl/GBXHNS ) versus "No Child Left Behind" made me lie-cheat-and-steal!

It would be a neat social experiment. The more you are exposed to progressive ideals the more likely you are to cheat and lie? You would just need to repeat the dice experiment against categories of exposure to the welfare state (welfare use, Obamacare support, voting for Obama, etc).

Strelnikov said...

"very good and admirable" people do not cheat. Regardless of the "reason" for it.

Big Mike said...

I suspect that those who jumped to assume that there would be grade discrimination will say that they don't believe that inclusive "living and learning spaces" will achieve the goals.

You got it right in one guess.

But that doesn't mean those who wrote and adopted the plan will resort to cheating.

Doesn't mean there won't be, either. Just now it won't be obvious and blatant with quotas and all. It will be subtle. But it will be present. Go reread some of our comments on your previous post.

Right now I wouldn't hire a recent graduate of color from Wisconsin. I need people who can get the work done, not people who got good grades because someone looked at their skin color and felt sorry for them.

Kevin said...

"interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate"

This title makes me laugh every time I see it.

No overgrown bureaucracy at UW!

Boltforge said...

Ann,

How many professors do you know (including yourself as well) who are willing to stand up to the Chief Diversity Officer when they coming knocking about grading?

"Dr. Althouse, during promotion review we noticed a strong coloration between excellence and race in your class grades. And not in a 'good' way. Care to explain?"

Lucien said...

By all means, let's "make excellence more inclusive" by calling mediocrity "excellence" when it is exhibited by minorities (no, not you, Asians, for you we have maximum quotas like they used to have for Jews).

Does Ann have a "Soft bigotry of Lowered Expectations" tag?

And this guy is the Chief Diversity Officer, not just a lower level diversity officer.

Temujin said...

"On the other hand"….and here's something from the Bush administration? I'm not sure how this last bit fits into your argument- unless you are showing unintended consequences that can arise from the best intended programs. We can all agree on that happening.

The key for any of these is that they are administered by people, each reading into it what they will. And we can probably generalize that the bulk of the people (faculty) at most any university these days, but particularly at certain places (i.e. UW-Madison) not only lean liberal, but they write the books on such programs as diversity. Titles such as Chief Diversity Officer and interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate could only exist in academia (and various science fiction books). So, even though I know you would never grade based on the color of someone's skin, I'm pretty sure others would. Perhaps someone should do a study on grading in universities these days. (google: grade inflation at universities).

Kevin said...

So why would progressives oppose racially-based grade norming? (I.e. requiring that the proportion of A's granted be equal across ethnic groups.)

Shouldn't progressives be openly supporting this?

Racially-based grade norming strikes me as being fully within the current theory of progressive affirmative action practice.

Or is it too blatant - progressives want to accomplish this, but want to do so in a subtler manner?

wbwittmeyer said...

Forget about the intentions of the authors of this program, instead look at how this program creates incentives to grade by melanin content. Grading by skin color will happen. (Remember the first affirmative action program did not have quotas and where are we now?)

The University of Wisconsin sells a product, a degree. To the extent that the U of W adopts programs and polices that call into question the value of that degree, it is degrading its product. Students of great merit should and will consider this when selecting institutions.

U of W will have gone from Football powerhouse to middle tier academic institution to Football walkover in three generations. It is sad.

mtrobertsattorney said...

"interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate"?

Are we to infer that a lack of diversity may cause global warming?

PJ said...

Yes, the people who "write and adopt plans" are just trying to say something aspirational that sounds nice, and they are reliably oblivious to the incentives they are creating for advocates and implementers to treat their platitudes as metrics for success or failure and to behave accordingly. It's all so bloody predictable, yet the loyalists cry, "Not so!" and when the predictable occurs the writers and adopters bear no blame and simply proceed to the next pretty phrase.

Fernandinande said...

"Seeking racial balance, liberal advocates want to water down admissions standards at New York’s elite high schools."

Too many poor Asians, not enough Special People.

Birkel said...

Can somebody please point me to the "benefits of diversity for all students" that are alleged? My best guess is that the alleged benefits have never been shown to exist. Oh, sure, they exist in the minds of all "right-thinking" people but I am afraid I am a bit more of an empiricist than that.

That aside, the bureaucratese was more enjoyable when George Orwell first used it.

EMD said...

He knows he did the wrong thing. That's not the issue. The issue here is whether instituting a particular sort of plan creates so much pressure on fallible human beings that the plan itself should be seen as flawed.

Your students are in the best of hands.

jacksonjay said...

"But Your Honor, I'm a good person, the LAW made me a criminal!"


“No me digas illegal”/Don’t call me illegal
“Porque eso no lo soy”/Because I am not
“llegal son sus leyes”/Illegal are your laws
“Y por eso no me voy”/And that’s why I’m not leaving”

Anonymous said...

" I suspect that those who jumped to assume that there would be grade discrimination will say that they don't believe that inclusive "living and learning spaces" will achieve the goals. But that doesn't mean those who wrote and adopted the plan will resort to cheating."

Sure, and telling your child that Santa Claus exists doesn't mean that parents will further lie to their children and give them Christmas presents labeled as being "from Santa".

But that's the way to bet.

Because that's what "diversity" bureaucrats do, they lie, and they cheat. See UCLA admissions post Prop 209.

So long as UW practices "diversity" in admissions, you're going to end up with inferior students, on average, in the "diversity" groups. Grades, SAT scores, and Achievement Tests scores aren't racist, they're realistic measures of the quality of the student. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Transcendental Peace Man says:

Through Diversity Peace will blossom: share the Concept, share the Life. Wouldn't the World be a better place if, in school, everyone studied Peace and -- even better -- everyone got an 'A'? Think Forward, people.

traditionalguy said...

So a college professor has permission to raise grades for bad students that need a chance to stay in our nice majority white school but will not act white by studying for tests and turning in completed papers. However,it's not mandatory. It's up to the teacher.

That solves everything.

Anonymous said...

Transcendental Peace Man says:

Through Scientific Study I have proven -- with the proper compensations factored in -- that the Peace Energy of a black female is two-times stronger than a white male, and three-times stronger than a Jew. Peace will only come through a concept I call Compensated Diversity. Think Forward, people.

hawkeyedjb said...

"the educational benefits of diversity"

My hypothesis is that the educational benefits of diversity are zero. How do universities determine that the benefits are greater than zero? I'd like to see some rigorous, defensible data.

Anonymous said...

"He knows he did the wrong thing. That's not the issue. The issue here is whether instituting a particular sort of plan creates so much pressure on fallible human beings that the plan itself should be seen as flawed."

What they at the middle school should have done was go public with the fact that the grammar school was cheating on the tests, making a big stink that they were not being honestly measured because of that cheating, and kids weren't getting the help they needed because of the cheating.

Instead they decided to "go along and get along", and so their lives were ruined.

Life lesson, there.

Brad said...

The issue here is whether instituting a particular sort of plan creates so much pressure on fallible human beings that the plan itself should be seen as flawed.

How could that be the issue? Of course a particular sort of plan could be flawed, as this particular plan certainly IS.

Human fallibility isn't even an issue when the drafters act entirely out of their ids and egos and personality complexes--they are inhuman actors demanding against human nature the improbable, the unlikely, and mostly also the undesirable. You don't even need to read a single word of the actual plan to know how what a trainwreck it will be, just as you don't need to know the specific proposals to level out the score of any sort of game from the Superbowl to a Valedictorian spot.

If you game the rules right from the beginning, the rules will be gamed all the way to the very end.

Anonymous said...

Transcendental Peace Man says:

Through Compensated Diversity all Negative Input in the World will be dispelled, leaving only Peace. The Negative Input that cannot be dispelled will be gathered in camps, where Double Intensive Diversity will be taught to the slow learners. Think Forward, people.

Fred said...

Anyone here know the status of research on the educational benefits of diversity? I could Google myself, of course, but there's a lot of propaganda to wade through and I'd like to see something with an actual hypothesis, methodology, and conclusion.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Transcendental Peace Man says:

Those of Excessive Negative Input need Love to improve their misguided self-esteem. Perhaps awarding them colorful stars to wear will brighten their outlook. Think Forward, people.

Anonymous said...

Transcendental Peace Man says:

When the only Law is Love the need for lawyers will disappear, freeing them to better help advance Peace, sometimes by digging ditches. Think Forward, people.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

"Interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate"

That's a genuine job title? Tell me you're joking.

Unknown said...

The title of the post is silly.
Would one expect the "Chief Diversity Officer" to admit/suggest/agree/embrace that the university's diversity plan would (or could) lead to race/ethnicity based grading? (And remain the CDO?)

Rather than reacting viscerally about someone challenging your institution, how about some facts and/or analysis:

(2) Does the plan have any teeth, sticks, or carrots? Are there specific goals, and is meeting these goals incorporated into performance reviews?

(3) How long has the plan been in place? Has it actually been long enough to see any such activity?

(4) Are there any measures in the plan to assure the integrity of the grading system is not challenged by someone trying to meet metrics? (Remember Atlanta; saying it won't/can't happen ignores history)

Ironclad said...

I think the reasonable conclusion is that dishonest grading will follow - since in the parallel case you linked (the NY times article), it clearly shows that pressures to achieve goals can easily motivate honest people to do dishonest things "for the greater good". That was essentially the takeaway from the NY Times article (although you can add the motivation of bonus pay and also job security). But the quote that the kids gained false pride from their falsified achievement seems to be the main motivation.

Every time goals are set and not achieved, something has to give. In academic settings, failure isn't tolerated and so the pressure to achieve it would be there.

And evidence of high drop out and failure rates among the target group from past experience will be the fuse that lights it.

rhhardin said...

Chief Diversity Officer and interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate

He's in charge of not noticing things.

Jupiter said...

" the educational benefits of diversity for all students".

Of course, some of those students wouldn't *be* students if it weren't for the University's regard for diversity, so I guess we can assume they benefit.

But the fundamental question is, whose interests should the University serve? Does the U serve the State that created it, the taxpayers of that state who continue to support it, the students who pay tuition?

In fact, it is evident whose interest the University serves. It serves the interest of Patrick Sims, a man with no useful skills and no intention of developing any. He should be sitting on a curb by an offramp with a "WILL WURK 4 FUDE" sign around his pencil-neck. Instead, he is paid a fantastic salary with excellent benefits to sit on his useless ass and dream up claptrap like this. What a sickening document. Now I have to go earn a living.

Alex said...

He doeth protesteth too mucheth.

MadisonMan said...

I agree that Prof. Patrick Sims, MFA, has put out a statement that says very very little. I wonder how many man-hours went into crafting and vetting it. Money well spent? I think not, but they did bring this brouhaha upon themselves.

The Buzzwords and phrases that zip around Bascom ("Inclusive Excellence", "Campus Quality Efforts") are numbing.

If they can make the rich tradition of rigor and excellence more inclusive without watering it down that will be a good thing. But I've not seen much in the plan that would allow that goal to occur.

James Pawlak said...

He is on the list of those who must be taken out of the UW feeding trough.

cubanbob said...

wbwittmeyer said...

Forget about the intentions of the authors of this program, instead look at how this program creates incentives to grade by melanin content. Grading by skin color will happen. (Remember the first affirmative action program did not have quotas and where are we now?)"

This is what is happening in South Africa. Naturally, it doesn't really work so the end result is front men and woman of color who aren't capable of truly doing the work which in turn creates the position in which a person of pallor being hired as the consultant to do the work.

Michael K said...

"Anyone here know the status of research on the educational benefits of diversity?"

Yes, but they are a state secret. No one can know. Especially if they are from Kansas . Or, of course, if the person asking is Asian.

n.n said...

A selective grading policy is the least of their concerns. They need to begin their reform with the disposing of the "office of diversity and climate", less "climate", unless its catastrophic anthropogenic global climate change (CAGCC), which should be subject to similar scrutiny for lack of substance and corruption.

Sharc said...

@Boltforge "strong coloration between excellence and race"

Bwa-ha-ha.

n.n said...

Fred:

The benefits of individual diversity are logical and self-evident. There is a superposition of skills, knowledge, and experiences which contribute to the whole. However, the value of "skin-color" diversity, which they assert, is derived from a thesis which rejects or marginalizes individual dignity. The value of "climate" is based on a thesis of insularism, which has similar substantial justification. The resolution proposed by the thesis is essentially a prearranged marriage.

Education Reform Movement said...

Hi!

Could you sign this petition: change.org/petitions/board-of-education-and-all-educational-facilities-and-municipalities-reform-education-so-that-it-s-fair-for-all-and-not-for-the-elite-few-or-the-dull-many-no-child-left-behind

dreams said...

Well, the older I get, the more I believe that the DNA or whatever it is that produces liberals also produces people who tend to be more dishonest and self-serving than the average.

AJ Lynch said...

Could you diagram his sentence Professor?

KLDAVIS said...

Shorter New Yorker Article:

So sure that No Child Left Behind couldn't possibly work, teachers cheated their students out of a chance to see if it could actually make an impact in their lives. Self-esteem trumped results, but they still blame the tests.

NCLB was never given a chance to function, because these teachers had been indoctrinated into the belief that their community couldn't possibly withstand it. And, yet, the law and the tests are the only things scorned by the article.

Fernandinande said...

James Pawlak said...
He is on the list of those who must be taken out of the UW feeding trough.


He only absorbs $66,363.00 of extra money each year. Compared to a short blather from Billary, he's a bargain.

Boltforge said...

Sharc said...
"@Boltforge "strong coloration between excellence and race"

Bwa-ha-ha."

You laugh at my Chief Diversity Officer voice? Fiend.

Still, can you imagine that at your tenure promotion review the CDO showing up with stats about racial categories and your grades. You get a pat on the back for showing your very diverse racial makeup in the top grades. And you get the stink eye if that isn't true.

Meade said...

"Assign the special catch up interventions to some office and put the pressure there."

That would lead to excellent inclusiveness.

Michael K said...

"these teachers had been indoctrinated into the belief that their (black) community couldn't possibly withstand it."

Here is the basis of diversity.

Nothing more.

rhhardin said...

He doeth protesteth too mucheth.

There's the problem with separating church and state.

You don't hear KJV readings as a kid and don't pick up the language.

Only the verb carrying tense gets a funny ending.

Michael said...

Man, I love that paragraph the Chief Diversity Officer laid on us. It takes years of practice to fill up entire sheets of paper with utter nonsense, platitudes heaped on each other. He is a master at it, a Glenn Gould of bullshit.

What a job, Chief Diversity Officer. Imagine the deputy diversity officers and those junior to them, all pining to be The Man, all honing their bullshit, all hoping to get to one and then two and then five conferences a year to be with other diversity officers all offering up suggestions on diversity and the need to grow their staffs to insure more of it.

John said...

Let's talk about that teacher who cheated on the tests. I think this is the same article you (or someone) posted a week or so ago and I read it at that time.

The teacher who cheated the tests should be fired. It would seem to me that he may have violated laws against fraud and if so should be prosecuted.

He should never be permitted to work with children or education again.

He may have been a good teacher at one time but now he is corrupt. Did the tests corrupt him? I don't see how.

It is out of fashion to say so these days, especially in the ed community, but I am a big believer in testing. In K-12 weekly testing, perhaps even daily.

I like the concept of standardized testing though I feel strongly that they should be developed and administered at the state, not federal level.

Teachers who object to testing are incompetent in my view. They should be replaced.

Absent testing how does the teacher, parent or even the student know if they are learning anything?

Absent testing, how does anyone know whether a teacher is doing a good, poor or great job?

Fuck the teacher's unions and their fear of testing.

John Henry

Carol said...

Even shorter New Yorker article:
Teachers in the worst APS districts cheated because they knew their black students could never pass the tests.

KLDAVIS said...

Carol, they didn't care if their students passed until their failure to pass threatened the continuation of their way of life. It was the threat of actual change that prompted them to commit their crime.

In reality, the NCLB measures that would have been triggered by failure could have had actual positive effects on the lives of their students, but they chose false self-esteem and some ridiculous status of getting to sit on the football field at their graduation...oh, and bonuses & awards for the teachers and administrators.

Michael said...

John:

There have been a lot of firings, lay-offs and trials for the cheaters in the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal. Not enough but some.

The tragic part of that story was the young teacher's very real fear that those parts of the math test that were in narrative form would be impossible for his kids to pass, some of whom as seventh graders could not read without sounding. His slippery slope began with that premise and accelerated into the actual changing of answers when he found that his best students were failing.

This is a terrible story about teachers but a much much more horrible story about the devolution of black culture.

MadisonMan said...

It is out of fashion to say so these days, especially in the ed community, but I am a big believer in testing. In K-12 weekly testing, perhaps even daily.

When could anyone grade daily tests?

I think the push to teach the correct information to align with a daily test would push all flexibility from the classroom. Sometimes great real-world examples that might not exactly be the topic for 'today' come up.

Christy said...

Focus People! Who cares if Victim Studies or Lit majors are incompetent. Are our medical schools and engineering schools credentialing ignorant surgeons and bridge designers? That's where are energies must focus. But who dares?

damikesc said...

Why are a bunch of kids with the same Leftie cliche "ideas" more educational if their skin hues do not match?

John said...

No doubt someone will roll out the tired old cliche about "teaching to the test" as if it were a bad thing.

Teaching to the test is a good thing and they way good teaching should be done. Assuming that the test is valid in testing what the student should have learned.

First develop a curriculum that says what a student is supposed to learn in the class.

If an 9th grader is supposed to learn quadratic equations then that is what the teacher must teach.

The test must then test to see if the student learned quadratic equations.

So will someone explain to me why teaching to the test is a bad thing, please?

(If it makes people feel better we might call it test to the teaching but it amounts to the same thing)

John Henry

Unknown said...

My guess FWIW is that some professors already give blacks and Hispanics the benefit of the doubt when their grade is borderline.

David in Cal

Constantino said...

Most law schools in America already have an equivalent to race-based grading, by way of quotas for law review membership. A primary reward for good grades is a spot on the law review, so the law review quotas just skip the middle man. Obama himself admitted (back during his time at Harvard, as reported by the NYT) that he hadn't graded onto the law review, but was the beneficiary of such a quota. I'm not sure, then, why the idea of race-based grading is being considered such an impossibility.

Manty Five said...

This is actually fairly easy to translate from brea..buru... um, suit-speak.

The concept of Inclusive Excellence allows institutions to engage diversity from a vantage poin [sic] of alignment with campus quality efforts... while emphasizing it as a central value of the institution.

Translated version:

Of course we won't tell teachers to give different grades on race! Writing that down somewhere would cause us to get sued!

No, we'll call equal outcomes in grading a campus quality effort, and therefore put pressure on teachers (especially the non-tenured ones that do the actual teaching!) to find their own ways to meet equal-outcome goal.

So of course we won't instruct teachers to bring up the grades of blacks or bring down the grades of asians to match. We'll just punish and fire people who fail to live up to what is now a central value of the institution.

John said...

Michael said:

The tragic part of that story was the young teacher's very real fear that those parts of the math test that were in narrative form would be impossible for his kids to pass, some of whom as seventh graders could not read without sounding. His slippery slope began with that premise and accelerated into the actual changing of answers when he found that his best students were failing.

I understand that and that is not his fault. It is the fault of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc grade teachers. Kids should have been tested in those grades to make sure that they could read at grade level. If not give them remedial instruction or hold them back or take some other measure to assure that they can.

BTW: The social stigma associated with being held back or made to go to summer school is a powerful motivator to make kids learn.

If his kids can't learn the material they can't learn the material. In this case it may not be the teacher's fault but he does nobody any favors by cheating the kids like this. And that is really who is getting cheated most. The kids. Not the state, not the school, not the system, the kids who get no education.

The best thing would be to let all the kids flunk then very loudly tell everyone who will listen that it is because the state/school did not teach them to read in 1st grade. If enough teachers did this, perhaps parents would insist on something being done.

If enough parents insisted on something being done AND enough politicians threatened to votes politicians out of office, perhaps things would change.

Crack (and others) were right in the other thread when they said that by the time kids get to college it is far too late. Anyone who needs remedial work in college should never have been admitted in the first place.

John Henry

Freeman Hunt said...

Most students from good K-12 schools will not be putting out maximum effort the summer before college and during the first one or two academic years. This is an excellent time for other students to close the gap through academic interventions and hard work. Catch the hare while he's asleep.

RonF said...

The proponents of changing the grading criteria are quite right that the current grading criteria discriminates against certain cultures.

What they miss is that it is not the criteria that need changing. It's the cultures.

Terry said...

The UW chief diversity officer must be a minority.
This is a joke, right? Like the 'position open' ads by the EEOC that say that 'women and minorities are encouraged to apply'?
(white men not mentioned).

Charles said...

The professor quite correctly asserts that “that does not mean that there will be dishonest grading. Quite the opposite is perfectly consistent.” It may be logically consistent but the question is whether it is a reasonable expectation.

It was logically consistent that there would be no quotas or statistical proportionality tests arising from Title IX legislation and yet that is how it has evolved as outlined by Christina Hoff Sommers in Title IX: How a Good Law Went Terribly Wrong. (“The logic behind Title IX is the same as that behind all great civil rights legislation: In our democracy, the government may not play favorites among races or religions or between the sexes. . . . The original law was about equality of opportunity and indeed forbade quotas or reverse discrimination schemes. But over the years, government officials, college administrators and jurists — spurred on by groups like the National Women’s Law Center and the Women’s Sports Foundation — transformed a fair-minded equity law into just such a quota-driven regime, with destructive results.”)

A more recent (2013) and more directly comparable example is that of Harvard Business School where the issue of poor female academic performance (as measured by percentage representation among top performers) was tackled by instituting very direct interventions in classroom management and differential levels of support for female students (and female professors) over male students. One of the root issues was the poor grades women received in case studies which required high levels of classroom participation and subjective assessment by professors. The professors (male and female) claimed that they were being impartial in their allocation of grades and were basing those grades solely on performance.

Motivation: The administration advised professors ‘“We’re going to solve it [gender grade gap] at the school level, but each of you is responsible to identify what you are doing that gets you to this point.”’ Event: “The administrators installed stenographers in the classroom to guard against biased grading.” Effect: “The grade gap had vaporized so fast that no one could quite say how it had happened.”

So either the 265 professors were grossly mistaken when they assessed themselves as being impartial in grade allocation, (however, the article provides no evidence that the classroom stenographers or anyone else turned up any evidence of classroom grading bias), or the professors bowed to administration pressure to award equal grades based on gender regardless of the professor’s own judgment. Given that the grade gap disappeared completely in a single year, it seems more probable that professors ducked the issue by awarding equal grades rather than having to defend disparate grade results.

Either the professors were dishonest in their grading before the interventions (though I would prefer unfair because it might have been unconscious) or they were dishonest after the interventions – one way or the other, there was dishonest grading. What grounds are there to believe UW to be different in a comparably motivated program? More to the point, what are the odds?


http://time.com/2912420/titleix-anniversary/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/education/harvard-case-study-gender-equity.html?hp&smid=pl-share

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/10/harvard-business-schools-empty-gender-equity-experiment.html

Bud Norton said...

I'm just glad we were all here for that bit of authentic bureaucratic gibberish.

David said...

Ann Althouse said...
"In other words, it's bullshit."

Even if you assume the plan is bullshit, that does not mean that there will be dishonest grading. Quite the opposite is perfectly consistent.


That is correct. But it does not mean that there will be honest grading either. Dishonest grading is at least equally plausible (in my opinion more plausible.)

As long as you have (1) a goal of equality of performance and (2) a group of students who are not properly prepared for the work, there will be huge pressure to cheat. Plus many who "cheat" won't see it that way, the capacity for rationalization and self delusion being what it is.

The emphasis is in the wrong place. As a group these kids have to be better prepared by the time they reach college to have equivalent outcomes in college. While a university can fill in some of the blanks, it can not remedy a 13 year educational deficit. (For a few extraordinary students, there will be success, but most students are not extraordinary.)

The focus has to be on the pre college educational level. If UW wants to have an impact, divert some significant resources to secondary education. Really significant resources. Break the bullshit at that level and you will not need it in Madison.

Until the minority groups are properly prepared coming it, give them all the help you can in Madison, but do not expect that as a group they will do as well as those with sparkling preparation. So what. They will still profit greatly from the education, and the school and the society will profit from their being educated there.

The language of the Chief Diversity Officer gives you a clue as to how much bullshit there is in the thinking. You can't eradicate it. But don't expect bullshit to produce actual results. Do the fix where the fix is really needed and it will be a cakewalk in Madison. Even the Chief Diversity Officer will be happy. Maybe.

Kevin said...

"Here's the new statement from Professor Patrick Sims, Chief Diversity Officer and interim vice provost for Diversity and Climate."

Wow. You really got me there. It took a while to realize this was actually from The Onion.

What...? It's not...?

Holy f**king shit. We are sooooo screwed.

David said...

Motivation: The administration advised professors ‘“We’re going to solve it [gender grade gap] at the school level, but each of you is responsible to identify what you are doing that gets you to this point.”’ Event: “The administrators installed stenographers in the classroom to guard against biased grading.” Effect: “The grade gap had vaporized so fast that no one could quite say how it had happened.”

I had not see that but it is unsurprising that the professors would act that way. What I find surprising is that the females would lag the males in classroom discussion in the first place at HBS. So maybe it was a little bit of both?

Particularly in imprecise systems like grading, a group of humans will gravitate towards the result that causes them the least stress. As usual there are exceptions, but a herd is a herd, whether ungulate or human.

David said...

Let me put it another way.

The long term interests of minority students are not advanced by a system at any level which falsifies their educational results. This does not mean that accommodation is wrong, but the accommodation can not be compromise of standard or falsification of result. It's one of the reasons why Separate But Equal was so pernicious. It was never equal. Equal was a fantasy that got the dominant power off the hook in its own mind.

A system that incentivizes modification of standard or falsification of result should be viewed with great suspicion.

tolkein said...

I'm sorry but some of these words make no sense. I'm not stupid, and I'm pedantic enough to have a copy of the OED - all 20 volumes, which I sometimes read for pleasure (did you know that JRR Tolkien was an editor?).
But what does the following mean?
"The concept of Inclusive Excellence allows institutions to engage diversity from a vantage poin [sic] of alignment with campus quality efforts",
I see the verb, engage, and diversity is next to it, so I assume that's what's being engaged. But to do what? And what's with the alignment with quality efforts?
And how does a concept allow anyone (and, as UW-Madison is a corporation, it must be a person, not a thing) to do anything?
And what are these laudable goals in the next sentence? I don't remember being introduced to any in the preceding sentence. Where did they come from? What, indeed, are they?
This makes the later assertion of academic rigor and excellence just that, as it certainly isn't substantiated by the evidence of the preceding sentence and phrase.
And, Professor Althouse, is this normal bureaucratese for your University, in which case you have my commiserations, or is this just a special example of their torpidity of expression?
This statement has two sentences, the first is 39 words, with the first clause 20 words, the 2 following clauses of 9 then 10 words.
The second is 34 words, giving a total of 73 words. I hope you won't be telling me that Professor Sims is a professor of English or communications.
Why do you need an interim vice provost of climate? He's surely not a trained climate scientist, is he? Will you have windmills in each classrooom. Or is this just to charge UW-Madison more fees?
Finally, I note he is Chief Diversity Officer. Does this mean he will be seeking more Republican voting faculty, or promoting pro-life speakers, or encouraging practising Christians and Jews to become faculty members, or even recruiting more minority staff, such as Asians, or Hispanics?

David said...

From the UW Web Site:

The Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement supports the mission of the University of Wisconsin–Madison as it works to create a diverse, inclusive, and excellent learning and work environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who partner with the university. This mission is accomplished through collaboration, leadership and seeding of new initiatives, consultative advice, and the coordination of numerous institutional initiatives, while supervising the group of key diversity units that now comprise the Division.

The Division's operative priority is to make progress toward the university’s strategic diversity interests: 1) Increasing access for all qualified students, especially for underrepresented minorities and women in the STEM areas; 2) Eliminating the achievement gap between majority and underrepresented students; 3) Recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty and staff; 4) Preparing all our students, staff and faculty to thrive personally and professionally in a world that is diverse, global and interconnected; and 5) Enhancing the campus climate for inclusion. In striving toward these shared goals, the Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement is engaged in key collaborative partnerships with the Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management, the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, the Dean of Students, as well as student leaders, deans, directors and governance bodies across campus.


Now that's a pretty decent mission statement. But it's just a statement. It does say that the "operative priority is to make progress toward the university’s strategic diversity interests." (emphasis added)

Obviously if your "operative Priority" is to make progress toward something, you also are committed to actually getting there.

It's all in how it's administered, I guess. That does not give me great comfort. Nor should it comfort those who genuinely want equal educational opportunity for all.

David said...

Professor Patrick Sims (Department of Theatre and Drama) UW Assistant Provost and Chief Diversity Officer

Joining the faculty at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2004, Patrick is currently the Director of TCSA, Theatre for Cultural and Social Awareness. Before joining the faculty at UW Madison, Patrick was a company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as well as a Faculty Associate in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There he served as a founding member and Artistic Director of the Human Experience Theatre (HET). TCSA and HET are interactive theatre-based training models that dramatize sensitive subject matters for universities, corporate and non-profit organizations in the United States.

Patrick has helped train employees at Miller Brewing Company, Harley Davidson, Wisconsin Energies, WI State Department of Workforce Development, in addition to several institutions of higher education throughout the United States. Sims and his theatre outreach programs have been featured at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) and the Diversity Summit at Yale University. On stage, some of Sims’ favorite roles include Sterling North and Cephus Miles in Madison Rep’s productions of PERMANENT COLLECTION and HOME; Neal in THE STORY at the Goodman and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre; Hippolytus in PHAEDRA; Priam in THE GREEKS with the Shanghai Theatre Academy; and James Solomon in his original solo performance 10 PERFECT: A LYNCHING SURVIVOR’S STORY. His latest work, a bilingual solo performance entitled PIEL COMO EL MÍO (SKIN LIKE MINE), is inspired by race relations in Panamá and its three hundred year stint in the African slave trade.

Patrick earned dual BA degrees in Theatre and Psychology and an MFA in Acting from the Professional Theatre Training Program.

Robert Marshall said...

My opinion on NCLB:

Assessing school/teacher performance by testing the kids using a standardized test only makes sense if you factor in the innate ability of the kids being tested.

Good teachers won't be able to make dull students perform as well as bad teachers can make brilliant students perform.

But factoring-in student's innate ability (for example, IQ) would be so un-PC.

Bob Ellison said...

Professor, you usually write with clarity and concision, but I can't figure out what you're saying here.

1) Are you suggesting that the Nuremberg defense is in play here?

2) You say, 'I suspect that those who jumped to assume that there would be grade discrimination will say that they don't believe that inclusive "living and learning spaces" will achieve the goals. But that doesn't mean those who wrote and adopted the plan will resort to cheating.' Yes, yes, it does, by and large. This is human nature. Did you mean something else? Are you suggesting that awful leftist policies are sometimes advocated by people who actually believe those policies will indeed produce the desired results? No doubt that's the case, but I've given up with that question. People mostly behave according to their incentives, not their ideals.

Skeptical Voter said...

I didn't read the piece--but I suspect the writer got around to using the word "holistic".

What that means when it comes from a left is that there is a "whole truckload" of bovine excrement coming.

David said...

Both Sims and the #2 in the diversity office are interim appointments. They haveF been interim for a year, without change of status or replacement.

From a UW Press Release July 31, 2013

As Damon Williams departs from his position as UW-Madison's chief diversity officer, two campus figures involved in efforts to create a more inclusive university will help guide its diversity initiatives over the next year.

Photo: Patrick Sims
Patrick Sims

Patrick Sims, associate professor of acting and director of the Department of Theatre and Drama's Theatre for Cultural and Social Awareness (TCSA), will serve as interim vice provost for diversity and climate. He will lead the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (DDEEA) while continuing his academic work part-time.

In addition, Ruby Paredes, assistant vice chancellor for diversity and climate, will serve as interim associate vice provost, providing expertise to assist in leading the DDEEA.

"UW-Madison has made great strides in diversity efforts, but we always have more work to do," says Provost Paul DeLuca. "In addition to their strong academic backgrounds, the unique combination of Patrick's teaching connections and Ruby's comprehensive grasp of campus history will help us meet critical institutional needs as we continue to move forward."

Sims and Paredes will remain in their interim roles until a search and screen committee has completed a national search for a permanent vice provost.


One year has passed since this announcement and the diversity office is still led by two people whose appointment is interim. They appear to be accomplished and committed people, but they have neither the administrative experience or the clout to have the kind of impact needed.

Just how serious is UW about this anyway? Nice pronouncements, but ambiguous and potentially troublesome in their implementation. A year passes and they have not filled a supposedly key position.

I smell more bullshit.

MarkD said...

Incentives. The people who fail to respond to them are soon replaced by those who will. Witness "tough on crime prosecutors" who withhold exculpatory evidence. Officers sworn to uphold the law who regularly abuse their power. The IRS and their treatment of certain political organizations. I lack the ability to deceive myself that this time it will be different. It won't.

Anonymous said...

Informed people will continue to ask for the white doctor (or other professional) rather than run the risk that said minority professional was slide into and through a degree by schools such as UW.

Bruce Hayden said...

In regards to HBS - my understanding is that a lot of the men were coming back to school for their MBA, after a stint on Wall Street or the like. They had been out in the work force for a decade, were driven and focused. The women, on the other hand, tended to be more right out of college. So, no surprise, that the men did much better on class participation.

I first did an MBA, starting not long after graduating. Then, went back to law school maybe 15 years after college. By then, I was comfortable with participating in discussions when under pressure, and thought that what law school profs did was no worse than what I had been through before. And, part way through first term Torts, I went 1 on 1 with the prof for maybe 5 minutes, surviving intact. From there, until graduation, it was downhill all the way. And, I will have to say, law school is not nearly as bad as the first time you stand up in court, arguing objections during a jury trial. Still, a lot of the younger women were petrified all through their first year, and even into the second, choosing mass protests to the Dean when the prof was too hard on them in class. Silly - that isn't how you become an attorney.

Oh, and one other thing - I took the basic Dale Carnegie class (twice - the second time as an assistant) a couple of years before law school. One thing it teaches you is that most people are scared of public speaking. And, I sure saw that in law school, and having much less fear than most was a definite advantage.

Back to my MBA though - back then, I was a lot more intimidated about public speaking, and, thus, classroom participation, even though most MBA programs are not nearly as confrontational as JD programs often are. (I think that Harvard is one of the exceptions there, which is why there were problems with the women in its MBA program).

Still, one of the best things about law school was anonymous grading, and that is one of the reasons that I don't think that Ann is going to have a problem. At least in the core classes, there wasn't a lot of room for cheating on the part of the profs. And, despite all the liberal do gooders enrolled, the stink of racially biased grading would have been overwhelming - since those grades are part of how you get into the big firms that have such big starting salaries. It is one thing to be all for affirmative action, but something quite different when AA grading means that you don't get a $150k starting salary, and the opportunity for $500k+ in a decade if you can stick around long enough to make partner. (And the allure there is why so many of those who thought they were going to go into public interest law in my LS class ended up in private practice).

Mark said...

By the time a student hits college said student has already benefited (or suffered) from almost two decades of environmental factors, of which classroom education is only one and probably far from the most formative.

This means that mandating equity in grading results will require either (a) extraordinary resources being dedicated to bringing disadvantaged minorities up to speed relative to those more fortunate in their circumstances -- with no guarantee of success for the University in the enterprise -- or (b) following the cheap and easy route of "curving" expectations.

I know which methodology I'd bet gets implemented.

Hyphenated American said...

You need to be pretty deaf not to hear the dog-whistle that the grades will be "color-conscience", as they say about college admissions. And don't forget, this comes from the people who believe that SAT is racist.

Spiros Pappas said...

Do professors already engage in dishonest grading to avoid accusations of racism? When I was in college, plenty of African-American students suspected this of their professors (mostly the Jewish ones). And we all thought that the pretty girls got "Easy A's."

Hyphenated American said...

"Even if you assume the plan is bullshit, that does not mean that there will be dishonest grading. Quite the opposite is perfectly consistent."

Surely they won't say that there would be "dishonest grading", just as there is no "dishonest college admissions". The grading will be "color-conscience", like college admissions, to compensate for the inherent racism of white people grading people of color.

Seriously, anyone stupid enough not to hear the dog whistle?

Michael K said...

"Patrick earned dual BA degrees in Theatre and Psychology and an MFA in Acting from the Professional Theatre Training Program."

Now we know where those students go for a job. We suspected it but it's nice to see confirmation. If universities ever start to prune administration, there will be a lot of new MacDonald's hamburger flippers.

John said...

Madison Man,

I was using the word "test" in a generic sense. A test could take anywhere from a few minutes (5-10 T/F, multiple choice questions. Perhaps self graded or swap papers and let students grade each others papers) to an exam taking the full class session and other things in between.

Daily tests, 5 days a week, all year are probably a bit much though I would be OK with it.

I think there needs to be more, rather than less testing.

re flexibility, I agree there, too. Give the teacher some leeway to pursue interesting sideleads where appropriate. The curriculum doesn't have to cover every minute of every day. It does need to cover what the student is expected to know at the end of each semester. Quadratic equations, say. Or diagramming a sentence.

John Henry

David said...

Freeman Hunt said...
Most students from good K-12 schools will not be putting out maximum effort the summer before college and during the first one or two academic years. This is an excellent time for other students to close the gap through academic interventions and hard work. Catch the hare while he's asleep.


I had the benefit of a very good high school. All the emphasis was on reading and writing. Lot's of writing, with tough review by talented teachers. (This was 1961, folks.)

When I got to college, at least for the courses that involved extensive writing (most of them), I became quickly aware that I had an advantage. But I was one of those sleeping hares you mention. Within a year, my advantage had disappeared. It was quite an obvious shift.

John Lynch said...

I'm skeptical that an adjunct prof up for tenure would do the right thing and fail students.

When you demand results but have no plan to get them you're asking people to lie.

exhelodrvr1 said...

David,
"Obviously if your "operative Priority" is to make progress toward something, you also are committed to actually getting there."

Exactly the opposite, in a bureaucracy. There is no benefit in reaching their goal, and putting themselves out of business.

MountainMan said...

A "Chief Diversity Officer" and a "Vice Provost for Diversity and Climate" implies that there is probably a 50-100 employee bureaucracy that goes with the titles. What a waste of money. Better to eliminate the whole organization and lower the much too high tuition and fees or, barring that, put the money to better use in science, engineering, medicine, or other fields that would benefit society.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Proportional to what?

tim in vermont said...

'Even if you assume the plan is bullshit, that does not mean that there will be dishonest grading.'

And communism has never really been tried.

CWJ said...

gregq (much earlier) wrote -

"But that's the way to bet."

Yeah, that's pretty much it. I sometimes think that if Althouse were an eastern european jew circa 1943 she'd argue that there was nothing in "relocation" that necessarily implied poison gas.

Look, I appreciate Althouse's analyses but they flame out and die outside of the faculty lounge hothouse.

n.n said...

Unless the child is independently motivated, there must be external forcing to guide their development. The education system needs to engage the parents. There is no greater stakeholder, other than the child himself, than the mother and father of a child. The priority of the administration should be to ensure a suitable environment where teaching is possible and learning is likely. They cannot do it without active involvement of all stakeholders.

clarice said...

It's my understanding that the statement appears in a 2009 plan for diversity which was approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.That's not just "a 2009 document".It's marching orders to the troops.
From its website, we learn"The Board of Regents appoints the President of the UW System, the chancellors of the 13 universities, the chancellor of UW-Extension and UW Colleges, and the deans of the 13 colleges. These appointees serve at the pleasure of the Board. The Board also sets admission standards, reviews and approves university budgets, and establishes the regulatory framework within which the individual units operate."
As long as that statement remains unchanged in the 2009 system wide plan it informs and adds meaning to the University's new extremely broad diversity plan.Sims' bafflegab denial means nothing to me as long as the 2009 plan is not modified. To those who parse the 2009 language as purely aspirational,as the poster Charles noted the other day, we've been there and similarly high minded and vague diversity plans have regularly been the impetus for grade inflation (cheating) and quotas.
In my view, even considering the language as aspirational only-- as its defenders do-- and not taking the position that it can only be achieved by legerdemain, aiming for equal outcomes is folly. A more reasonable and justifiable goal is to help each student achieve to the best of his ability. And if that means the Asian kids do better in calculus than they do in ice hockey, that's just the way it is.

I read both documents together as Hansen did. As long as all the deans and universities serve at the pleasure of the Board of Regents and the Board emphasizes outcomes,outcomes which can most easily be met by quotas under otherwise impossible to achieve goals, Hansen makes I think a valid point .

Bob Ellison said...

Wouldn't wanna be an Asian Jewish female trying to get into Harvard these days.

Crazy Jane said...

It's complicated on the other side as well. I know a white kid who graduated summa cum laude this year in math from a top university. It's hard for professors to fudge grading in math; students either solve the problem or almost solve the problem or don't solve the problem. The average math GPA was around 2.7 or 2.8 on the 4.0 scale. The Asian students, according to my young friend, "cheated like crazy."

MrCharlie2 said...

I like a diverse climate, go Pat go!

David said...

Looked at another way, this is easy. Stay in Wisconsin for 12 consecutive months and you will definitely see a diverse climate.

Terry said...

The Asian students, according to my young friend, "cheated like crazy."
--
I have a colleague who teaches the hard sciences to undergrads. He has taken to scanning or photographing tests before returning them to students because students have been known to alter the graded test & then argue that they were scored incorrectly.

Philip Ngai said...

With respect to the cheating in the Atlanta public schools, Althouse talks about how a (possibly) flawed plan created "so much pressure on fallible human beings"

At UW, a goal of "proportional and equitable distribution of grades" has been set. What is the likelihood that this goal will fail and that failure will again create "so much pressure on fallible human beings".

Freeman Hunt said...

Thinking about this more, I think it will easy to judge whether or not the administration wants to help these students or not by how these goals are pursued.

If they put the pressure on the faculty, they don't care about the students, they care about the appearance of equality. Grades will be nudged. The students will not be helped. Nothing that matters will change.

If they put the pressure elsewhere, they do care. With the pressure on people who have no control over grades, there's no easy, appearance only fix. They have to provide real help to the students to get results.

So I think the best way to judge what they intend is to wait and see where the pressure is applied.

richard mcenroe said...

Even if his statement is worthy of Weird Al video in itself, the fact is there's no reason to believe him or any of his class of apparatchik when they say anything anymore.

To them, Orwell was a How-To guide...

richard mcenroe said...

Ann, if you believe the Chief Diversity Officer is NOT bullshitting us, does he then think his mission is to stuff unqualified "diverse" student into the campus body and then let them fail out once he can check the little box on his admissions form?

And what is a MAN doing being a Chief Diversity Officer anyway? Fight the Patriarchy!

Balfegor said...

He knows he did the wrong thing. That's not the issue. The issue here is whether instituting a particular sort of plan creates so much pressure on fallible human beings that the plan itself should be seen as flawed.

Yes, like all those "good and admirable" businessmen who are driven to commit accounting fraud.

The plan may or may not be a good plan, but the fact that a school had not just one or two but a whole team of these fraudsters is pathetic. Was there even a single whistleblower among their ranks? I was so disgusted I didn't finish the story.

Balfegor said...

I went back and read some more -- there is a hero here: Tameka Grant.

In 2006, Tameka Grant, a sixth-grade teacher at Parks, sent a letter to Beverly Hall. She wrote that Waller was attempting to persuade teachers to cheat by describing how the teachers at elementary schools did it.

Of course, she comes to a bad end since the "tone at the top" is as rotten as rotten can be.

I think the "perp walk" referenced in the article is more than a little abusive and ought to be abolished, but it's a relief that the ringleaders in this conspiracy to commit fraud are all facing criminal prosecution.

Kirk Parker said...

Freeman,

"Actually, I mean to say 'Excellent Inclusivity'. And also the other way around, too. It's kinda hard to tell the difference, actually..."