On that “discriminatory” firemen’s test for which Chicago must hire 111 black firemen and pay tens of millions in damages to 6,000 other blacks

Steve Sailer quotes his 2010 article explaining the background of the Chicago suit.

Well, it’s kind of hard to make this sound plausible … but in 1995 Mayor Daley, hoping to diversify the Chicago Fire Department, used a hiring test designed by a black psychologist in order to hire more blacks. But according to district judge Joan B. Gottschall’s 2005 decision in favor of the 6000 black applicants who scored poorly, the black psychologist’s test wasn’t good enough, so therefore a huge amount of money should be paid to blacks.

Daley set out to create an objective, relevant test that would also get rid of the racial gap. He would pay big money for cutting edge civil service exams that would not discriminate against blacks and Hispanics.

Daley gave a large contract to a black consultant named Dr. James Outtz, who positions himself as a psychometrician who could come up with tests that minorities would do well upon. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported in 2009, “The ‘95 exam was drafted by an African American with an eye toward diversifying the Fire Department.”

In 2005, finally, Judge Gottschall, a graduate of Stanford Law (LSAT range 168-172), issued her ruling: total victory for the black plaintiffs. Chicago should just pick randomly among anybody scoring at the 16th percentile on up.

She offered multiple reasons for junking the test: the “chaotic” nature of the black consultant’s video, her assumption that anybody who scores at the 7th percentile of the white distribution of scores is good enough for the job, and the fact that in the Horan case brought by white firefighters passed over for promotion, the city had defended its use of overt racial quotas for promotions: in effect, any compromise on one case will be used against you in the next.

In 2006, Chicago finally gave another firefighter’s hiring test. To avoid disparate impact, it made the test so easy that 96 percent of whites passed it. Then it chose randomly from all who passed.

- end of initial entry -

Tim W. writes:

I found it very interesting that the Chicago test was designed by a black man with the specific goal of helping black applicants pass. I have a liberal friend who insists that the reason whites outperform blacks on standardized tests is that the tests are culturally biased. I once asked him why they didn’t just replace the biased tests with ones that aren’t biased. It’s obvious that most of the institutions issuing these tests are controlled by liberals who fall all over themselves to boost blacks (city governments, colleges, etc.). So why would a city or college give a culturally biased test which blacks flunk, and then go to court to defend picking blacks who failed the test over whites who passed it? Wouldn’t it be much easier to just replace the test with one that isn’t biased against blacks? He admitted to not knowing the answer, though he knew that my answer, which was that the tests aren’t biased against blacks in the first place, wasn’t possibly correct.

This Chicago test proves that the problem isn’t the test, it’s the test takers. It also proves that our governing class will never admit the truth, and will always find some way to excuse, and even reward, poor black performance.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 16, 2011 08:19 AM | Send

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