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(Chron)   Houston's black firefighters say city's exam for higher ranks is prejudiced against black people because it's a written exam, and studies show black people do worse at written exams than other races. No, really   (chron.com) divider line
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12860 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2009 at 10:39 AM (13 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2009-02-05 8:16:48 AM  
I got an idea.

Why not encourage the black community to become more adept at the linear word, in print, and move away from oral tradition, a bit, instead of waving a crutch at everything they can't comprehend?

I find it difficult to believe that there is some inherent aspect to the African American psychological makeup that prevents reading comprehension, or that a group would demand money for being asked to prove that they can, indeed, read well enough to fill a position for which they have applied. The written word is what built all of this stuff that everybody wants to get their hands on. Not hand me down, spoken word traditions.

My god, y'all. Show some dignity.
 
2009-02-05 8:30:10 AM  
I compare fighting a fire, riding an apparatus, to playing football. Your best athlete might not be the straight-A student.

The best athlete doesn't necessarily make the best coach. I don't expect the best athlete to pass tests, I do expect it from a coach.
 
2009-02-05 8:31:43 AM  

bunner: Why not encourage the black community to become more adept at the linear word, in print, and move away from oral tradition, a bit, instead of waving a crutch at everything they can't comprehend?

I find it difficult to believe that there is some inherent aspect to the African American psychological makeup that prevents reading comprehension, or that a group would demand money for being asked to prove that they can, indeed, read well enough to fill a position for which they have applied. The written word is what built all of this stuff that everybody wants to get their hands on. Not hand me down, spoken word traditions.

My god, y'all. Show some dignity.


Word!

That might not work. If they did do this, then a movie house in a primarily black neighbourhood would require their lights turned up during the movie in order to accomodate all that writing as opposed to all that hollering at the screen that goes on now.
 
2009-02-05 8:47:25 AM  
Now lighten up guys...This is February, when we celebrate the efforts of people like Martin Luther King Jr. who made living in a world where everyone, regardless of race was treated equally in every aspect of life.

Oh, wait.
 
2009-02-05 8:49:47 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Now lighten up guys...This is February, when we celebrate the efforts of people like Martin Luther King Jr. who made living in a world where everyone, regardless of race was treated equally in every aspect of life.


I just love to see someone brave enough to bash MLK. It's refreshing. What a dreary fraud he was!
 
2009-02-05 8:53:49 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: Now lighten up guys...This is February, when we celebrate the efforts of people like Martin Luther King Jr. who made us want to live in a world where everyone, regardless of race was treated equally in every aspect of life.


Wait, this is probably what you were trying to say.

I agree.
 
2009-02-05 8:54:11 AM  
hillbillypharmacist

Who the hell bashed MLK?

Good Lord, talk about a knee-jerk jerk-off.
 
2009-02-05 8:55:08 AM  

Elvis_Bogart: Who the hell bashed MLK?
Good Lord, talk about a knee-jerk jerk-off.


The language was muddled.
 
2009-02-05 8:57:31 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: I just love to see someone brave enough to bash MLK

Bash? What the ever loving hell did you read to come up with that?
 
2009-02-05 8:58:43 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: The language was muddled.

Granted...It's early.
 
2009-02-05 9:06:22 AM  
Dancin_In_Anson: Bash? What the ever loving hell did you read to come up with that?

He does that sometimes. Him being the official white defender of African American dignity and all.
 
2009-02-05 9:08:03 AM  

Dancin_In_Anson: hillbillypharmacist: I just love to see someone brave enough to bash MLK

Bash? What the ever loving hell did you read to come up with that?


no kidding...

On a quasi-related note, long ago there was a Fark thread like many others, and rude jokes were getting thrown around. You made a point of asking aloud why is that sort of racism ok because its 'a joke'. What makes it ok just because 'you think it's funny'. I've had a different view of that sort of humor since. Somehow it exposed the racism that was already blatantly there.
I'll stop rambling now. They've had be working since tuesday morning. sheesh.
 
2009-02-05 9:13:25 AM  
TFA: During standardized tests, minorities are also vulnerable to performance anxieties that stem from cultural stereotypes, Foster said.

So black people get nervous while taking tests because people say they eat fried chicken and watermelon? Hell, if that's the case, I'm gonna sue for every test I got nervous while taking because people think Irish people are drunk. And because they think gays are flamboyant and snappy dressers. I think I just hit the jackpot here.
 
2009-02-05 9:15:35 AM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: What makes it ok just because 'you think it's funny'. I've had a different view of that sort of humor since. Somehow it exposed the racism that was already blatantly there.


Chris Rock?
 
2009-02-05 9:20:29 AM  

OlafTheBent: That might not work. If they did do this, then a movie house in a primarily black neighbourhood would require their lights turned up during the movie in order to accomodate all that writing as opposed to all that hollering at the screen that goes on now.


A lot of medical journals say that crack abuse can addle your perception of large scale concepts.

How many five rocks a day are you hitting? : )
 
2009-02-05 9:30:13 AM  
hillbillypharmacist: Wait, this is probably what you were trying to say.

More like:


Dancin_In_Anson: Now lighten up guys...This is February, when we celebrate the efforts of people like Martin Luther King Jr. who made living in a world where everyone, regardless of race was treated equally in every aspect of life his dream.

Oh, wait.
 
2009-02-05 9:30:53 AM  
Equality for all. Some are just more equal......


/where have I heard that????
 
2009-02-05 9:31:50 AM  

bunner: How many five rocks a day are you hitting? : )


Snakes have no armpits...

Dancin_In_Anson: Granted...It's early.


COFFEE RUN!
 
2009-02-05 9:37:10 AM  

Mayor Bee: TFA: During standardized tests, minorities are also vulnerable to performance anxieties that stem from cultural stereotypes, Foster said.

So black people get nervous while taking tests because people say they eat fried chicken and watermelon? Hell, if that's the case, I'm gonna sue for every test I got nervous while taking because people think Irish people are drunk. And because they think gays are flamboyant and snappy dressers. I think I just hit the jackpot here.



Actually, yes. There have been several studies showing that when you take white and black students with equal GPAs in a school and give them the exact same test and tell them it's a very very important test, the black students will generally do worse.

If you took the same group of equal-GPA black and white students and give them a test and tell them that the test doesn't matter, they will all do about the same.

The studies revealed that blacks to seem to have an inherent inferiority complex that tends to come out when they are under pressure. After being told for hundreds of year that they are an inferior race, well...it's sort of hard to shake that view.

Quite frankly, I don't find it all that funny. I think it's an example of the long-lasting effects that racism can have on a group of people and it's damaging.
 
2009-02-05 9:38:08 AM  
It's not racism when THEY do it.
 
2009-02-05 9:44:14 AM  

cheshirecatsmileyface: Mayor Bee: TFA: During standardized tests, minorities are also vulnerable to performance anxieties that stem from cultural stereotypes, Foster said.

So black people get nervous while taking tests because people say they eat fried chicken and watermelon? Hell, if that's the case, I'm gonna sue for every test I got nervous while taking because people think Irish people are drunk. And because they think gays are flamboyant and snappy dressers. I think I just hit the jackpot here.


Actually, yes. There have been several studies showing that when you take white and black students with equal GPAs in a school and give them the exact same test and tell them it's a very very important test, the black students will generally do worse.

If you took the same group of equal-GPA black and white students and give them a test and tell them that the test doesn't matter, they will all do about the same.

The studies revealed that blacks to seem to have an inherent inferiority complex that tends to come out when they are under pressure. After being told for hundreds of year that they are an inferior race, well...it's sort of hard to shake that view.

Quite frankly, I don't find it all that funny. I think it's an example of the long-lasting effects that racism can have on a group of people and it's damaging.


WHAT? I get nervous as shiat when I take a test and always have, but I still managed to graduate from college and be productive. I even took entirely written promotion test in the military and passed them. It's a multiple choice test, not 25 essay questions. Im so tired of people using their ethnicity or heritage as an excuse to fail. We have a black president now and I doubt he would have been elected if it was a well know fact that black people cower under extreme pressure.

/Im white by the way...
 
2009-02-05 9:44:45 AM  

cheshirecatsmileyface:
Quite frankly, I don't find it all that funny. I think it's an example of the long-lasting effects that racism can have on a group of people and it's damaging.


Fair enough. But what is the solution? It seems to me that holding a certain group to a different - i.e. lesser - standard would only perpetuate the accusation of inferiority and would be used by those advocating it as a validation. The best way to overcome that is to prove it wrong, and that may be very difficult to do and go against generations of socio-psychological conditioning, but IMO, if we are truly striving for equality in society, we can't use past sins to justify different standards. Hey, nobody said this would be easy.
 
2009-02-05 9:51:21 AM  
cheshirecatsmileyface: The studies revealed that blacks to seem to have an inherent inferiority complex that tends to come out when they are under pressure. After being told for hundreds of year that they are an inferior race, well...it's sort of hard to shake that view.

img13.imageshack.usView Full Size

Attractive and successful African-American please.
 
2009-02-05 9:54:46 AM  

Nabb1: cheshirecatsmileyface:
Quite frankly, I don't find it all that funny. I think it's an example of the long-lasting effects that racism can have on a group of people and it's damaging.

Fair enough. But what is the solution? It seems to me that holding a certain group to a different - i.e. lesser - standard would only perpetuate the accusation of inferiority and would be used by those advocating it as a validation. The best way to overcome that is to prove it wrong, and that may be very difficult to do and go against generations of socio-psychological conditioning, but IMO, if we are truly striving for equality in society, we can't use past sins to justify different standards. Hey, nobody said this would be easy.



I don't think blacks should be held to a lesser standard, but I dislike the level of...I don't know, disregard? scorn? that these threads seem to produce.

I'm black. I went to a very competitive college prep private school and I did well. But you can be damned sure that I was always nervous about having to be the best student possible, because I was a black kid in a sea of white kids and the bar gets set very high. I still encounter racism, even amongst my own "friends" and yeah, you do always wonder if you get an answer wrong, will people hold it against you more than they would somebody else? In fact, one of my very good white friends told me I was the whitest black kid she knew because I was smart. You have no idea how that feels.

I don't think there's a real solution. Clearly different standards aren't a solution. But telling people to just "get over it" when you don't realize how recently the world has changed (hell, just 40 years ago it was illegal to have an interracial marriage in 16 states) is well...ineffective.

Personally, I think what black students need more from both their own community AND the white community is encouragement. I hope Barack provides some of that.
 
2009-02-05 9:57:42 AM  

cheshirecatsmileyface: Mayor Bee: TFA: During standardized tests, minorities are also vulnerable to performance anxieties that stem from cultural stereotypes, Foster said.

So black people get nervous while taking tests because people say they eat fried chicken and watermelon? Hell, if that's the case, I'm gonna sue for every test I got nervous while taking because people think Irish people are drunk. And because they think gays are flamboyant and snappy dressers. I think I just hit the jackpot here.


Actually, yes. There have been several studies showing that when you take white and black students with equal GPAs in a school and give them the exact same test and tell them it's a very very important test, the black students will generally do worse.


Then stop telling them that.

Oh, and people dying of starvation every time you clap your hands? Stop that, too.
 
2009-02-05 9:59:07 AM  

cheshirecatsmileyface: Actually, yes. There have been several studies showing that when you take white and black students with equal GPAs in a school and give them the exact same test and tell them it's a very very important test, the black students will generally do worse.

If you took the same group of equal-GPA black and white students and give them a test and tell them that the test doesn't matter, they will all do about the same.


If you have black students and white students that have equal GPAs that perform differently on important tests, how did they come to have equal GPAs in the first place? Isn't every test important, to some degree, to your GPA? Yeah, finals might be more important than mid-terms which are more important than weekly tests, but they are all important. If there is a fundamental difference in the student that manifests itself when taking a test (which then affects GPA), using GPA as a starting point to compare the two groups is not valid.

Using an analogy, say you have a Corvette and a Prius, both accelerating at their maximum accelerations. At one point they are both going 60 MPH and are at the same distance from the finish line(they didn't start at the same time or position). They are racing toward the goal that's 10 miles away. The Corvette will most likely beat the Prius, right? So, because we started measuring while the cars were at the same point and going the same speed, we would expect that they would tie. However, they do not.

I'm not using this analogy to say there are fundamental differences in the two groups of people (black students vs. white students). I'm saying that because you're measuring from a starting point that is affected by what you're measuring, the results are flawed.

A more accurate measurement would be to raise the two groups so they have similar experiences, etc. and then measure how they do on the tests vs. one another. However, this would be unethical and unfeasible.
 
2009-02-05 9:59:37 AM  

cheshirecatsmileyface: I don't think blacks should be held to a lesser standard, but I dislike the level of...I don't know, disregard? scorn? that these threads seem to produce.


Fark hates everything and everyone. Have you ever popped into a religion thread?

I'm black. I went to a very competitive college prep private school and I did well. But you can be damned sure that I was always nervous about having to be the best student possible, because I was a black kid in a sea of white kids and the bar gets set very high. I still encounter racism, even amongst my own "friends" and yeah, you do always wonder if you get an answer wrong, will people hold it against you more than they would somebody else? In fact, one of my very good white friends told me I was the whitest black kid she knew because I was smart. You have no idea how that feels.

I don't think there's a real solution. Clearly different standards aren't a solution. But telling people to just "get over it" when you don't realize how recently the world has changed (hell, just 40 years ago it was illegal to have an interracial marriage in 16 states) is well...ineffective.

Personally, I think what black students need more from both their own community AND the white community is encouragement. I hope Barack provides some of that.


I'm not saying racism doesn't still exist, and I'm not saying, "get over it," (and I don't know if that was directed at me or at people in these threads in general) but I am questioning whether these gentlemen in the article should be held to a different standard when it comes to testing. That kind of thing, IMO, is akin to treating the symptom of a disease and not treating the cause itself.
 
2009-02-05 9:59:43 AM  
Standardized tests for promotions are dumb anyway.
 
2009-02-05 10:01:28 AM  

MasterThief: cheshirecatsmileyface: The studies revealed that blacks to seem to have an inherent inferiority complex that tends to come out when they are under pressure. After being told for hundreds of year that they are an inferior race, well...it's sort of hard to shake that view.


Attractive and successful African-American please.


Thank You. Saying that ALL black people have a problem with performing task is as much as a stereotype as saying that all Jewish people are greedy and all Asian people are good with math. Well it does not seem fair that some people should get a break because they don't want to study as hard or put the time in to pass the promotion test. When I begged my calculus professor to let me do extra credit on the final cause I didn't do that well in it because I was taking 15 credits, working a full time job and in the process of getting married he told me to retake the class. So I did, and passed and that's what these people need to do if they really deserve these promotions. Not sue over some bogus race factor.
 
2009-02-05 10:01:50 AM  

EatHam: Standardized tests for promotions are dumb anyway.


Dumb, but cheap. Good tests are expensive.
 
2009-02-05 10:06:37 AM  

Nabb1:

I'm not saying racism doesn't still exist, and I'm not saying, "get over it," (and I don't know if that was directed at me or at people in these threads in general) but I am questioning whether these gentlemen in the article should be held to a different standard when it comes to testing. That kind of thing, IMO, is akin to treating the symptom of a disease and not treating the cause itself.



And we are in agreement.


Furthermore, for everyone else, I merely explained what studies have shown. The headline mentions studies show black people do worse on exams, I explained what some studies have done and what the results were. So don't biatch at me if you don't agree--take it up with the scientists who performed the studies in the first place.
 
2009-02-05 10:12:09 AM  
80% of the officer promotion is based on a 100 point test. They shouldn't have made that a black thang and instead tried to get a higher percentage of the officer promotion based on experience, leadership, etc.

Now that they've done this, it's just a matter of time before Quanell steps in and the circus begins.
 
2009-02-05 10:12:57 AM  
C. Walk to the subway at Columbus Circle and take the "A" Train uptown."
 
2009-02-05 10:13:21 AM  

Nabb1: but I am questioning whether these gentlemen in the article should be held to a different standard when it comes to testing.


Is it really a different standard though? You are basically asking more of the African American (learn how to take the test & do well on the test) when you are asking the white person to just do well.
 
2009-02-05 10:15:20 AM  

UberDave: 80% of the officer promotion is based on a 100 point test.


See, that's the real problem. Instead of 80%, they should make it 0%, and make 100% of it merit based.
 
2009-02-05 10:16:11 AM  

Ryan2065: Is it really a different standard though? You are basically asking more of the African American (learn how to take the test & do well on the test) when you are asking the white person to just do well.


So what? The standard is the standard. It's probably harder for a woman to carry a firehose up stairs too, but she still has to, fires do not care.
 
2009-02-05 10:19:22 AM  

EatHam: So what? The standard is the standard. It's probably harder for a woman to carry a firehose up stairs too, but she still has to, fires do not care.


How is that the same? Someone who can't carry a hose is going to make a poor firefighter but how would someone who can't do well on standardized tests going to make a poor firefighter? Is there a test they have to pass at the scene before they are allowed in the building or something?
 
2009-02-05 10:20:19 AM  

EatHam: Ryan2065: Is it really a different standard though? You are basically asking more of the African American (learn how to take the test & do well on the test) when you are asking the white person to just do well.

So what? The standard is the standard. It's probably harder for a woman to carry a firehose up stairs too, but she still has to, fires do not care.


Meh, this is a test for positions above the rank of captain. I do a lot of work with fire departments, and you should see some of the lardasses in charge. They aren't hauling any hoses anywhere anytime soon. Other than that, I am in complete agreement with you.
 
2009-02-05 10:21:42 AM  

Ryan2065: How is that the same? Someone who can't carry a hose is going to make a poor firefighter but how would someone who can't do well on standardized tests going to make a poor firefighter? Is there a test they have to pass at the scene before they are allowed in the building or something?


I already said that the tests are dumb. With that said, there does need to be some set of standards met, and those standards can not discriminate. The job of captain, for example, is not easier for a female, or black person. They must do the same job as anyone else, so the standards must be identical.
 
2009-02-05 10:25:12 AM  

Nabb1: EatHam: Ryan2065: Is it really a different standard though? You are basically asking more of the African American (learn how to take the test & do well on the test) when you are asking the white person to just do well.

So what? The standard is the standard. It's probably harder for a woman to carry a firehose up stairs too, but she still has to, fires do not care.

Meh, this is a test for positions above the rank of captain. I do a lot of work with fire departments, and you should see some of the lardasses in charge. They aren't hauling any hoses anywhere anytime soon. Other than that, I am in complete agreement with you.


Which means that they would spend most of their time doing paperwork and management type activities which the city of Houston has found that can best be tested by WRITTEN test! Holy shiat who would have guessed that people that are promoted into jobs that require massive amounts of paperwork would need to be able to take a test that is based in reading and writing comprehension.
 
2009-02-05 10:27:37 AM  

EatHam: Ryan2065: How is that the same? Someone who can't carry a hose is going to make a poor firefighter but how would someone who can't do well on standardized tests going to make a poor firefighter? Is there a test they have to pass at the scene before they are allowed in the building or something?

I already said that the tests are dumb. With that said, there does need to be some set of standards met, and those standards can not discriminate. The job of captain, for example, is not easier for a female, or black person. They must do the same job as anyone else, so the standards must be identical.


I agree there should be some sort of standard met but just because everyone has to do the same test doesn't mean it is fair for everyone. If a test is meant to measure your knowledge and you fail simply because you don't do well with that format of test then it is not fair to you. If a group of people are obviously bad at that format of test then it is the fault of the test, not the candidates trying to take the test. In this case, the format of the test should be changed so it is fair to all candidates.
 
2009-02-05 10:27:38 AM  

cheshirecatsmileyface: I don't think there's a real solution. Clearly different standards aren't a solution. But telling people to just "get over it" when you don't realize how recently the world has changed (hell, just 40 years ago it was illegal to have an interracial marriage in 16 states) is well...ineffective.


Exactly. I don't think different standards are helpful, either. But you're exactly right that most white people's response to this sort of situation is dismissive and snarky.

I believe it's because of the quite poor job we've done teaching about the civil rights era, usually either absent or through videos, that don't really give the white kids a good idea of how vicious and awful that period was, or how recent it was. And so they don't take it seriously. The black people who lived through it are certainly scarred, and they are the grandparents of the kids in the classroom. They know some of it. And due to the lack of discussion in the classroom and the snarky behavior of some white people, the black kids still think there's some lingering racism.
 
2009-02-05 10:30:12 AM  

LaZBoy82: Which means that they would spend most of their time doing paperwork and management type activities which the city of Houston has found that can best be tested by WRITTEN test! Holy shiat who would have guessed that people that are promoted into jobs that require massive amounts of paperwork would need to be able to take a test that is based in reading and writing comprehension.


How does failing a multiple choice test show I can't write an essay?
 
2009-02-05 10:32:00 AM  

Ryan2065: I agree there should be some sort of standard met but just because everyone has to do the same test doesn't mean it is fair for everyone.


It's fair to all persons applying for the job of fire chief.
 
2009-02-05 10:32:21 AM  
Ryan2065: How does failing a multiple choice test show I can't write an essay?

Sure, genius, switch that test from multiple choice to essay and then observe how bad the current shiat storm becomes.
 
2009-02-05 10:42:35 AM  
Barack Obama did not need tests dumbed down for him. Excuses are like assholes.
 
2009-02-05 10:42:55 AM  
so are they smarter or dumber than whitey? people need to know.
 
2009-02-05 10:44:16 AM  

sepuku2: Ryan2065: How does failing a multiple choice test show I can't write an essay?

Sure, genius, switch that test from multiple choice to essay and then observe how bad the current shiat storm becomes.


Maybe they should test each subject's level of clairvoyance in order to tell if they will be a good fire chief. I'm sure that everyone regardless of race is equally good at being a psychic. Except the Jamaicans, I think there above the bar.
 
2009-02-05 10:44:30 AM  
Everytime the crutch is waved an angel gets its wings
 
2009-02-05 10:44:49 AM  
Isn't that racist?
 
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