Friday, June 12, 2009

Sotomayor....testing, or testing mettle?

Check this out from Newsweek; "Why Sotomayor isn't an affirmative action fairy" and "...has never needed special treatment."

Then check this out from CNN
: "Sotomayor says she was perfect affirmative action baby." (i.e. 'special treatment') That statement alone doesn't really bother me. Some of us understand that there might have been bias years ago and that some people would have only got where they are through affirmative action and that many of those people deserve to be where they are, no doubt about it. But, then, Sotomayor added this "My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn't able to succeed at those institutions."

Yes, she succeeded, and quite well. She adds "She said that using "traditional numbers" from test scores, "it would have been highly questionable if I would have been accepted." Wouldn't you think test scores are test scores and you might want to know the answers to be best equipped to achieve your goal, what are 'untraditional numbers'?

Help me out here. Why can't an apparently poor Hispanic, supposedly highly intelligent woman not achieve the same test scores? "traditional numbers?"

z

29 comments:

Ducky's here said...

First, I have to give her credit for being forthright, unlike Clarence Thomas who has never come to grips with the issue.

I don't believe we can out of hand assume that standardized tests in some subject matter don't test areas that are somewhat more prominent in the educational backgrounds of different socio economic classes.

Did she get the same opportunity in the Bronx as someone growing up in an elite wealthy neighborhood? Probably not and it could make a difference.

I still see no evidence that she is not an intelligent thoughtful jurist.

beamish said...

Ducky,

Clarence Thomas wrote in his autobiography that he felt he was admitted to Yale Law School via affirmative action despite passing the admissions test, and purposefully enrolled in difficult classes (and succeeded in them) to prove that he belonged there. It's obvious he didn't need affirmative action lowering standards for him, and accounts that law firms wouldn't hire him and didn't take his Juris Doctor degree from Yale seriously because of the institutional conception that he was given an affirmative action pass rather than earning his grades - i.e. "blacks can't pass Yale Law School without lowering the standards." There is no indication that grading standards were changed for Thomas' benefit.

Quite the opposite of "never coming to grips with the issue" of affirmative action. Justice Thomas faults the built-in assumptions of academic admissions based on race, and speaks out against affirmative action often.

As for Sotomayor, she didn't test high enough to justify even considering her for admission to Princeton Law School. They let her in anyway, and she did well when she got there. Did Princeton water down the curriculum standards for her? Who knows?

That is what affirmative action does. It creates and perpetuates the stigma that every one who has been granted opportunities by it are inherently or racially inferior.

It is sugar-coated racism, born of a time when leftists stopped printing swastikas on their pamphlets and took a more subtle tact.

Ducky's here said...

Beamish, Clarence Thomas is a bitter little man who thinks that affirmative action is the reason he is labeled mediocre. He simply can't accept the fact that he is mediocre.

However, if you accept a reasonable theory of stare decisis he is your worst nightmare, an activist judge. And worse, one who rules out of bitterness and anger, qualities that I absolutely do not see in Sotomayor.

beamish said...

Ducky,

On the contrary, it is you that can not accept the fact that Clarence Thomas isn't a leftist like "niggaz are s'posed to be."

Go ahead. Call him "Uncle Tom" as you have been prone to do in the past.

As far as bitterness and anger, I've never heard Clarence Thomas claim to be wiser than white people on account of his race, nor has anyone ever reported that Thomas interrupts trial lawyers repeatedly to chastise them with impertinent haranguing questions and meandering soliloquies, as we have with Sotomayor.

When pressed for what Sotomayor's qualifications to be a lifetime Supreme Court justice are, the first thing we hear is "She'll be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice." The second thing we hear is "she's been a judge before."

Never mind that over half of her rulings have been overturned in higher courts on Constitutional or procedural grounds.

She admits she didn't deserve to attend Princeton, and her career as a judge seems marked with an inability to uphold the Constitution or consistently adhere to judicial procedures.

These attributes certainly endear her to the intellect-abhorring left, but don't seem to inspire confidence that she's right for the job.

Z said...

Ducky. This is my blog.

ONE MORE WORD against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and I PROMISE you're deleted.
I didn't build the blog to have you insult and demean people I have total and utter respect for.

I'm only leaving these so Beamish can have fun swatting you around.

Oh, as for educational backgrounds/standardized tests and educational backgrounds...? 2 + 2 = 4, The apple falls because of gravity, Norman Thomas is an avowed socialist, The French Revolution happened in France....etc etc etc.....whether you were raised poor or rich.

Do it again with Judge Thomas, you're gone. Thanks.

Chuck said...

I think the issue is more what they did with their chance. Thomas has become a good jurist and, unlike Sotomayor, does not use his race as a factor in his decisions.

If Duck wants to talk mediocrity, let's compare. One of the most common assessments of Sotomayor is that she is not a very bright or capable jurist.

IMHO using AA in school is merely racist and unfair, using it on the SCOTUS is disastrous and has the potential to cause long term damage.

Z said...

Chuck, excellent point.
In the schools...no way.
I think that's the basic point/bottom line I was trying to get at but wasn't able to articulate when I was questioning the testing aspect; poor, rich..the right answer is the right answer.
The guy with the right answers wins. Period. No matter WHAT color he is.

Or that SHOULD be the way.

FJ said...

All standardized tests are screened for cultural, socio-economic and racial bias and specific questions removed that exhibit such bias. If Sonia doesn't test well, it's because her IQ is lower than the typical Princeton/Yale graduate. That doesn't mean she's stupid, it just means that were she a white male she would have been rejected at both institutions and never given the opportunities to do what she did. The same hold's true for the "chosen one."

Z said...

FJ...'screened for bias'...?
Can you give me an example of a test screened for bias? I thought they meant something altogether different than what you're implying.

It seems to be there are facts and kids learn them.....what's the bias?

I don't think she's stupid by a LONG shot, but I think there are few people who should be 'screened for bias' more than she is as a SCOTUS Justice nominee.

Mustang said...

I realize that you asked FJ the question, but I think I can answer it … if I may.

Test items (questions) are written by a host of people with respectable resumes in many scholastic areas. Test developers create ‘standards’ for various examinations, and once these standards are approved by a board of PhDs with a wide range of scholarly expertise, testing companies hire writers to prepare test items (questions). When the testing company receives these items, they send them to review boards composed of specialists within such fields as math, science, history, geography, sociology, psychology, economics, philosophy, and law. Once the specialist board accepts these items, they go into an item bank pending validation.

Upon each revision of a standardized test, the developer may select as many as ten questions from the item bank for insertion into the standardized test. At this point, the questions have no data; it is the purpose of placing them into the test to obtain that data. They call this a test bed. No one knows which questions are valid. However, during the grading process, the new questions go through an evaluation process that seeks to determine bias. For example, the test developer will determine how many students answered the question correctly. They will determine how many females answered the question correctly, compared to the number of males who provided a correct response. If only 10% of females answered correctly, as compared to 90% of males, then the question will be excluded from further use because it has a gender bias. To expand the example, the developer also wants to know whether the item has a racial or ethnic bias, which is to say that more whites and Asians answered correctly than blacks and Hispanics. Developers also look for regional biases, where test takers from one area of the country answer correctly more often than another region.

They call this “psychometric data.” Interestingly, I have never seen a test question excluded because blacks and Hispanics answered correctly more often than whites or Asians.

Thus, all questions that appear on standardized tests (excepting the test bed questions, which do not count toward the final score) contain valid testing data. Affirmative action has nothing to do with the test, or any test taker’s final score. If Sotomayor did poorly on an examination, then she achieved poor scores on examinations with valid testing data, and answered incorrectly questions that other Hispanic females answered correctly.

Affirmative action programs relate more to college or university policy. In effect, the college or university “waives” poor testing data in order to increase admissions among women, Hispanics, blacks, or among individuals from areas with predominantly Hispanic or black populations. In Sotomayor’s case, having been raised in NYC, I doubt if there were regional issues, ethnic or racial issues, or differences in gender. This doesn’t stop her from playing the affirmative action sympathy card, however. Let’s face it … it has worked for her pretty well, so far.

Z said...

Mustang, thanks so much...great information, exactly what I'd wondered about.

Here's my next question: If a woman wants to be a geological engineer, mustn't she score well on tests which prepare her to go into this field? Do you see where I'm going? So WHAT if only 10% of females answered the question correctly?

This is just plain WRONG, don't you think? I mean, we want EQUALITY...cut this junk out and JUST GIVE THE TEST!! Teach everyone the same and expect the same responses; some a little worse, some a little better..the better ones get the better grade.

Mustang, we didn't have this when we were kids, did we?

Mustang said...

No, we didn’t Z. We had, rather, women and male minorities who went to law school because they scored high on the LSAT, were competitively enrolled in law school, graduated after undergoing the same grueling courses, and competitively and successfully applied to law firms. We also had women and other minorities who stood on their own two feet through medical school, and other health professions, engineering schools, and who made their own way in chemistry, aerospace technologies, and hundreds of other areas. There was no reason to lower standards in order to accommodate people who should never go into those fields. But that was then.

Today, we have people getting into college on racial/ethnic waivers, who are earning degrees even though they plagiarize the work of other people. Have you ever wondered why so many women, Hispanic, and black males have PhDs in education? Hint: it’s a soft discipline … all you have to do is pay your money, show up for class, and readily accept socialist education theory.

Have you ever noticed how many non-board certified surgeons and other specialists, dentists, attorneys, and CPAs there are? Do you ever wonder why these people can pass the bar, but cannot achieve board certification? What you don’t know about the attorney you hired to represent you is how many times they had to take the bar examination before finally passing it.

So we’ve lowered the bar in order to accommodate an increase of minorities in to scholarly professions. This is not a big deal, right? Until you learn that your heart or brain surgeon finished last in his or her class. So okay, you die on the operating room table … but a least your surgeon feels good about him or herself.

Z said...

Mustang, fabulous...and your last sentence perfectly sums it up. SELF ESTEEM. at least they got into their position!!
Scary, isn't it....I didn't realize you COULD practice without board certification!?

Ducky's here said...

So we’ve lowered the bar in order to accommodate an increase of minorities in to scholarly professions.

----------------

Fact not in evidence. You have absolutely no proof anything's been lowered.

Ducky's here said...

Thomas has become a good jurist and, unlike Sotomayor, does not use his race as a factor in his decisions.

---------------

Other than your own personal bias why do you call Thomas a good jurist. Do you have some outstanding opinions that he's written that you wish to share?

He had been on the Federal bench a very short time before his SCOTUS nomination so that isn't going to be much of a source. He's famous for never asking questions during cases and he rarely writes the lead opinion.

What do you base your opinion on?

Also, do you honestly believe that a person's background can have no effect on their reasoning on the bench? Pretty far fetched.

RightKlik said...

Ahh... the soft bigotry of lowered expectations. We were going to work on that problem, but then came 9-11.

beamish said...

Ducky,

Forgive my rude insistence in not lowering the standards of this discussion out of the realm of rational discourse so that nose-picking leftist droolers such as yourself can follow along.

You're making the charge that Clarence Thomas' written opinions on the Supreme Court are not well reasoned. Logically the onus is upon you to make the case for that. Onus is in the "o" section of the dictionary.

Take one or any of Thomas' rulings and make your case.

Ducky's here said...

You're making the charge that Clarence Thomas' written opinions on the Supreme Court are not well reasoned

-------------------

No, I'm clearly NOT saying that. I'm asking his fans to examine one of his rulings and give me a sense of why they think he's a great jurist.

I assume you are aware that he has almost never written the majority opinion in a major case but let me know what you think of his jurisprudence.

My guess is you know next to nothing about him as a jurist.

Z said...

"Take one or any of Thomas' rulings and make your case."

Ducky...Beamish asked you first.
But, you ignored it.

again

Z said...

by the way, I'd never call Thomas a brilliant jurist; I don't know if he is or isn't.
I'd say he's honest, constitution-driven, and has incredible integrity. I'll settle for that.

And, a guy who HAND WRITES a note thanking me for mine after having read his book, apologizing for how HORRIBLY your Biden and Metzenbaum lied to him and skewered him...stands pretty tall in my book.
Dignity, kindness, respect and class, Ducky..they go a long way.

beamish said...

Ducky,

beamish:You're making the charge that Clarence Thomas' written opinions on the Supreme Court are not well reasoned

Ducky:I'm clearly NOT saying that. I'm asking his fans to examine one of his rulings and give me a sense of why they think he's a great jurist.

My extensive experience with the fact that leftists can't do logic any more that a box of baking soda can fly an airplane predicted your response would be less than non-intellectual if the terms of the discourse were held to their proper standard.

Let me rephrase for the benefit of morons.

Ducky thinks Clarence Thomas is a "mediocre jurist" because?

Ducky thinks Clarence Thomas rules out of "bitterness and anger" because?

Personally, Ducky, I believe you think these things of Clarence Thomas' rulings because you're a mouth-breathing leftist idiot unfamiliar with his work.

Perhaps you have a better explanation for what you think about Clarence Thomas' rulings?

LASunsett said...

What we have here is another fine example of an avowed liberal turning the debate away from one thing and into a debate about something else.

Note how Ducky has you all on the defensive about an off-topic discussion. The post was about Sotomayer, but he now has the discussion railroaded to Thomas.

The way to handle children who deviate from the subject at hand (as well as psych patients who are in denial)is through firm redirection. Focus on the here and now and do not allow them to control the communication transaction.

The fact remains that Sotomayer has had about 60% of her cases overturned. This should be enough in any objective person's mind to exclude her from consideration. But, Ducky is not objective, nor does he pretend to be. Neither are the people who pushed a female Latina into this nomination. They cannot dispute this fact, so they turn to Thomas as a weak and faulty approach to staying alive in this debate, when they should clearly be eliminated from the competition.

(Note--Should any of you wish to make a thank you donation or contribution for this free advice, please make the check out to Orville B. Mustang. The last judgment he won from me, was upheld by Judge Sotomayer and I have decided to settle with him, out of court.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for defending me, mi pequeño pato. Why don't you stop by later on this evening for a proper thank you ...

Love, Sonia

beamish said...

LA Sunsett,

It would be a grave slander against me to stigmatize me as holding the absurd belief that leftists are actually capable of rational thought. I do not believe there exists any leftists capable of rational thought for the same reason mathematics can not produce four-sided triangles.

While your advice is genuinely sound and practical, I would like to note that my willingness to entertain Ducky's sideshow venture into Clarence Thomas' jurist qualifications is merely to acquire yet another indicative example of what is immanently obvious to all unbiased observers - that leftists, without even one exception, can not defend their stated positions with anything remotely resembling intelligent thought.

That said, it is true that the subject of this thread is Sotomayor's inability to pass law school admissions exams on her own merits that Clarence Thomas breezed through on his.

Perhaps Ducky will offer up a comparison between Sotomayor's rulings and Thomas' rulings.

Unless, of course, his claim to familiarity with both is, like his claim to intellect, an easily dismissed charade.

LASunsett said...

//Perhaps Ducky will offer up a comparison between Sotomayor's rulings and Thomas' rulings.

Doubtful.

He may, however, start a discussion on how George Bush lied about WMDs or the Chinese version of the tooth fairy (and how it is related to the deity status assigned to Mao, during the Cultural Revolution).

With Ducky, we never know what we will get. Which makes him Le Canard and the subject of a lot of dinner humor down at the local pub.

LASunsett said...

Oh and one other thing to Dr. Beamish:

//It would be a grave slander against me to stigmatize me as holding the absurd belief that leftists are actually capable of rational thought. I do not believe there exists any leftists capable of rational thought for the same reason mathematics can not produce four-sided triangles.

While your advice is genuinely sound and practical, I would like to note that my willingness to entertain Ducky's sideshow venture into Clarence Thomas' jurist qualifications is merely to acquire yet another indicative example of what is immanently obvious to all unbiased observers - that leftists, without even one exception, can not defend their stated positions with anything remotely resembling intelligent thought.
//


You have performed brilliantly in your endeavor, so allow me to clarify that I did not intend to slander you by suggesting that you ever claimed liberals were capable of reasonable and/or rational thoughts/discussions.

Subsequently, since I still owe the Colonel a sizable judgment, it is my expressed desire to not enter any other court actions until I get him and my attorney paid.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

beamish said...

LA Sunsett,

Do not worry about being placed on a docket on my account. I am not litigious, as I come from the Southeastern American school of settling grievances with one's neighbors out of court known as "jumping the fence and whoopin' their ass."

Not to worry though. I didn't think you were actually implying I thought Ducky could endure long in an intellectual exchange.

Still, you must admit, pretending that he can long enough to show that he can't does provide loads of whimsy exceeded only by salting snails and watching them melt, without the ethical misgivings one might have about being cruel to invertebrates.

Z said...

Dear Sonia...you can have your little pato......feathers, lies and all :-)
And I'm not pulling your leg...even the unbroken one.


LA and Beamish...thanks for the super exchange. Did you know Le Canard in France is a left-wing satirical paper? yup.

And LA..you are so right. When the topic subjects get a little hot for the Duck and he can't quite bring himself to respond, he goes off topic.

Also, the ODDEST thing, NONE of my lefty trolls respond to the patriotc posts; Today's flag day, Memorial Day, D Day, NOTHING..ZILCH NADA RIEN

mksviews said...

"Why can't an apparently poor Hispanic, supposedly highly intelligent woman not achieve the same test scores?"

Perhaps because she is not intelligent. Perhaps that's why the token leftist here is carping on about the mediocrity of another judge.