Tuesday, August 27, 2013

College exit exams as siege engines for the storming of the Cathedral

Don't look now, but there are more than a couple cracks in one of the Cathedral's foundational pillars, and some of them have progressed well beyond the hair line stage:
Next spring, seniors at about 200 U.S. colleges will take a new test [CLA+] that could prove more important to their future than final exams: an SAT-like assessment that aims to cut through grade-point averages and judge students' real value to employers.
The test is administered on a 1600-point scale, a la the old SAT scoring system, because the public is familiar with it. Parenthetically, and purely speculatively, I suspect the test's non-profit creator, The Council for Aid to Education, chose not to employ a 2400-point scale to match the current SAT scoring system as a means of signalling that this test should be taken more seriously than the softer new SAT is and should instead be treated like the old SAT was.

When everyone starts noticing that Harvard students, scoring around 2100 on the SAT in their junior and senior years of high school, consistently score around 1400 on the CLA+ as seniors in college, while state university students who scored 1500 going in regularly score 1000 going out, the gig is going to be up: Top universities don't churn out the smartest students because of the educational environments the students are exposed to at said universities, they churn out the smartest students because they admit the smartest students to begin with. It's an enormously costly, wasteful, anti-natal signalling charade, and the combination of both pre- and post-testing has the potential to go a long way in exposing it as such.

Harvard, Princeton, and Yale aren't shelling out the $35 for their graduates to take set for the test upon graduation:
The CLA + will be open to anyone—whether they are graduating from a four-year university or have taken just a series of MOOCs—and students will be allowed to show their scores to prospective employees. The test costs $35, but most schools are picking up the fee. Among schools that will use CLA + are the University of Texas system, Flagler College in Florida and Marshall University in West Virginia.
Too much strain on the Ivies' endowments, surely. Better to use those war chests to set the Council for Aid to Education up for a Griggs v. Duke Power fall to shutter the whole approach before it is able to shed too much of the light of truth on all those self-serving pretty egalitarian lies. Indeed, the WSJ article reports on some people in industry who perspicaciously see this as a quicker, cheaper, and more reliable proxy for IQ testing (which they'd love to employ ubiquitously but know that doing so is fraught with all kinds of legal peril) than the current stew of collegiate resumes and GPAs is:
HNTB Corp., a national architectural firm with 3,600 employees, see value in new tools such as the CLA +, said Michael Sweeney, a senior vice president. Even students with top grades from good schools may not "be able to write well or make an argument," he said. "I think at some point everybody has been fooled by good grades or a good resume."
While members of the Dark Enlightenment like to ridicule educational romanticism for being the reality-denying the monstrosity that it is, there are surely improvements to be made around the margins, not to mention optimal and sub-optimal methods of delivering material to students hoping to internalize it. In other words, pedagogy isn't pure junk.

This post-graduate testing should provide a legitimate, broad-based measure of how schools are doing. If Onett U is taking in 1500s and putting out 1100s, Twoson taking in 1800s and putting out 1200s, and Threed taking in 1500s and putting out 800s, we have reason to suspect that Onett is doing something right, Twoson is run of the mill, and Threed is infested with zombies. Prior to post-graduation testing, the consensus in this hypothetical scenario would be that Twoson is the 'best' school in Eagleland, when coupling a little empiricism with HBD-realism reveals that in fact Onett is employing the most epistemological approach.


Jokah Macpherson said...

Threed is infested with zombies, at least until you defeat the Boogie Tent.

I wondered the same thing when I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal. Why can't a kid take the test straight out of high school and forego the $100k of student debt? I'm not saying college is without merit, but is it really worth the price tag?

Anonymous said...

Haha, thanks for the nostalgia Jokah.

The Griggs decision will be de facto pushed aside as too many striving immigrants with too little racial guilt demand it. SWPL's will see their precious colleges dwindle.

Audacious Epigone said...

A couple bottle rockets should do the trick.


I wondered the same. The article doesn't make clear what the requirements are to sit for the CLA+, if any, but "the test will be open to anyone [even if they] have taken just a series of MOOCs" makes it sound like it can be done without any educational prerequisites.

Anonymous said...

It's an enormously costly, wasteful, anti-natal signalling charade,

Some fraction of Ivy league grads are traditional types with larger families.

Given the extreme pressure there to be darwinian losers, what does that tells us about the fitness of those who emerge with their urge to procreate at a higher than average level?

Anonymous said...

The Griggs decision will be pushed aside because of the striving immigrants? Most of the immigrants this country gets will be Latin American and less likely to do any better on the CLA + than they do on the SAT. More likely, when the expected distribution of scores (Asian > White > Hispanic > African-American) is noted, the tests will be deemed racist and then ignored.

Anonymous said...

That would be the old handicap principle at work.College only proves fitness , it does not create it.

Anonymous said...

Don't Microsoft, Google,...work around the IQ test restrictions?

Kent Gatewood

Anonymous said...

Do not forget that the real reasons behind the race racket are protectionist. Northern cities with unions don't want competition with Southern bubbas who will work cheap. Making up civil rights grievances and red tape and the need to pay off the hustlers is to protect the Eastern Establishment states from their ancient rivals.

Tech companies on the west coast are big and strong enough to ignore much of what the Yanks demand. It's all about position and power, and who/whom, and the blacks have always just been a tool, a pawn on the board.

Eventually even the South will slip through as America becomes a more tribalistic, low trust atheist prole trash nation, and any recovery would happen after a formal breakup of the dump.

Al Fin said...

If these after-college achievement tests can facilitate a clean bypass of the politically correct "Cathedralesque" academic lobotomy racquet, then great.

I vote for a new upper level GED type of test, a "college equivalency exam" for those who have more important things to do with their time than to binge, fornicate, and get indoctrinated with dysfunctional ideologies.

There are more than enough perpetually incompetent psychological neotenates, soaking in perpetual adolescence.

$1 trillion in student loan debt and rising, with virtually nothing to show for it. Sure, in the Obama age $1 trillion is just chump change. But combined with all the other things that "just can't go on," when the bubble bursts, it's gotta hoit.

AS said...

Holy hell an Earthbound reference. I would have never believed it, but Is it possible that HBDers have souls?

kurt9 said...

Would not the exam that engineers take to get a PE, as well as the bar exam for lawyers and various certifications for doctors be considered examples of post-education competency testing?

silly girl said...

I was reading Sailer's blog a discussion that noted that top business school don't even allow graduates to report their grades or class rank. If a school won't allow graduates to report the college's own assessment of them, they likely won't be wanting them to use other people's assessments either.

Anonymous said...

Sailer was writing about M.B.A. programs at top business schools. At least as currently designed, the CLA+ would be written by people completing undergraduate degrees.