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After we recorded and posted part 1 of this conversation last week, the news came out that the Supreme Court will hear the Harvard/University of North Carolina affirmative action admissions cases. It has been solidly demonstrated that the universities don’t just use race as a minor, tie-breaking “plus” factor, but indeed put both feet on the scale in favor of blacks and to a lesser degree Hispanics, and heavily against Asian applicants.
This makes for a perfect launching point for the second half the conversation, where we jump in exactly where we left off in part 1. Charles and Steve Sailer had just reviewed the falling crime rates in Hispanic communities, and we resume here with Charles bluntly and directly arguing that affirmative action is the 50-ton elephant in the room, and not just in college admissions. From there we turn to the subject of education, and take up the changing views of meritocracy, and suggest alternatives for preserving excellence in education in a new era where the familiar screens of the SAT and other achievement tests are being quickly abandoned. Charles and Steve have perspectives on these subjects that may surprise listeners.
And finally, we end with a short balance sheet of sorts on whether to be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the country, and, as any serious person should do, find reasons for both. (Charles, for example, finds great hope in “Ted Lasso.”)
In keeping with my habit of trying to find exit music roughly related to the topic of the episode, this week I lay in “School” by Supertramp, one of the most idiosyncratic of the 70s era prog-rock bands (they have another tune—”Fool’s Overture”—which includes an excerpt from a Churchill speech in 1940), which includes this relevant lyric:
After school is over you’re playing in the park
Don’t be out too late, don’t let it get too dark
They tell you not to hang around and learn what life’s about
And grow up just like them, won’t you let it work it out
And you’re full of doubt
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I’m part way through the podcast and am enjoying it very much. The discussion on the SATs and college admissions is very good. The drive to get rid of the SAT comes primarily from the elites who both want to elevate less smart blacks and Hispanics, but also protect their children from competition with very smart Asians.
Shouldn’t there be some push back from the middle class? Standardized testing is unpleasant (even for those who generally benefit from it) and it has taken a beating in popular media.
One other concern for the elites is that a meritocratic testing regime also elevates smart white guys from flyover country. And their loyalty to the regime is very suspect.