The government of South Korea has decided that increased computer
literacy is crucial to the continued growth of Korea’s economy. As a
result, Korea now requires every student to take computer science
courses in school. In less than a decade, South Korea will have the
highest level of computer literacy of any country in the world.
South Korea’s 46.5 million citizens live in a country that is
slightly larger than the state of Indiana. Its government understands
that to compete with the rest of the world, it must invest in the
intellectual capability of all of its people. In the United States,
however, we are moving in the opposite direction.
On Monday, Federal District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter said that
National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) may no longer use
standardized test scores to prevent students with minimal academic
qualifications from receiving college sports scholarships. The judge
based his decision on statistics that show that blacks earn lower scores
on standardized tests.
The judge said that since some blacks don’t do as well as whites on
standardized tests, standardized tests discriminate against blacks. The
judge’s decision implies that the NCAA purposefully chose a college
admission standard that would make it harder for blacks to get sports
scholarships. The judge’s decision represents a clear and present danger
to everything that America stands for.
A few years ago, the NCAA instituted Proposition 16 to stop
unscrupulous schools from giving sports scholarships to kids who could
not do college level work. Prop 16 says that if you want to play college
sports, you must have a 2.5 GPA and a minimum Scholastic Aptitude Test
(SAT) score of 820. If you don’t meet these standards, you can still
enter college, but you have to prove that you can do college work before
you are eligible to participate in college sports.
It is indeed ironic that Judge Buckwalter issued his decision the
same week that the NCAA’s “March Madness” basketball tourney started.
Black athletes who have passed Prop 16 scrutiny dominate the 64 teams in
this national tournament.
Those who oppose Prop 16 say that standardized tests are racially
They point to statistics that show how some Black and Latino kids with
low board scores have excelled in college. What they don’t mention are
the millions of children of all races who flunk out because they were
not prepared for college work. This is an educational problem, not a
race problem. What upsets me is that instead of trying to solve this
problem, Judge Buckwalter and his friends want to sweep it under the rug
with false charges of racism.
Standardized tests measure performance as objectively as possible. If
a child doesn’t do well in French class, do you prevent the school from
giving the child a French test? If a child is slow, can’t jump very high
and is uncoordinated, do you prevent a school from having sports teams
with children who are fast, jump high and have great coordination?
If you can stop colleges from using standardized tests to create a
floor for college admissions, how long will it be before some judge
outlaws tests and grades? If Judge Buckwalter’s decision is not
reversed on appeal, that’s exactly where we will end.
What’s so sad about the judge’s decision is that he falls into the
liberal trap of lumping all blacks into the same pot. If you look at the
educational background and income of test taker families, it turns out
that poverty is a much better predictor of failure on standardized tests
than skin color.
Poor kids don’t do well on standardized tests. So let’s fight
poverty, not lower the bar. Kids who attend substandard government
schools do poorly on standardized tests. So let’s improve or close down
these schools, not lower the bar. Kids who never know their fathers
don’t do as well as kids who grow up in a two parent home. So let’s
force men to take care of the kids they spawn, not lower the bar. Kids
who are raised in families that believe they are victims do worse on
standardized tests. So let’s root out the “victim’s culture” in America,
not lower the bar.
I can’t wait until some liberal sues to stop the NCAA basketball
tournament because basketball games discriminate against people who are
nearsighted, short and can’t jump. If you think that is impossible,
In the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, they no longer allow you
to keep score or to declare a winner in 10-year-old and younger soccer
Tournaments for this age group award no winner’s trophies. All of the
children receive the same medal that used to be reserved for winners.
Apparently liberals feel that learning that some kids are faster or
smarter is not good for children. Guess what? That’s the real world. But
then, no one ever accused liberals of even knowing how to spell the
words “real world.”
Let’s not tell our children that they can get into college by doing
poorly on standardized tests. Let’s tell them that they are going to
have to work as hard on doing well on standardized tests as they work on
their jump shot. Instead of lowering the bar to the ground, let’s raise
it higher. If South Korea can require all of its children to learn
English and computer science, we should match them and require even
Judge Buckwalter wants to lead America on a “race to the bottom.” We
must not allow him to succeed.