What many people do not know is that the use of standardized tests has its origins in the Eugenics movement, where basic tenets assert that certain races are inferior to others biologically and intellectually.
Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union
A MUST read by Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis. Standardized testing isn’t about improving education, it’s a way for the system to sort out which kids are meant to succeed and which are destined failure.
Admissions essays, and essentially the modern college application process, were developed to keep “undesirables” (Jews) who had aced these standardized tests out of Ivy League schools in the early-to-mid 20th century.
"In 1905, Harvard College adopted the College Entrance Examination Board tests as the principal basis for admission, which meant that virtually any academically gifted high-school senior who could afford a private college had a straightforward shot at attending. By 1908, the freshman class was seven per cent Jewish, nine per cent Catholic, and forty-five per cent from public schools…
The enrollment of Jews began to rise dramatically. By 1922, they made up more than a fifth of Harvard’s freshman class. The administration and alumni were up in arms. Jews were thought to be sickly and grasping, grade-grubbing and insular. They displaced the sons of wealthy Wasp alumni, which did not bode well for fund-raising. A. Lawrence Lowell, Harvard’s president in the nineteen-twenties, stated flatly that too many Jews would destroy the school: ‘The summer hotel that is ruined by admitting Jews meets its fate … because they drive away the Gentiles, and then after the Gentiles have left, they leave also.’
…Finally, Lowell—and his counterparts at Yale and Princeton—realized that if a definition of merit based on academic prowess was leading to the wrong kind of student, the solution was to change the definition of merit.
The admissions office at Harvard became much more interested in the details of an applicant’s personal life. Lowell told his admissions officers to elicit information about the ‘character’ of candidates from’ persons who know the applicants well,’ and so the letter of reference became mandatory. Harvard started asking applicants to provide a photograph. Candidates had to write personal essays, demonstrating their aptitude for leadership, and list their extracurricular activities.’ Starting in the fall of 1922,’ Karabel writes, ‘applicants were required to answer questions on “Race and Color,” “Religious Preference,” “Maiden Name of Mother,” “Birthplace of Father,” and “What change, if any, has been made since birth in your own name or that of your father? (Explain fully).”’
At Princeton, emissaries were sent to the major boarding schools, with instructions to rate potential candidates on a scale of 1 to 4, where 1 was ‘very desirable and apparently exceptional material from every point of view’ and 4 was ‘undesirable from the point of view of character, and, therefore, to be excluded no matter what the results of the entrance examinations might be.’ The personal interview became a key component of admissions in order, Karabel writes, ‘to ensure that “undesirables” were identified and to assess important but subtle indicators of background and breeding such as speech, dress, deportment and physical appearance.’ By 1933, the end of Lowell’s term, the percentage of Jews at Harvard was back down to fifteen per cent.
If this new admissions system seems familiar, that’s because it is essentially the same system that the Ivy League uses to this day. According to Karabel, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton didn’t abandon the elevation of character once the Jewish crisis passed. They institutionalized it.”
From "Getting In" by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker.
This weekend I did a stupid and terrible thing. For a full explanation, all you have to do is search for “gunnerkrigg” right here on Tumblr to see that I essentially threw away 8 years or so of work by being an idiot on Twitter. It’s better to leave the description of events to external sources,…
All right, haz-mat suit on, time to lay things out with tongs.
In Man of Steel, Lois Lane admonished male characters in one scene to cease metaphorically measuring their penises, to which Tom there said that hers was likely the bigger one anyway — this being a colloquialism for simultaneously diminishing a male party and praising a female.
His comment further mocked the male characters by being a deliberately juvenile insult — the kind that, by its use in context, implies the ones being insulted would themselves use it, which itself is another layer of insult.
So, to belabor the point: For one line of one scene of one movie, Tom Siddell praised a female character, agreed with the tone of her mockery, and continued said mockery in her favor.
And for this, he was set upon immediately for alleged transphobia.
Why? Because Internet, that’s why, and because Tumblr especially.
I swear, this place’s mission statement should be “Thousands of years of human insensitivity overcorrected-for as fast as fingers can type.”
Or possibly “Bullies bullying the vapors of bullying without forethought or sensitivity to context.”
Or possibly “But [target] said [thing]! [target] was asking for it!”
And so, one of the most valuable additions to comics to come out of the Internet — a man recently evicted from his home, a man for whom his readers are his reason to live, a man already acutely aware of the injustices of society — seriously contemplated hanging himself.
You goddamn bullies.
You god-damned bullies.
Understand: you serve no one, least of all yourselves, by engaging in behavior like that in the way you’ve done it.
I’ve seriously never been more fucking disgusted with Tumblr.
you guys full disclosure i am tumbling so much tonight because i turn my thesis in on friday and i am freaking out
but then we’re going on a [BRO]AD TRIP and it’s going to be amazing
it’s this great story about anxiety and self-loathing except you have to live it so it’s not actually all that entertaining