We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
quote]In 1914, a professor in Kansas invented the multiple-choice test. Yes, it’s less than a hundred years old.
There was an emergency on. World War I was ramping up, hundreds of thousands of new immigrants needed to be processed and educated, and factories were hungry for workers. The government had just made two years of high school mandatory, and we needed a temporary, high-efficiency way to sort students and quickly assign them to appropriate slots.
In the words of Professor Kelly, “This is a test of lower order thinking for the lower orders.”
A few years later, as President of the University of Idaho, Kelly disowned the idea, pointing out that it was an appropriate method to test only a tiny portion of what is actually taught and should be abandoned. The industrialists and the mass
educators revolted and he was fired.
The SAT, the single most important filtering device used to measure the effect of school on each individual, is based (almost without change) on Kelly’s lower-order thinking test. Still.
The reason is simple. Not because it works. No, we do it because it’s the easy and efficient way to keep the mass production of students moving forward.
Great column! I'd like to add that there is hard scientific evidence of race. For example, some races are susceptible to certain diseases while others are not: white Europeans and cystic fibrosis, Ashkenazi Jews and Tay-Sachs, and sickle cell anemia and blacks.
But if gender/sexuality/race science is ACTUALLY settled (you know, like Global Warming or Climate Change, or whatever it's called now), I'd like to consider myself a gay, black woman. They seem to get the best bennies!
Once again we at the problem of over population only from the standpoint of our ability to stave off hunger. There are many other issues with regard to too many people. Surely the folks here at MF understand that the quality of life is measured by more criteria than just hunger.
Malthus was correct - IF you add "If nothing changes, then..." This also covers the academic who predicted NTCity would be covered ten feet deep by horse droppings by 1910. Or that fossil fuels would run out by 1980.