What's the matter with New Haven? | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What's the matter with New Haven?

Posted By on Sat, Jul 11, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Remember Lani Guinier? Read her op-ed in the NY Times this morning and, if you have an open mind, prepare yourself to maybe take a new look at the infamous New Haven firefighters case that, to conservatives, was a matter of racial politics run amok.

It's more a matter of poor management run amok. Hardly any fire department decides promotions any longer with criteria weighted heavily to a standardized test drawn from texts that pose questions that might not even apply to the city in question. Do memorization skills test leadership capacity? Of course not. But the New Haven testing regimen is a product of a system that favors relatives -- white relatives -- of the white guys who have long dominated the department. There's a ray of hope, the piece concludes.

Fortunately the court left room for municipalities to develop alternative assessments to promote people with the skills needed to advance public safety in a diverse citizenry. Indeed, most American fire departments have already rejected written tests in favor of “assessment centers” that simulate on-the-job challenges and focus on problem-solving in the relevant context. In so doing, city officials demonstrate that their decisions are wiser than the Supreme Court’s.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Latest Obamacare repeal bill would hit Arkansas treasury hard

    The latest effort to undo Obamacare, the Graham-Cassidy legislation, would shift federal support for health coverage to a block grant system to the states. Bad news for Arkansas.
    • Sep 18, 2017

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation