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The Racial Reckoning and the Not So Great Reset Come for Letter Grades in College
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UC Santa Cruz

From KQED:

University of California Departments Consider Ditching Letter-Grade System for New Students

Michael Burke
Apr 26

Inside some University of California academic departments and colleges, an atypical idea is gaining steam: deemphasizing, or even ditching, the A-F grading system and rethinking how to assess student learning.

Divisions like UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry and UC Davis’s Department of Mathematics are deliberating whether to change how they grade students.

The opening of the article is overstating many of the changes currently being considered, but that’s indicative of which way the wind is blowing. When you abolish the use of admissions tests, as the University of California just did in order to let in more of The Diverse, you are immediately going to run into the problem that even more of The Diverse will flunk out.

So, what do you do?

Make it easier for them not to flunk out.

In some cases, that means awarding students a pass or no-pass grade rather than a letter grade.

Rice U. in 1980, not a particularly easy place or time, allowed some classes to be taken pass-fail. I took art history pass-fail my last semester.

UC Santa Cruz was all pass-fail in the latter 20th Century, which is one reason it never quite cashed in on its superb location in a warm water beach town with redwoods not far from Silicon Valley. Put Cal Poly San Luis Obispo an hour’s drive from Palo Alto and you’d have something, but fostering a hippie college in Santa Cruz was a waste.

Other times, it may mean allowing students to choose which assignments get the most weight in determining their grade.

Sounds like an IQ test.

At UC Irvine, Academic Senate leaders are currently evaluating long-term options around grading and have met with officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where students don’t receive letter grades for their first semester, to learn about that university’s approach.

MIT, though, just announced it is resuming use of standardized entrance tests (SAT and ACT) because they are crucial to letting in the right students who can do the rigorous work MIT demands.

MIT’s intention of trying to not flunk out high potential freshman who have trouble their first semester making the transition from high school, where they were often far smarter than their classmates, to a school where they might be average or below average makes sense. But once you get rid of SAT/ACT and thus let in, on average, lower potential students, you are often just delaying the inevitable.

Departments at other UC campuses also are experimenting with making changes to how they test students, putting less emphasis on high-stakes exams, because some students aren’t good test-takers but can demonstrate their understanding of the material in other ways.

E.g., by belonging to a groupwork group that includes at least one smart and hard-working student to do the work for them.

Some departments have begun using two-stage exams: Students take a standard individual exam before also taking a group test where they work with other students.

Like I said.

The changes are especially being considered for first-year students to give them more time to get used to the rigors of college work and learn the material over the course of a semester rather than discourage them early on with low scores on tests and other assignments.

It’s not an unreasonable concern. A lot of kids have first semester problems: colleges are tougher than most high schools. Also, homesickness is a problem, not having your mom and dad around to yell at your can hurt your diligence, freshmen notoriously put on 15 pounds eating cafeteria food, and girls often decide they want to lose their virginity when they get to college, which so often winds up being a depressing experience for them.

All the possibilities are a welcome development to Jody Greene, the associate vice provost of teaching and learning at UC Santa Cruz, who argues that letter grades aren’t necessarily indicative of whether a student has mastered the material.

The Diversity-Inclusion-Equity mindset encourages authority figures to reason that if something isn’t perfect, then it shouldn’t be done at all, which is stupid.

Often, Greene said, what grades really measure is the student’s preparation to do college work. That could stem from the availability of rigorous courses in that student’s high school, such as Advanced Placement classes.

The 2019 study by scholars belonging to the U. of California faculty senate found the single biggest factor in determining both freshman and four year academic performance was entrance exam scores. But the UC Board of Regents then spit in the eye of the faculty and banned exams anyway.

A recent UC Board of Regents memo noted that a student from an under-resourced high school “may perform poorly on initial assignments.” As they learn the material over the course of the term, the student may ultimately ace the final exam yet still end up with a below average grade because of those early assignments.

Greene is among some teaching staff across UC who have long advocated for changes to grading, but the pandemic has accelerated the willingness of many faculty members to get on board with those ideas, she said. According to the regents memo, faculty sensitivity to inequities in their students’ educational experiences “was heightened” during the pandemic, ramping up efforts across UC to improve grading and assessment, though officials acknowledge there’s no consensus across the system of the best approach.

In other words, the professors think this push against grades by the bureaucrats is a bad idea.

“We will be better institutions for this,” said Greene, who is also the founding director of UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning. “The changes that were happening in higher education at a glacial pace were put on a bullet train by COVID, and as painful as the last couple of years have been, we’re now having genuine conversations about how we can better serve the students.”

When a woman bureaucrat uses the word “conversation,” you doesn’t want a conversation, she wants you to shut up and stop confusing her with your logic and data.

The shift to reconsider how best to teach and assess students was a natural one for many faculty members amid the pandemic, said Rachel Kennison, executive director of UCLA’s Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences. Once classes moved online, faculty had to think of new ways to engage students and couldn’t rely on traditional methods for assessing them, such as in-person, closed-book exams.

That was key because often, students who struggle in their first year of college to achieve high grades are discouraged and leave their majors. The problem is especially acute in STEM fields, and particularly among Black and Latino students when they take so-called weed-out classes, difficult courses like chemistry or calculus that often determine whether a student sticks with their major.

One college, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has found a system that may serve as a model for UC campuses. That university uses what Ian Waitz, MIT’s vice chancellor of undergraduate and graduate education, calls “ramp-up grading” for first-year students.

For every class MIT students take their first semester, either they receive a passing grade or the course doesn’t show up on their transcript at all. In the second semester, they either get a letter grade of A, B or C or, if they earn a D or F, the class doesn’t appear on their transcript. By year two, students receive a standard A-F grade for most classes. That system for first-year grading has been in place at MIT since 2000.

“We’re gradually getting people acclimated, and they’re calibrating themselves to what it takes to succeed with our very rigorous academics,” Waitz said. That style of grading is valuable to students, who also are going through a massive life change as they start college. It’s a difficult transition for many students who are living away from home for the first time and need time to adjust. …

MIT is a serious school. In Raj Chetty’s data, MIT bachelors’ grads (i.e., didn’t go on to grad or professional school) have the country’s highest average incomes for holders of four year degrees at around age 30. So I would look into what MIT does. But also, keep in mind that you aren’t MIT.

For one thing, MIT is serious about its admissions process, publicly endorsing entrance exams recently in the biggest single setback for the dumbing down of college admissions. Because it’s serious about admissions, it can afford

Waitz recently met with leaders of UC Irvine’s Academic Senate to discuss MIT’s strategies as Irvine weighs its options on first-year grading. A spokesperson for Irvine said in an email that the senate “is still deliberating policies and there is nothing to share at this time.”

Relying more on pass/no pass grading could be a natural transition for UC campuses after almost all of them relaxed their pass/no pass regulations during the pandemic.

What I call the Not So Great Reset: you make some improvisations because there’s a pandemic and then those obviously sub-optimal emergency measures become a precedent for doing worse stuff all the time.

Of course, some Asian UC students are using the slacking off on grades to study differential equation 17 hour per day:

Among the UC students who have benefited from pass/no pass classes is Timothy Tam Nguyen, a second-year math major at UC Irvine. Nguyen took a political science class and designated it as pass/no pass because he wasn’t confident he would get an A and wanted to focus more on classes in his major. …

Seeing how the increased availability of pass/no pass classes helped relieve student stress is among the main factors that motivated UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry to consider permanent changes to pass/no pass grading for first-year students. College leaders also believe it’s an equity issue and have noticed that students who enter college less prepared than their peers often finish their first year with lower GPAs as a result, according to the regents memo.

Majoring in chemistry at Berkeley ought to be stressful.

A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed? There’s something to be said for not holding it the first semester of freshman year, but it’s also important not to delay it so long that the poor dumb kid doesn’t have time to switch to a poly sci major or whatever.

Some critics argue that designating too many classes as pass/no pass could have negative implications for students hoping to attend graduate school, though Greene disputes that notion. She pointed out that, until 2001, UC Santa Cruz did not assign grades at all and still sent many students to graduate school.

It’s almost as if most of these ideas were tried in The Sixties … and failed. But who can remember that?

… At UC Davis, meanwhile, the Department of Mathematics has considered using “contract grading,” which allows a student to choose how to be graded. One calculus instructor at that college gives students three options, each with a different distribution of weight across different assessments to determine the student’s grade. For example, one option could give more weight to exams, and another option could give more weight to homework and class engagement.

Coming next year: the shocking revelation that having students choose among complicated ways to earn their grade has disparate impact on affirmative action admittees who, it turns, are less adept at think through the choices.

Elsewhere at Davis, an introductory biology class uses two-stage exams. After taking a traditional test, students work together in groups to solve questions that are the same or similar to the exam questions. “Students who preferred that approach said it provided an opportunity to debate and arrive at a better answer. Students also received immediate feedback on individual exam responses from peers,” states the regents memo.

Also, dumb, lazy kids can ride the coattails of smart, hardworking kids.

 
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  1. J.Ross says:

    My normal reaction to the term “group work” is that any sort of honest system would ban it completely, but recently I had an idea: what if, as part of group work (giving the kids a taste of management), specific tasks were assigned in a coherent and stuck-to schedule, so that the group work was really an agglomeration of individual assignments, and everyone had a clear idea of who did what? Who would be against that?

  2. “A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed?”

    The way we are going, when he tries to take out an appendix and instead removes the liver.

  3. Anonymous[339] • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, if you’ve been wearing masks throughout the Covid ordeal that is made from anything that’s not pure cotton, you should be checked for lung cancer every year from now on. I’m guessing you should be particularly concerned if you chose Chinese-made masks.

    The problem with plastics stuck deep in the lung tissue is it can remain inert for quite awhile, but your body may consider it an insult sooner or later, and that’s where the serious lung problems begin.

    Your body can be all good with a foreign substance, until it isn’t. Then all hell breaks loose with inflammation to beat the band. That’ll wind you up with an oxygen tank like long-time smokers enjoy.
    Without relief… cancer time.

    In any case, throw away non-cotton masks.

    https://fromthetrenchesworldreport.com/study-finds-microplastic-fibers-from-face-masks-lodged-in-human-lungs/301763

    • Thanks: Mr. Anon, Mr. Anon
    • Troll: Eric Novak
  4. And, let’s be honest here- they aren’t looking to mimic MIT’s system- they want to make all 7 years of college like MIT’s first semester- no grades until the student can legally run for President.

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
  5. Other times, it may mean allowing students to choose which assignments get the most weight in determining their grade.

    And still other times, it may just mean allowing students to choose what grade they want. See? We kept letter grades! Only better!

    Incidentally, also today (WSJ editorial) :

    Americans for Merit-Based Admissions
    Poll respondents say academic achievement matters more than race.
    https://archive.ph/LRDvl

    It’s those pesky pew people again.

    • Replies: @Badger Down
  6. Charon says:
    @J.Ross

    Like many of us, I didn’t enjoy the group work thing in college. They were already calling it “teamwork” when I was in school.

    However it did prepare us for corporate life in that it taught us how to cover for low performing team members. If we were really skillful, we learned to do it so subtly and effectively that neither our superiors nor the deadbeats themselves had any idea.

    And that’s how you get ahead in today’s USA! PS: I’ll leave out the obvious detail or two. Because I learned well.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @J.Ross
  7. A recent UC Board of Regents memo noted that a student from an under-resourced high school “may perform poorly on initial assignments.” As they learn the material over the course of the term, the student may ultimately ace the final exam yet still end up with a below average grade because of those early assignments.

    Yeah, right — show me how often this actually happens.

    The UC Regents’ memo gets it essentially backwards. Weaker students who don’t do well in early assessments typically fall further and further behind their cohort, and then bomb the final exam, or drop the class before they have to take it. They don’t suddently get their acts together and ‘ace’ it.

    Putting more emphasis on assignments spread throughout a class instead of on a final exam is called ‘continuous assessment’ in eduspeak, and its purpose is to make it easier for less talented students to put in extra effort and get respectable grades on busywork in order to cushion them from exam stress/likely poor marks there, as well as to gradually build up the knowledge/skills they’ll need on the final.

  8. EdwardM says:

    Ok, ban grades because of disparate impact. Then they will notice that the pass/fail score has a disparate impact. Then…

    • Agree: Tex
    • Replies: @TheTrumanShow
  9. Anon[237] • Disclaimer says:

    After they Baltimorize the U of C system, employers will have to start giving tests to anyone they hire with a California degree to make sure the thing isn’t a retard.

    In fact, employers may stop hiring anyone with a U of C degree just to be on the safe side.

  10. Relying more on pass/no pass grading could be a natural transition for UC campuses after almost all of them relaxed their pass/no pass regulations during the pandemic.

    This may actually be the first time I’ve encountered this “pass/no pass” terminology. Its purpose is obvious, but what do kids say? “I really need to study hard so I don’t no pass this course!” Well okay, maybe the latinos.

    The problem is especially acute in STEM fields, and particularly among Black and Latino students when they take so-called weed-out classes, difficult courses like chemistry or calculus that often determine whether a student sticks with their major.

    Left unexamined: the possibility that some students (even sacred ones!) might be better off switching majors.

    She pointed out that, until 2001, UC Santa Cruz did not assign grades at all and still sent many students to graduate school.

    Second-rate graduate schools, often. And BTW, just as most college is now like high school from 50 years ago, most graduate schools are now like colleges from 50 years ago.

    Also BTW: “mastering the material” is the sort of measure a second-rate elementary school teacher would use.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  11. keypusher says:

    “Other times, it may mean allowing students to choose which assignments get the most weight in determining their grade.”

    Sounds like an IQ test.

    If an IQ test is what it turns out to be, they’ll just let the students choose which assignments get the most weight in grading after the assignments get graded.

  12. My favorite part of MIT is all the diversity.

    All the diversity you can find from Hong Kong to Seoul!

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  13. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The UC Regents’ memo gets it essentially backwards. Weaker students who don’t do well in early assessments typically fall further and further behind their cohort, and then bomb the final exam, or drop the class before they have to take it. They don’t suddently get their acts together and ‘ace’ it.

    This. The point of early quizzes/big tests early in the semester for STEM courses is to weed out students who will bomb the big final later. They give you a hard one early but during the time period you can still drop the course and then you bomb it and withdraw. Then the course retains only the best students for it and the final grades actually mean something, because the kids remaining are the ones who do the course well and learn from it.

    I took a few such courses in college and thankfully dropped them after the first quiz/big test. Thank goodness for the English department, or I’d have no major at all!

  14. J.Ross says:

    OT Malls still exist?

  15. What does it matter? Everybody gets an A or at worst a B anyway. A B- is an F. Grow up.

    Oh, yeah. . . . And in Italy everybody gets an A. Period. Everybody.

  16. Anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    This happened in the 1960s too. In the early ’80s, and as far as I know still, UC Berkeley’s law school graded with No Pass, Pass, Honors, and High Honors. Very few people didn’t pass classes. After the first year the affirmative action crowd could just choose easier classes. Even though the “grade” names sounded vague, in fact High Honors was pretty strictly given to the top ten percent, Honors to the next 30 percent, and Pass to the other 60 percent. So the smart people got recognized, but the less smart were allowed to hide in there with the average students. I think law firms could look at the classes taken and figure things out. And if I recall correctly, there was still a rank ordering of graduating students, at least for the top level.

    As for weed-out classes, without them you get people who drop out after incurring large student loan obligations, so delaying these classes is cruel. The real solution is an end to “mismatch”: Get the less clever students into less demanding colleges, where they can major in chem and have a chance of passing. Employers know what a chem degree from a particular college means and will higher appropriately and accordingly. There are jobs out there for midwit chem majors if they can complete a degree.

  17. JimB says:

    A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed?

    Weed-out should be delayed no longer than junior year high school. If you can’t excel in AP Chemistry with a score of four or higher by sophomore year or five by junior year, then you probably shouldn’t be a chemistry major in a nationally competitive university chemistry department.

    • Replies: @LP5
  18. JimDandy says:

    I don’t see what’s so hard to understand. Nothing should be a meritocracy. Except for certain sports.

    • Replies: @gabon 45
    , @Badger Down
  19. Other times, it may mean allowing students to choose which assignments get the most weight in determining their grade. Sounds like an IQ test.

    Nah, not the way they are planning it. They mean the choosing to take place after the results of the assignments are known.

    • Replies: @Leo D
  20. When I was at Caltech, the whole first year was Pass/Fail.

    This was indeed a good idea, since it took a while to adjust to the idea that 60 % on a test might be the top grade in the class (this actually happened on my first physics quiz — I had 60 %; as a physics major, I was pretty worried — until I found that no one else in the entire freshman class had a score that high!).

    Of course, being Caltech students, we still paid attention to what grades we would have earned, where we ranked in the class, etc. No one just kicked back and relaxed.

    A broader question is what the real purpose of schooling is: Should it be primarily to measure how much the student knows at the end of a class? Or should it be a measure of how much his knowledge increased as a result of taking the class (maybe he already knew a lot about the subject but did not learn much more)? Or how hard he worked? Or how smart he is?

    Or maybe schooling should focus on simply helping students to learn as much as they are able rather than measuring the students? Or maybe helping the student to learn as much as he wants to learn or is likely to find useful?

    I just listed a half dozen different, mutually contradictory, goals. No one really thinks through what the real goal should be.

    My take, by the way, is that employers care overwhelmingly about how smart you are and how hard-working you are and, secondarily, whether you have specific knowledge useful to their job (if you don’t, but you are smart and hard-working, you can be trained).

    Aside from those issues, they do not give a damn about your overall academic knowledge.

  21. SafeNow says:

    “Ramp-up grading” – – a great idea! The concept should be applied everywhere, for example, to boot camps. The first day, after a wake-up call at 9 a.m., the new troops assemble for a full breakfast, served by the soft-spoken, polite, companionable DIs. Then, after an optional half-mile hike, you set your own pace, the (first) afternoon nap. After a buffet lunch, the shaggy-haired recruits proceed, come-as-you-are, to their “iPhone Management Skills” class…

    • LOL: Frau Katze
  22. Mr. Anon says:

    UC Santa Cruz was all pass-fail in the latter 20th Century, which is one reason it never quite cashed in on its superb location in a warm water beach town with redwoods not far from Silicon Valley. Put Cal Poly San Luis Obispo an hour’s drive from Palo Alto and you’d have something, but fostering a hippie college in Santa Cruz was a waste.

    Berkeley (UCB) grads used to deride Santa Cruz (UCSC) as “Uncle Charlie’s Summer Camp”.

    Now I guess that Berkeley is “Uncle Charlie’s Bitch”.

  23. Mr. Anon says:

    “The changes that were happening in higher education at a glacial pace were put on a bullet train by COVID, and as painful as the last couple of years have been, we’re now having genuine conversations about how we can better serve the students.”

    Clearly, this Termacrat hasn’t gotten the memo. Conversations aren’t “about” anything anymore. They’re always “around” something (around 2 hours too long, I’d say).

    • LOL: Achmed E. Newman
  24. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anonymous

    I wondered about that myself. I can see all sorts of lung problems cropping up as a result of frequent mask wearing. Of course, they’ll just ascribe it to “Long Covid”.

    • Replies: @ravencrest survivor
  25. E.g., by belonging to a groupwork group…

    How much work could a groupwork group group if a groupwork group could group work?

    …girls often decide they want to lose their virginity when they get to college, which so often winds up being a depressing experience for them.

    Boys usually decide they want to lose their virginity when they get to college, their inability to do so winding up being an equally depressing experience for them.

    However, some high school teachers now offer advanced-placement courses to help with this.

    • LOL: SafeNow
    • Replies: @Anymike
  26. @PhysicistDave

    A broader question is what the real purpose of schooling is: Should it be primarily to measure how much the student knows at the end of a class? Or should it be a measure of how much his knowledge increased as a result of taking the class (maybe he already knew a lot about the subject but did not learn much more)? Or how hard he worked? Or how smart he is?

    Or maybe schooling should focus on simply helping students to learn as much as they are able rather than measuring the students? Or maybe helping the student to learn as much as he wants to learn or is likely to find useful?

    I just listed a half dozen different, mutually contradictory, goals. No one really thinks through what the real goal should be.

    That’s very well-said, Dave.

    You can make it even more complex by introducing the question of whether ‘schooling’ is meant to be universal or exclusive, i.e. should it aim to serve all students equally well (however that’s defined), or should it foster the growth of the students who would benefit society the most? And, if you choose the latter option, then how do you identify those students? As you say, do you pick the ostensibly most clever? The hardest workers? The ones who seem to have the most ‘potential’?

    And on and on it goes.

    Many people think they know what a ‘good school’ is, or what makes a top college or university the best. But in a pluralistic society there are so many assumptions and expectations swirling around the entire venture of education that there may be no good answers.

    I’ve worked in higher ed my whole adult life, and I’m not very sanguine about its current state, or its future. ‘Education’ works best — as do so many social constructions — in tightly-knit communities whose members hold before them a clear vision of who they are and what they hold dear.

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Dave from Oz
  27. Pass-Fail grades — or roughly equivalent systems like giving nothing lower than a “B” — are actually a rational preference for students at elite institutions where everyone is super-qualified and tightly-bunched in terms of ability. It’s basically a form of “price fixing” in which everyone agrees to not work particularly hard while still sharing equally in the prestige that comes from being a graduate of the august institution.

    Affirmative Action throws a bit of sand in the gears however by dragging down the presumed qualifications of just getting in. But then again, most people can guess who the AA beneficiaries are.

  28. J.Ross says:
    @Charon

    As a result of getting screwed by incapable opportunistic parasites in school, I am able to get screwed by incapable opportunistic parasites in cubicle hell, which is everything that was wrong with school but the clothes are less comfortable.
    Oh wow, really sellin’ that teamwork, book my order today for greater savings.

  29. bjdubbs says:

    ex-MIT professor Phil Greenspun has said that school should be like a job, with no homework and a students working on assignments while a teacher walks around and answers questions. With homework, only students who have the discipline actually learn anything.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    , @FLgeezer
  30. A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed?

    There’s another factor you didn’t mention. The said “weed-out” class must be taken early enough to allow the students to complete the rigorous major in 4 years, because the material builds on itself.

    In engineering, Statics is a weed-out class, not by some decree, but because the students must work out those free-body diagrams, which are not hard at all in retrospect but don’t involve just rearranging some formula. If you don’t, not just pass, but UNDERSTAND, Statics, then you can’t do Solid Mechanics (“Strength of Materials”). If you can’t do Solid Mechanics, then you can’t do Structures or Machine Design , etc …

    • Replies: @Frau Katze
    , @turtle
  31. “which is one reason it never quite cashed in on its superb location in a warm water beach town”

    Santa Cruz has warm water? Is that just relative to the rest of Northern California? Since it faces south, I assume it’s warmer than the areas that face west (I’ve noticed the same south-facing effect in North Carolina’s Outer Banks). But I assume that being in Noethern California you still need a wetsuit to go into the ocean 12 months a year.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    , @res
  32. Gamecock says:

    One more step toward making a college degree useless.

  33. Arclight says:

    This will probably have the same effect as the “ban the box” initiatives various cities tried where employers cannot inquire about a job applicant’s criminal history. Rather than improving minority hiring, once employers are no longer to see which diverse candidates are reliable and have stayed out of trouble, they revert to the assumption that all things being equal, it’s better to go with the white guy in the absences of concrete information.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
  34. JR Ewing says:

    I have to say, I never got into the group work thing in college. I preferred to study by myself and my lower grades reflected it, honestly.

    The main purpose of group study – at least in the humanities – is to rebuild the professor’s lecture from multiple partial accounts so that it can be regurgitated back with the right syntax during the exam.

    I also realized along the way that despite my grades, I learned more in the long run doing it all by myself.

    • Thanks: Inquiring Mind
  35. notsaying says:

    I have to wonder how many minority kids are using the Estelle W. Approach to success in college. Estelle was my roommate the second semester of freshman year. We got along just fine but we were different. She was from Philadelphia where her dad was a doctor and her mom was a principal. One of her parents had stabbed the other. She was black.

    She decided she would be better off to transfer from Carnegie Mellon to Lincoln because what she had to do in two semesters at CMU in I think it was calculus, she would have four at Lincoln and would still get into medical school. Last year I thought about her and looked her up and yes, there is a doctor out there with her name.

    Through the years I have wondered about affirmative action and the counterproductive implosions that happen when kids bomb out in programs that are just too hard for them. Are these kids encouraged to downgrade immediately to an easier school or pushed to keep trying to until they actually flunk out, thereby feeling awful and using up extra semesters of precious financial aid with not many credits to show for it?

    • Replies: @Calvin Hobbes
    , @Hibernian
  36. Ralph L says:

    My college liked to advertise their med school admissions rate and used the second (winter) quarter of Chemistry (Inorganic Analysis) to weed undesirables out. Even then, you could get back half the points you missed on the 4 tests if you could redo your answer correctly by yourself by the next day, but I suspect (and hope) the guy who got 11 on the second test didn’t commit to Pre-Med. The prof would announce the range of grades after each test, so every student but one could feel a bit better.

    I’d placed out of the first quarter of Chem with my AP score, so I was apprehensive at the beginning (likewise with skipping to multivariate calculus), but the most important thing I’d missed was how to use their analytic balance correctly.

  37. LP5 says:
    @JimB

    O-Chem was typically the first big weed-out class, followed by P-Chem.
    Other majors had their favorites, like Diff Eq, or maybe just plain old Calc.
    Not so much in non-STEM.

  38. @PhysicistDave

    Couldn’t agree more! Particularly as it relates to what employers seek in a prospective employer.

  39. @J.Ross

    The video on your comment does not work for me. Here’s the tweet again:

  40. Luke Lea says:

    Reed had an interesting approach when I was there back in the early 60’s. Students were assigned grades but weren’t told what they were. You were given a general idea, though nothing official, when you met with your advisor at the end of each semester. The curriculum was extremely conservative (and the student body extremely left-wing!) which led to an attrition rate of approximately 2/3rds (!), for which Reed was extremely penalized once the U.S. News college rankings became a thing. In any case, the one third of entering freshman who did manage to graduate were accepted into elite graduate schools in large numbers, to the point that Reed was thought of as a feeder school for PhD programs.

  41. @notsaying

    I know someone who majored in Computer Science at CMU after taking several introductory CS classes at a flagship state university during high school. The level of difficulty was vastly different. All but a few of the CS undergrads at the state university would have flunked out in CMU CS.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  42. Chemistry is one of the most difficult majors. I don’t know what the current ratio of Senior Chemistry majors to Freshman Chemistry majors at UC is now, but twenty years ago it was around 1 to 5. When they get bad grades they change to economics or grudge-fuck studies. Also: Chemistry was a preferred major for students who wanted to go to medical school.

    I have no idea how they can run a Chemistry department without grading students but this is not likely to be a great idea.

  43. @Anon

    After they Baltimorize the U of C system, employers will have to start giving tests to anyone they hire with a California degree to make sure the thing isn’t a retard.

    In fact, employers may stop hiring anyone with a U of C degree just to be on the safe side.

    It would be the latter, for Griggs v. Duke Power Co. in 1971 effectively outlawed testing for jobs. This went hand in hand with high school diplomas meaning nothing and college degrees becoming the replacement proxy for them.

    But note for example UC Berkeley College of Chemistry apparently only considering this for the first year. Real chemistry majors can take first term organic chemistry in the spring term of their first year after college level general chemistry, while premeds can delay that until it’ll give them a letter grade. It’s a good weed out course for medicine because it has 3D visualization and memorization requirements that match well what doctors need to learn, although who knows how much US medical schools are watering down their requirements, they’re already starting to ignore biological reality as World War T requires.

    • Replies: @Ben the Layabout
  44. @HammerJack

    Also BTW: “mastering the material” is the sort of measure a second-rate elementary school teacher would use.

    And MIT. It would be flat out insane to grade their students who’ve chosen a major that fits them by the curve, in fact one way “fit” is measured is by their earning As and Bs in it.

    Grading on the curve may be justifiable for huge weed out classes when a subset of a university can’t control, or control well enough who it admits as is common with state schools or foreign ones like ETH as we’ve previously discussed, but beyond that it’s just being lazy. On the other hand, see all the schools that pawn off teaching to grad students, often foreigners who’s English is poor. That’s one thing you should check in choosing a school, who’s actually doing the teaching.

    • Replies: @turtle
    , @Ralph L
    , @Rex Little
  45. Tex says:
    @Yancey Ward

    The way we are going, when he tries to take out an appendix and instead removes the liver.

    That’s your racist insistence that bodily organs are separate. More like separate but equal!

    • Replies: @Ben the Layabout
  46. @R.G. Camara

    Do you actually know anything about MIT? I seriously doubt the severe weighting against foreign Asian undergraduates has changed, MIT very much doesn’t want to be known as a place with “All the diversity you can find from Hong Kong to Seoul!” Its big theme in the 1980s was to change it from being a place where its graduates went to work for Harvard graduates….

    I gather that’s more a CalTech thing, which in the period I’ve watched it increased the intensity of its core requirements and has more of them than MIT.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  47. @bjdubbs

    Greenspun has also said that college should be like a job in the sense that you are physically in the same building without distraction the whole day as well. Of course he wrote this before the internet was ubiquitous.

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  48. @Hapalong Cassidy

    The water off Santa Cruz is freezing, just like it is in San Diego. If you want warm Pacific water you go to Hawaii.

    Note: I haven’t swum in the Pacific in Mexico, but I’ve been told it’s warmer than US West Coast beach water. I’ll likely never know for myself.

  49. not having your mom and dad around to yell at your can hurt your diligence, freshmen notoriously put on 15 pounds eating cafeteria food, and girls often decide they want to lose their virginity when they get to college

    To argue against these one by one:

    • I have found the yelling is mostly preemptive in the sense that the kids know they can’t get away with staying up watching TV until 12:30 in the morning and that their parents have 24/7 access to each of their individual grades and assignments, so children are motivated to stay on top of things. In college they live in the dorms and parents have no rights to their children’s grades.

    • It’s not that the cafeteria food is fattening per se but the cafeterias tend to be all-you-can-eat. In high school your meals tended to be whatever your parents plated for you. Also, more students play sports in high school than college, so that’s at least 2 hours of daily exercise that’s gone. If you notice, athletes don’t put on weight in college, except for men who are forced to work out.

    • For girls the virginity ship sails long before college starts, but college gives them the opportunity to be more promiscuous as they don’t have to worry about sneaking around. Ironically this can also be a depressing experience, as Pareto applies here; 80% of the girls are chasing 20% of the boys, so they must stay competitive, as it were

  50. The overall tenor of this article speaks to a larger point of what the purpose of college is. Is college for the transmission of knowledge from professors to students, or is college a place for students to hang out and learn from each other for 4 years to delay adulthood. While the former has its place for some careers, I would argue that since most jobs don’t require a college degree per se, college itself is more the latter for students going into these careers.

  51. Shouldn’t the efficient market hypothesis somewhat strongly apply to Universities, with employers constantly adjusting to admission practices, less they leave money on the table? When race is controlled for, if historically elite college X has poor admission practices in theory the employer marketplace should adjust for this.

  52. Anon7 says:

    “A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed?”

    This question stands in for the more important, larger question:

    When do we honestly evaluate a young person, and then tell that kid and his parents?

    I have a friend who is now in his mid-eighties, and he says that in his generation nobody minded being told that they were not universal geniuses. A typical kid in junior high school would get a report card with letter grades that pretty much spelled it out, by subject. Standardized tests were given every three or four years. With objective information, the kid and his parents could make rational plans for the future.

    Of course, when my friend was growing up, there were plenty of jobs for everyone at every level of the economy, and nobody really minded if there were some smart kids who could work hard and make more money than the average guy. Often, an auto worker with a high school diploma who put in sixty hour weeks made more than lots of smart kids who went to college.

    College matters so much now because our economy is set up to shower money on people who can succeed in the best colleges, and to withhold money from everyone else through unlimited immigration. Of course everyone wants to be told that they are college material! The lying to children and their families starts in elementary school now.

    An honest weed out of young people would terrify eighty percent of the country. It won’t happen.

  53. @Anon

    The real solution is an end to “mismatch”: Get the less clever students into less demanding colleges, where they can major in chem and have a chance of passing.

    The problem is that only the very top schools like Harvard and MIT can afford to make offers of admissions to DIE students who can do the work.

    Thomas Sowell has written extensively on this, lower tier schools like Cornell in the linked example where he taught at are forced by DIE mandates of all sorts to admit a lot of diversity students who haven’t a chance at graduating, and this goes on down the tiers resulting in huge numbers of blacks etc. flunking out when they could have, as R.G. Camera implicitly notes, done well enough in a lower tier school. In that link he talks about blacks smart enough to be in the top 75% of all students, but they’re in a school for the top 99% except when it comes to admissions.

    • Replies: @HFR
  54. All the possibilities are a welcome development to Jody Greene, the associate vice provost of teaching and learning at UC Santa Cruz, who argues that letter grades aren’t necessarily indicative of whether a student has mastered the material.

    Unfortunately, there are millions of parasite people like her scattered across the fruited plain–negative producers, who nonetheless live very, very well on the taxpayer dime, or by the effect of government policy. And these people are a huge source of wealth and power and organization for the minoritarian left–for further increases in state power.

    There was this concept in conservative circles of “defund the left”. But it is never done. Conservatives simply have not had anywhere near the drive and diligence to ferret out and kill off these parasites, as the left has in creating more and more and more of them.

    If people don’t cotton to my “separate nations” banner, then they better get busy electing “conservatives” who are aggressive and unafraid to swing the cleaver hard and fast–despite all the abuse they’ll take–and chop the cancer down to size.

  55. A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed? There’s something to be said for not holding it the first semester of freshman year, but it’s also important not to delay it so long that the poor dumb kid doesn’t have time to switch to a poly sci major or whatever.

    At my STEM university, EE101 and EE102 are basic electrical engineering courses for EE majors… you take them in the first and second semesters of your sophomore year. During the final exam for EE102, the professor walked over to the desk of a student who had been struggling to get a passing grade for 2 semesters; it was clear to the professor from taking a quick look at the student’s progress that he was not going to pass the final exam. He said (quietly but audibly), “Some people are just not cut out to be engineers… the world needs butchers and plumbers too”. This was back in the 1980s…

  56. @PhysicistDave

    My take, by the way, is that employers care overwhelmingly about how smart you are and how hard-working you are and, secondarily, whether you have specific knowledge useful to their job (if you don’t, but you are smart and hard-working, you can be trained).

    This is because of what we all know but can’t talk about: educational coursework is incredibly g-hollow after age 14, which is when public education should end (if we are to have public education at all). Everything after basic literacy and numeracy can be vocational and up to individual students and their families. Future engineers can learn calculus in 9 weeks instead of 9 months. Higher ed can go back to being the domain of the very few Tolkeins and Feynmans who actually benefit from it and add to the body of knowledge. The whole system needs to be much less formalized but millions of peoples’ incomes are now dependent on this elaborate charade.

  57. The UC’s have impressive rankings on the US News & World Report’s national college rankings. UCLA is top 20 (first among public schools); Cal is low 20s; and UCSB, UCSD, UCD, and UCI are all top 50. That’s pretty impressive that you can go six deep into the UC system and still have a public school that outranks the flagship public universities of most states.

    That said, UC Santa Cruz ranks behind all UCs (including UC Riverside, UCLA’s poor cousin in the hills) accept UC Merced. This latter school is relatively new; and located in the dreadful southern San Joaquin Valley.

    So, like Mr. Sailer pointed out, UC Santa Cruz is a huge under-achiever because the school’s ridiculous narrative grading system causes serious students to look elsewhere.

    Will the UC Regents really allow DIE activists to undermine the greatest public university system in the world in the name of closing (obfuscating, really) The Gap?

    I’d like to say “no”, but these are strange times, and strange things are happening.

  58. Anon[182] • Disclaimer says:

    Re: weed-out classes. A family member started college at a well-regarded Boston area school this past fall. By the start of the Spring semester, she had already weeded-out of Mechanical Engineering and Psychology, settling on Philosophy (enjoying it and doing very well). I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.

  59. @J.Ross

    you need to define the task: some group work is better performed collaboratively–eg, discussing prospective architects for a project; others–the more difficult tasks–are better reserved for individuals in the group, eg, writing a difficult white paper

  60. Re: College class groupwork. Just before the start of my last quarter in the traditional MBA program at a large, very well-regarded southern University, I accepted a very attractive, lucrative job offer 1200 miles away with a nearly immediate start date. I was able to finish up the coursework and exams with a couple of back and forth trips. For one unpleasant group project, I took the group out to dinner at Outback and informed them that I wouldn’t be putting a lot of effort into the project. Fortunately two out of the four group members were fresh off-the-boat Chinese females. Unfortunately, two out of the four group members were fresh off-the-boat Chinese females.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  61. @Anon

    After getting burned more than a few times, my employer now rejects applicants with degrees from the diploma mills like University of Phoenix and the hundreds of others.

  62. Roland says:
    @Anonymous

    What are the lung cancer rates among medical professionals who have been wearing surgical and/or N95 masks for years or decades?

    • Replies: @Pheasant
    , @Mr. Anon
  63. Rob Lee says:

    Higher education still needs money coming in, yet every year the majority of the incoming are less and less intelligent on average.

    “What to do? What to do?!”

    Well, they just scrub the metrics that indicate performance and turn higher education into a truly commercialized product completely unattached to meritocratic attainment. That’s evident now and has been for some time.

    The whole house of cards will only collapse when all prospective employers, both public and private, studiously and openly start avoiding these freshly-papered imbeciles en masse.

  64. The SAT has been dumbed down tremendously too. 40 years ago it was considered an IQ test and you could get into MENSA based on it. Now it’s more of a skills test though blacks still do terrible on it. Blacks are severely inferior mentally and we need to face that.

    1. Black-americans come in last in all standardized tests. Asian-americans do fine on all the tests so it’s not due to cultural bias in the tests.

    2. Africa is by far the poorest and most backward continent on the planet. All of black africa is now controlled by blacks and has been for decades so it’s not due to racism.

    3. No black has ever won a Science Nobel Prize unless you count one in 1979 for the semi-science of economics. They have won many nobels in non-brain fields like Peace and also in Literature so it is not due to racism.

    4. Out of 1725 chess grandmasters in the world, only THREE are black.

    5. 50 years of affirmative action special treatment and blacks have fallen even further behind. What does that tell you?

  65. Anon[123] • Disclaimer says:

    If you can get into a U of C school as a white, you must be very qualified these days, because of U of C’s frenetic efforts to keep you out one way or another. If you get into U of C as a black or Hispanic, you’re probably very unqualified.

    Employers are going to know this, and even with nothing but pass/fail grading, will hire accordingly. If you’re white, you’re likely pretty good material if you made it through U of C’s efforts to stop you from getting in.

    “Team Leader in College,” on your resume, will mean, “Yeah, all the blacks and Hispanics pushed into my study groups at U of C kept copying off my work,” and employers will know that, too.

  66. @ScarletNumber

    Hey, doesn’t Professor Greenspun have a blog where he describes his second career as a pilot for one of the regional carriers flying one of those small two-engine jets like the Embraer or the Canadair?

    Didn’t iSteve just post something about “eliminating grades” in the qualification and training to fly paying passengers around in a jet?

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  67. bruce county says:

    The crazy continues…

    ‘Math is Racist’ Crowd Runs Rampant in Seattle, Portland

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/math-is-racist-crowd-runs-rampant-in-seattle-portland-opinion/ar-AAWJfsR?ocid=uxbndlbing

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anon
  68. Don’t you know that there is a dearth of students out there? They overbuilt and hired for when there was a big generation of students coming along, and now there aren’t as many young people available to warm seats. Thus, they have to accept anybody who comes along. Some schools more than others, of course, but what I’m saying is, it’s not all affirmative action–it’s money. As usual.

  69. Also, homesickness is a problem, not having your mom and dad around to yell at your can hurt your diligence, freshmen notoriously put on 15 pounds eating cafeteria food, and girls often decide they want to lose their virginity when they get to college, which so often winds up being a depressing experience for them.

    Perhaps our society should return to giving young women good advice? Advice that helps them lead happy and meaningful lives? And makes society better, stronger, more functional?

    Like the best young man to lose your virginity with is the one you intend to build a family and spend the rest of your life with. This doesn’t always work out, but at least you start by pointing young people at something optimal, rather than problematic.

    Sex–for obvious biological/physical/evolutionary reasons–tends to just be a bigger emotional and emotionally bonding experience for women, then men.

    And that sexual-emotional bonding really helps a marriage. While there are other correlated factors–ex. religiosity–the divorce data are very clear that women come to a marriage knowing only their husband are unlikely to divorce, but as the number of sex partners increases the chance of divorce zooms up. Past what you can count on a hand, it’s foolish for a man to even bother–especially given the divorce legal situation that exists today. This general trend exists for men too–players tend to not make the greatest husbands–but at a much reduced effect.

    The denial of sexual dimorphism, and this constant campaign to minoritize women and put them at odds with men and ergo their connected place of family, community, lineage, nation, civilization–the connections in which women actually find happiness–is very toxic. And a recipe not just for breaking a nation, but lots of unhappy women–and men.

    • Agree: Technite78
    • Replies: @Bert
  70. Also, homesickness is a problem, not having your mom and dad around to yell at your can hurt your diligence, freshmen notoriously put on 15 pounds eating cafeteria food

    I never heard anything about this “freshman 15” until the last twenty years or so.

    When i went to college back in the 70s, this sure did not seem to be the case. (And our cafeteria food, while not gourmet, was perfectly fine. Better, I think, than at my brother’s college.) The guys in my freshman dorm, were not suddenly bloating up. And the girls–they were absolutely delicious. (It is eye opening now to just remember back to what young women used to look like. Or see videos from that era–before the big bloat.)

    The “weighty concept” I remember from that era was that when you left college, got a job–drove to work instead of walking, sat at a desk all day and didn’t play sports with the guys in the evening–guys would in a few years pack on ten pounds.

    College–young adulthood in general–isn’t supposed to be a time “fat time”.

    • Replies: @Joe862
  71. Rich says:

    From what I’ve read, a female applying to MIT is treated as an underrepresented minority and is given preference over males who score 20 points higher.

  72. “We will be better institutions for this.”

    Meaning, in three to five years – when catastrophic effects of these poor choices and stunted thinking become inescapably apparent – The Betterment will be unceremoniously dumped… until… a few years-to-decades down the line, another incident will be used by our ruling class to stir up the most infantile and emotionally combustive among us to drop-kick whitey through the goalposts of strife. And our serial screw-ups with the screw-ups will continue for time immemorial.

  73. UC Santa Cruz’s mascot – banana slug. Enough said.

  74. Cato says:

    All universities that I’m aware of changed policies because of COVID — most notably allowing work to be turned in late, exams to be taken late, and encouraging faculty to grade leniently. I think those were the right policies, but the result has been a sea change in student attitudes — there is much more skipping of classes and much less preparation for exams than there was before COVID. It was easy to move to lower standards, but has proven very difficult to move back to the customary higher standards.

    Imagine a frustrated faculty member, finding that she can no longer teach the course in the way she thinks is right and normal — such a faculty member would probably welcome the ideology that college should be dumbed down in the name of equity, since this gives her a justification and a sense of virtue in adapting her course to the post-COVID student.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  75. Frau Katze says: • Website
    @Anon

    These elaborate substitutions for old-fashioned grades all sound bad to me.

    If employers take a stand they’ll be next. There will be demands for them to hire substandard applicants.

    If the employer is a government (at any level) the pressure will be very high.

  76. Frau Katze says: • Website
    @Achmed E. Newman

    And good luck even understanding what your physics prof is talking about if you didn’t do well in first year math.

  77. diva says:

    No SAT/ACT scores for academic colleges. Has Juilliard weighed in on equity (and yeah the idea of “weight” made me chuckle, but I digress)? Must their freshman prove to be able to carry a tune or read music?

  78. @J.Ross

    what if, as part of group work (giving the kids a taste of management), specific tasks were assigned in a coherent and stuck-to schedule, so that the group work was really an agglomeration of individual assignments, and everyone had a clear idea of who did what? Who would be against that?

    Well, that’s an ideal, and most ideals don’t pan out for all the usual reasons.

    However, when I was in business school, this Liberal Arts major would always work the room to find out who was the smartest math person. “Hey, you with the too short pants and the top button of your shirt buttoned, what was your math score percentile? 98% you say? Tell you what let’s team up on this project– you crunch the numbers, I’ll write it all up.”

    Even if the prof assigned team members randomly, I always tried to find the geekiest math person and asked if we could team up.

  79. @Anon

    I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.

    Depends on how well you do in symbolic logic. If you’re good at it, you probably didn’t study hard enough in your STEM courses. When I took it in college, when grades mattered, I earned my B. It was tough shit. Still have that textbook.

    If you struggle there, or avoid it like the plague, you are probably not very smart.

    You can still go to a third rate law school.

  80. turtle says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Statics is a piece of cake if you got even a “B” in 8.01
    Hat tip to the late Professor A. P. French.
    R.I.P., Tony.
    I didn’t care for your pedagogy, but I did learn something.

  81. @Calvin Hobbes

    Note that CMU is special in being one of the four best CS schools in the world, along with Stanford, UC Berkeley, and MIT. In terms of pure CS and without EE distractions it might be the very best. One might want to double check Stanford’s current offerings, but CMU is the very most special in having separate enrollment which was capped at 135 students per year last time I checked, MIT and Stanford have to offer CS/EECS for MIT degrees to any student accepted student who wants to try.

  82. @The Anti-Gnostic

    You do need labs to fully study chemistry and biology, and dedicated design spaces to teach principles of engineering

    If I were dictator of education, I’d compel universities to have the first two years consist of what I would call 8 “liberal arts” core courses with some of them (Writing for example) extending over two quarters or two semesters.

    Writing
    Linguistics
    History of Science, with surveys of the development of Biology, Physics, and Chemistry (less technical and more content oriented)
    World and US History
    English and American Lit
    1st Level Calculus (AP students could pass out)
    Latin (yes, Latin).
    Foreign Language

    Then you do your major.

    It’s the ED Hirsch approach to education

    https://www.coreknowledge.org/about-us/e-d-hirsch-jr/

  83. turtle says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    80% on the (3 hour) final earned me an “A” in 5.01 in fall 1966.
    Class average, IIRC, was 60%.
    5.01 being a GIR, not a “weed out” class, unless you mean dropping out entirely, or switching to Course XXI.

    Although I scored high 700s on SAT Chemistry achievement test in high school, at the ‘tute I was JATT (Just Another Tech Tool), with nothing in particular to recommend me. I graduated Course V, class of 1970.

    If class average is low enough, relative to an absolute maximum, you may get a roughly Gaussian distribution of scores.
    OTOH, if large numbers of test takers score close to theoretical maximum, the distribution of scores is more likely to be lognormal.

    So it goes…

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  84. AMW says:

    Other times, it may mean allowing students to choose which assignments get the most weight in determining their grade.

    I did this for a few years with an MBA course that I taught, and it actually worked quite well for me. The grade distribution was no higher than it had been in earlier years, but the students felt more responsible for how their grades turned out, so they were less likely to take it out on me in the evaluations.

    A recent UC Board of Regents memo noted that a student from an under-resourced high school “may perform poorly on initial assignments.” As they learn the material over the course of the term, the student may ultimately ace the final exam yet still end up with a below average grade because of those early assignments.

    In my experience that pretty much never happens. In 16 years of teaching I only recall one instance where a student with a mediocre grade in the class got an A on the final exam. And he may have been cheating.

  85. Whiskey says: • Website

    The Soviet Union failed in part because while they had very smart people they were constantly sabotaged by accusations of disloyalty and thus the most talented were sent to Siberia (Korolev being a prime example) while mediocre time servers were in their place. This is also a feature of most Arab militaries.

    We are getting to a point here with race instead of political disloyalty being the self-sabotaging feature. In a Cold War II with Russia AND China, we are going to have:

    A. At the top, blacks who are AA “qualified” and randomly push buttons to make things happen.
    B. In the Middle, Indians who “manage” the real (and badly treated and paid) workers along with Chinese who steal every intellectual property and send it to China.
    C. The “real” workers who are Dirt People Whites who must do all the work, and get no credit, reward, only lesser punishment.

    This is the slave system of antiquity, and in a complex, and ever more complex technological society is doomed to very rapid collapse like an airliner piloted by an incompetent AA black pilot. Randomly pushing buttons to look busy while the airplane stalls.

    No reform is possible until collapse because woke Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook will not permit it. Nor will the Ministry of Truth.

    • Agree: anarchyst
  86. First semester of college I made lifelong friends and we all majored in Beer. It was a lot of fun but Spring semester was all about bringing up that G.P.A.

  87. Joe862 says:

    I’ve got plenty of experience with this sort of thing. I went to a rough public school where more kids went to jail than college. I come from an uneducated family and grew up around barely blue collar people. I scored high on the college entrance exam and got into a pretty competitive engineering program. I got decent grades in high school but I didn’t crack a book outside of school I don’t think a single time after my sophomore year. I knew I needed to find my motivation so I signed up for what looked like the hardest major.

    Of course I got my ass kicked freshmen year. I recovered somewhat and finished 3 years of the program before deciding I didn’t want to be an engineer. I transferred to another school, was a business major for a semester before changing to math. I liked that. I got to take a lot of different kinds of liberal arts classes to learn about various topics but also took some really challenging math classes.

    All that to say it’s tough to know how to salvage kids with good ability who’ve been failed by the adults in their lives. I was always a hard worker but I worked hard at sports where I had little talent and part-time jobs that I later realized didn’t much matter. Academics weren’t important to anybody I found relatable so I did the bare minimum.

    It’s the rate of change that kills you. You go from academics are all you’ve known but not something to worry about, to needing to focus almost all of your waking hours on them. And you’ve got to make that shift really fast. The most obvious thing is to try to improve K-12 but nobody really cares about that. Poor kids in lousy schools surrounded by stupid/irresponsible/damaged adults aren’t important to anyone with any power.

    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Thanks: HammerJack
    • Replies: @E. Rekshun
  88. HFR says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Yes, Thomas Sowell urged black students to understand that college admissions bureaucrats are building careers out of admitting a certain number of students, and don’t much care whether they graduate. It is a bit like what Tom Lehrer wrote about Wernher von Braun: “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department.”

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  89. @Anon7

    College matters so much now because our economy is set up to shower money on people who can succeed in the best colleges, and to withhold money from everyone else through unlimited immigration. Of course everyone wants to be told that they are college material! The lying to children and their families starts in elementary school now.

    Great paragraph.

    “setup to shower money” on traders and rent-seekers often the people who did well “at the best colleges”

  90. h5mind says:

    Why bother with years of skipping college classes, getting drunk and scoring weed? Save the “under-represented” students’ valuable time, and print out a degree for anyone who asks. The US will soon be packed full of doctors, engineers and scientists. Still charge them the same tuition, however. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair. We’re all about the fairness.

    • Replies: @turtle
  91. Hibernian says:
    @notsaying

    Trying to figure out who was the stabber and who was the stabee. Was Dad a surgeon?

    • Replies: @notsaying
  92. Jmaie says:

    I attended Santa Cruz in the early 80’s, written evaluations was standard with pass/fail allowed (at student’s request) for STEM classes only. They started allowing students to request grades after I left.

  93. @Anonymous

    But aren’t cotton masks triggering for Blacks?

  94. @bruce county

    ‘Math is Racist’ Crowd Runs Rampant in Seattle…

    Boeing, boeing, boeing…

    Portland…

    These were the first US cities to make the Stanley Cup Finals a century ago. What happened?

    • Replies: @bruce county
  95. A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed?

    Linear algebra (usually taken in the first semester of the sophomore year, just before multivariate calculus and/or vector analysis) was–and I believe still is–the usual filter in mathematics departments. It is many would-be math majors first contact with rigorous, abstract reasoning. Long ago, when I took the course, our textbook, Hoffman and Kunze, was a standard text. I still remember being surprised to discover that concepts which seemed obvious to me presented insurmountable barriers to many of my fellow students, who switched majors during the semester.

  96. Ron Unz says:
    @PhysicistDave

    This was indeed a good idea, since it took a while to adjust to the idea that 60 % on a test might be the top grade in the class (this actually happened on my first physics quiz — I had 60 %; as a physics major, I was pretty worried — until I found that no one else in the entire freshman class had a score that high!).

    That reminds me of Freshman year Math 55 at Harvard.

    From what I remember, the highest score on the first semester final was 58% and the second highest score was 38%. Both those friends of mine had been on the US Math Olympiad team…

    • Thanks: PhysicistDave
  97. Ron Unz says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    I gather that’s more a CalTech thing, which in the period I’ve watched it increased the intensity of its core requirements and has more of them than MIT.

    Sure, that sounds plausible to me. And although it might greatly surprise many of the commenters here, Caltech is now over 18% Hispanic (and only 23% white):

    https://www.unz.com/enrollments/?r&ID=110404&Institution=California+Institute+of+Technology

    That’s why all this public talk of dumbing down the UC academic system in order to protect “blacks and Hispanics” from academic failure seems like subterfuge to me.

    • Replies: @Escher
    , @turtle
    , @Uberwench
    , @turtle
  98. Escher says:

    The day of President Camacho draws closer

  99. Escher says:
    @Ron Unz

    How many of those “Hispanics” are white skinned Latin American elites is the question

    • Replies: @Pixo
    , @Ron Unz
  100. Escher says:
    @PhysicistDave

    My take, by the way, is that employers care overwhelmingly about how smart you are and how hard-working you are and, secondarily, whether you have specific knowledge useful to their job (if you don’t, but you are smart and hard-working, you can be trained).

    Well said. That and the right attitude about learning new things and getting your hands dirty.

    The world is changing so rapidly that specific skill sets become rapidly outdated, and are only a short term metric for hiring at best.

  101. I am tired of hearing about the giant white conspiracy holding down blacks and the male conspiracy holding down wimmin. These two groups are terrible at STEM because they lack ability.

  102. notsaying says:
    @Hibernian

    I was trying to remember who stabbed who and I just can’t. Maybe she didn’t tell me. I do not think Dad was a surgeon.

    I also remember her saying her younger brother had the kind of problems so many kids have today but we just started to hear about in the 79s and 80s. Autism or something similar. I remember her saying it was thought it was connected with both parents being high IQ. It was all new to me. So was her and her boyfriend Steve from Pitt’s report about seeing Pink Flamingos. Oh Lord, that Divine!

  103. turtle says:
    @h5mind

    print out a degree for anyone who asks.

    Yes, and “doctorates” as well. After all, if the Biden Thing’s wife can be called “Doctor,” then everyone really ought to have that privilege.

    You too can “earn” a doctorate. No troublesome “advanced coursework,” nor tedious “original research,” only a schedule of fees. Pay up here, folks. The cashier will issue you a receipt, plus a very stylish diploma.

    Act now!
    Supplies are limited…
    (Sure they are)

  104. @EdwardM

    Then…

    Meet the Bell Curve.

  105. turtle says:
    @Ron Unz

    Two things stand out:
    1980
    Asians 12.0%
    Females 13.9%

    2020
    Asians 39.8%
    Females 45.6%

  106. Anymike says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    If we just let the algorithm (in 1960s science fiction it was called the central computer) assign everyone their mate, we wouldn’t have this problem. Would we?

  107. Dube says:

    The new system, in justice, will have to be retroactive. Send this advisory to Admissions and Records.

  108. Thrallman says:

    The problem is that grades don’t have an objective meaning. They differ between schools and between instructors. Cheating is everywhere.
    A scientist measures protozoans under standard conditions. Science students are measured according to whether or not they got the professor who grades easy.

    • Replies: @Realist
  109. Make it easier for them not to flunk out.

    This is exactly the approach that Stanford University has been taking for decades and has gained a reputation for. Since Stanford habitually accepts plenty of academically less qualified but highly “spoiled” students who have at least one affluent and influential parent, it has developed mechanisms to keep those who do not perform so well from the embarrassing effects of experiencing failure, which would damage their often inflated egos. This is reflected by free tutoring and academic coaching programs, as well as extensive psychological counseling options.

    To begin with, all students at that institution get the benefit of working within the academic structure of the easier quarter system instead of the conventional semester system. This spares them the more intensive challenges of final exam preparations, during which one has to process and retain at least 50% more information, assuming the increase in progressing complexity of coursework is merely linear with time, which is rarely the case. Also, Stanford has been notorious for its grade inflation, not to mention purported leniency toward cheating, while at the more competitive UC-Berkeley courses students are graded on a normal curve and get kicked out at the undergraduate level if they fall below a C-average.

    A creeping pervasiveness of grade inflation or incompatibility between grading practices at different universities may have been a philosophical motivator for the written evaluations instead of letter grades that were popular at Santa Cruz for so long, but this inevitably gave that university the poor and long-lasting stature of being regarded as a laid back “party school”, so even now it does not even appear within the world’s top hundred list in the annual Shanghai Ranking, where four UC-system universities are in the top twenty and three more still in the top hundred. Hence, a binary Pass/Fail evaluation scheme may still wind up being worse than one with possibly inflated letter grades.

    It is rather telling that the KQED report didn’t even mention Stanford, despite the proximity to its media headquarters in San Francisco. Whatever is done at Stanford to pamper its privileged students would be unworkable – too expensive – at a public college, which will have to choose between maintaining higher standards or a higher retention rate if the academic criteria for entry at the freshman level are relaxed.

  110. @Jus' Sayin'...

    In the math department I went to abstract algebra was the filter. It was the only difficult course required of math ed. majors and they had to get a C to graduate. When I took it there were some math ed. majors taking it for their third time trying to get that C.

    • Replies: @Joe862
  111. Midnights says:
    @J.Ross

    A new race realist is born…hopefully.

  112. @The Anti-Gnostic

    The Anti-Gnostic wrote to me:

    This is because of what we all know but can’t talk about: educational coursework is incredibly g-hollow after age 14, which is when public education should end (if we are to have public education at all). Everything after basic literacy and numeracy can be vocational and up to individual students and their families. Future engineers can learn calculus in 9 weeks instead of 9 months.

    Yeah, I am inclined to agree.

    I learned more in the first three years I worked in industry as an engineer than in the time I spent earning a Ph.D. in physics at Stanford. Partly of course because, out in the real world, what I did actually had to work. In academia, at most, it had to get published in an academic journal — and a surprisingly large fraction of what is published is simply wrong, often in trivial ways (i.e., gusy who actually did not really understand high-school algebra).

    To give a concrete example: back when I was in grad school, Physical Review Letters, the preeminent physics journal in the US, published a paper in quantum field theory that derived an important, novel result obtained by dividing by a quantity that could be proven to be equal to zero.

    To make this concrete: suppose you know that x * y =0 and also that x = 0.

    You cannot then “divide through by x” and conclude that y=0.

    Trivially obvious, right? Like if y=2, the equation still works!

    That’s what these guys did: in their case x and y were more complicated expressions, but they divided through by an expression that could be proven to be equal to 0.

    So, I wrote up a brief letter to PRL laying this out.

    Anyone who understood high-school algebra should have gotten the point.

    The authors who screwed up ranted and raved and refused to admit their obvious error.

    The PRL editor was too dumb to grasp the point, so he let the erroneous paper stand.

    One of the profs at Stanford told me that no one paid any attention to the paper anyway (pretty odd, since it would have been important if it had not been wrong).

    From which experience I concluded that a substantial number of very stupid people become university professors, even in STEM.

  113. @Been_there_done_that

    Stanford was notorious for grade inflation by the mid-1970s.

    That doesn’t seem to have hurt Stanford much.

  114. JimB says:
    @PhysicistDave

    From which experience I concluded that a substantial number of very stupid people become university professors, even in STEM.

    The PRL editor sounds lazy, not stupid. Instead of evaluating your claim, he probably just forwarded your letter to the peer reviewer whom the editor selected from the paper authors’ circle of past collaborators on the belief that he would be most familiar with the authors’ work. In research, I find collaborative friend circles tend to be similar in intelligence, creativity, and conscientiousness. So if the authors were dopes, there’s a good chance a dope was chosen to do the peer review. If you are correct that a substantial number of very stupid people become university professors, the reputational harm to research is further amplified by the practice of letting friends judge friends in the peer review process.

  115. Also, dumb, lazy kids can ride the coattails of smart, hardworking kids.

    The smart, hardworking kids will then learn that the dumb lazy kids can never be trusted and that any empathy shown towards them will be sniffed out as weakness and parasitized or attacked.

    The smart, hardworking kids will use this logic as the basis for creating their own caste while the dumb, lazy kids will starve amid tin roofs on the hillsides.

    • Agree: The Anti-Gnostic
  116. ebear says:

    I don’t give a shit about equity or diversity. I want competence.

  117. gotmituns says:

    The Racial Reckoning and the Not So Great Reset Come for Letter Grades in College
    ——————————————————————————————–
    The hell with school grades. The only “grades” that mean anything now are, Expert, Sharpshooter, Riflemen. It’s not how smart you are that counts but how well a person can shoot – one round, one hit.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  118. profnasty says:

    I support CRT in ALL classes at every level of education. Everybody must get the message.https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ1Dix-Vjm0&feature=share
    Here’s the message:
    Fuck Joe Biden

  119. Anon[338] • Disclaimer says:

    Ever since I left college I have been studying for myself. I realized that I am a life long learner, and I love it. I simply don’t care what anyone thinks anymore. I read more now than ever. The important change is that learning actually makes me happy. The pursuit of happiness is enshrined in our constitution. Take time to learn for yourself.

  120. Ralph L says:
    @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    Symbolic Logic at my college would count toward either the Math/Science or the Religion/Philosophy requirement for graduation. We math majors thought it was easy (no essays!), particularly compared to the other R/P choices, but the pre-ministry/philosophers/humanitistias had a difficult time from what I heard. There was an optional Friday seminar, that I never attended, to help them feel better.

  121. I am not very fond of the fact that most graduate students in top universities, especially in STEM areas, are from the two most populous countries in the world, namely, China and India (I favor cultivating our own best to compete in those disciplines) but it brings in much needed revenues is the argument, I suppose.

    But now, by doing away with the ACT and SAT, not only we’ll flood in the dummies from the ghettos (while still not giving the right opportunity to the top Whites) but discourage the fee paying foreign nationals from coming over (a good thing perhaps?) because who would want to get a degree from an institution that is passing out grades like there is no tomorrow to please the genetic idiots.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  122. gabon 45 says:
    @JimDandy

    sure and then I assume UBI is the means of support for 80-90% of the population and nothing gets done since few know anything.

    worse – a surgery becomes human experiments and apologies for mayhem and murder in form letters the standard.

    planes get black pilots / dental offices for most get Homeboys / bridges get gang bangers called engineers.

    China / Russia ….Asia get to make everything since nothing works in the uSof A

    and the blacks sing songs about being disrespected and no one takes them as serious adults except with a gun or in a rat pack

  123. Ralph L says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    On the other hand, see all the schools that pawn off teaching to grad students, often foreigners who’s English is poor.

    It always happens. Complain about grammar or typo errors, and you make one.

  124. Pheasant says:
    @Roland

    Higher (as well as other nasty stuff including mental issues like depression/ suicide) actually.

  125. Ralph L says:
    @Been_there_done_that

    You mean Stanford grad Chelsea Clinton isn’t the smartest person in a room when her mother’s not there?

  126. @Hang All Text Drivers

    What does that tell you?

    1. It doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t know already except;
    2. The NSA reader bot now has racist checkboxed for you buddy.

  127. Rich says:
    @Anon7

    I know tradesmen in NY who make 200k or better pretty easily. I know a few youngsters who graduated from reputable universities who are barely making 80k, or less, a few of whom took the test for a union card. I met a laborer once who had a law degree but made more sweeping the floor at construction sites. A story I heard from a young co-worker was that a friend of his wife’s who was out of medical school for 2 years was still making less than the average electrician and was having trouble buying a house along with her husband who was some kind of insurance guy in a lower middle-class area. Now that everyone has a college degree, and so many have graduate degrees, it isn’t what it used to be.

  128. More proof that the West is doomed.

  129. Weed out classes = auditorium classes with 400 students being “taught” by a foriegn grad student with awful english skills. It is criminal that parents are paying for this type of instruction at major univerisities.

    Both my sons attended the University of Missouri as engineering majors. My oldest son took the standard freshman weed out classes, calc 1, chem 1, physics 1. After struggling to teach himself the material because of the pisspoor instruction he ended up with Bs in these classes and loosing his merit based scholarship that required a 3.50 gpa.

    My youngest son took calc 1, 2 & 3, physics 1 & 2, and chem 1 as dual credit courses at our local community college during his junior and senior years of high school. 20 students per class, taught by white males with Phds/MS degrees. A fraction of the cost of taking the classes at MU. All the courses transfered and he went straight into differential equations and chem 2 as a freshman at MU. Did just fine. Said the classes at the community college were taught better than most classes at MU. Graduated in three years with engineering degree and saved me thousands of dollars.

    All these universities wringing their hands about kids dropping out of stem degrees becuase of weed out classes their freshman year, might try actual quality instruction and manageable class size to fix the problem.

  130. Seneca44 says:
    @Anon

    Had the same thing in the ‘80’s where my professional school went the pass/fail route. After about 6 months, they modified it to Honors, High Pass, Pass, Marginal, and Fail. Hmmm—5 different grades almost like the first few letters of the alphabet.

  131. @Hang All Text Drivers

    That may be so about the SAT being an IQ test 40 years ago, but some idiots still insist presently that it correlates with your IQ.!! Look my german shepard starts at a 1200 score on the SAT today.

  132. bert33 says:

    Time for accreditation reviews and probably university closures and some taxpayer abuse abatement. “Und lass das Studieren, studieren sein.”

  133. bert33 says:

    moderation=selective censorship?

  134. @Rich

    From what I’ve read, a female applying to MIT is treated as an underrepresented minority and is given preference over males who score 20 points higher.

    That’s in the second step of MIT admissions. First is determining who can do the work: long ago when they got 7,000 applications a year that would weed it down to 3,000, out of which they’d try to construct the student body they wanted of 1,100 total. Try in that “yield” is always an issue, not everyone you send an acceptance to is going to enroll. Too many and you have to find someplace to house them, too few and putting people on wait lists is what you shoot for.

    So, yes, the women and for example blacks at MIT will seldom if ever be the really outstanding students, but they can still by definition do the required core work and then whatever required for the major. MIT being MIT and this would go for CalTech as well, there’s so much self-selection in being serious about trying to attend it tends to work out. Except of course many fewer of the women end up using their MIT educations as happens in all fields in including medicine, make a bunch of them doctors and you decrease the total supply just as the Boomers are getting old and requiring lots more care….

  135. MotGOD says:

    Remember the old saw: “This problem is an opportunity.” ?

    For this and a number of other co-related factors there is a prime opportunity for wise white people (and other non-parasites of any race), to create our own education and certification systems.

    Educate our own, hire our own, depart their cesspools and leave them to their ever increasing concentration of Jew controllers, diversity parasites, and the sadly hopeless whites we may not be able to save.

    They have created chaos, too much too fast for them to entirely control.

    Bring our own order forward.

  136. Mr. Grey says:

    I grew up in Redwood City, about 30 miles south of San Francisco in the 1970s. The public elementarys school I went to didn’t give letter grades. I was disappointed to find this out when I entered first grade. The school had some hippie dippie notion but for me, as a little kid, if I was going to study hard, I wanted that A as a reward. I think it had a definite negative effect on me in elementary school.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  137. Uberwench says:
    @Ron Unz

    Old Techer here. It doesn’t surprise me. The alumni mailings are about as woke as they come. Also, I’ve noticed that the faculty and TA’s are nearly all Chinese, and they’ve place much of their course materials online, presumably for better access by their brethren back home.

  138. I wanna know why there are no gansta rap skoolz wif diplomas for aspiring rappaz. Most niggaz can rhyme schitt with twit, zitt and split faster than a speeding poleez car on uh donut run in tha hood.
    Sum of these niggaz show lyrical gifts on par with Nobel illiterates. And I’m not just talking bout yours truly.
    Imma get real, as a plain white gangsta rapper, it’s hard finding work in black hoods cuz of mi color. They needs to be laws that states that whitey can rap in the free world without all the racist hate. And the penalty is \$5 million dollaz or fitty acres and uh pool, which ever is more.

    That’s my take on tha situation pertainin to tha events set forward.

  139. @Jus' Sayin'...

    Linear algebra (usually taken in the first semester of the sophomore year, just before multivariate calculus and/or vector analysis) was–and I believe still is–the usual filter in mathematics departments.

    As a Chemistry major in a math intensive academic program I found Linear Algebra to be relatively easy. Easier than advanced Calculus taken freshman year. And easier than 2nd semester Physics which included Electricity and Magnetism (E&M).

    Related to E&M, I saw “Phuque Physics” grafitti-scratched on a stall in the men’s restroom in the library. Probably etched by somebody destined for a career in marketing.

    So second semester Freshman year was when most nascent STEM majors who couldn’t hack it got crushed and marched en masse to the registrar’s office to change their majors to Business.

    For those of use who stuck around in STEM, the toughest remaining math course that everyone took was Differential Equations.

    Students who initially major in STEM are making a big financial and time investment. The old adage still holds, “If you’re gonna fail – best to fail early”. In that context, the best thing for students is explicit grading. Because then academic advisors can pro-actively engage with grade-documented marginal students early on. The advisors then can and should enable a “failure” in STEM transition to something else as smoothly as possible.

    • Thanks: Agent76
    • Replies: @Charles Martel France
  140. Never gonna fit a square block (unqualified students) in a round hole (MIT, Berkley etc) without a lot of banging and pounding with a sledgehammer (diminishing value of attained degree).

  141. @Anon

    I teach philosophy. A philosophy degree at the BA level is often used for law school, sometimes for continuing into a doctoral program (philosophy, English lit., political science, being the most common), and sometimes into a math or physics terminal MA (when they have a strong science and logic ability). A terminal MA in philosophy is either used for entry into a doctoral program or a variety of corporate roles or union leadership positions. A PhD in philosophy is usually for the purpose of teaching it, however, there are a lot of PhD philosophers that go into law school or the corporate world. At all levels too, BA-MA-PhD, there is a significant amount of individuals who go to work for thinktanks, the UN, and NGOs.

    I base this off my experience as a grad student and a professor, and what I have been told by my colleagues in their experience.

    • Thanks: E. Rekshun
  142. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    What an absurd comment. I don’t think you have a clue, Philly.

  143. @PhysicistDave

    The authors who screwed up ranted and raved and refused to admit their obvious error.

    Do you think that is only the case with Physics or Mathematics ? Many people in America and the The West in general do not want to admit their errors. Look at how they are leading us to a catastrophe of unknown proportion. They provoked Putin but they do not want to admit it.

    I learned more in the first three years I worked in industry as an engineer than in the time I spent earning a Ph.D. in physics at Stanford. Partly of course because, out in the real world, what I did actually had to work.

    I believe that is to be expected,don’t you think so ? As they say : practice makes perfect.

  144. @Emil Nikola Richard

    Chemistry is a tough major, but the beast of all majors is Electrical Engineering. Anybody with a double E degree commands respect in STEM land.

  145. I was a math major at UCSC in the 70s. My narrative evaluations typically said things like, “did B work”, although “glib, at best” stick with me.

  146. Hibernian says:
    @Been_there_done_that

    …get the benefit of working within the academic structure of the easier quarter system instead of the conventional semester system. This spares them the more intensive challenges of final exam preparations…

    Quarter system doesn’t necessarily mean no final. It sure didn’t at Iowa State 1972-76. I’m surprised that any major U is still on the quarter sytem, although at one time Univ. of Chicago, Univ. of Ill. Chicago, and DePaul were on it. (Same ’70s time frame plus possibly late ’70s – early ’80s.)

  147. Hibernian says:
    @Hibernian

    After further review and reflection, is this like the high school quarter system where two quarters are each subordinate to a semester?

  148. @That Would Be Telling

    On the other hand, see all the schools that pawn off teaching to grad students, often foreigners who’s English is poor. That’s one thing you should check in choosing a school, who’s actually doing the teaching.

    I wouldn’t just assume that the professors are better teachers than the grad students. When I was at MIT, the math courses I took were taught by professors who were horrible at teaching; a couple of them had accents so thick I couldn’t understand what they were saying. The introductory EE course gave every student an hour a week one-on-one with a grad student who was great at helping you over any rough spots you were encountering. I started out as a math major but switched to EE early on, because of this.

    Granted, this was over 50 years ago. Much may have changed since then.

  149. Bert says:

    A question I’ve never seen studied is how long should a STEM major’s weed out class be delayed? There’s something to be said for not holding it the first semester of freshman year, but it’s also important not to delay it so long that the poor dumb kid doesn’t have time to switch to a poly sci major or whatever.

    First semester of the sophomore year. Back in the day, the weed out courses of the premed curriculum were Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy and Organic Chemistry I, both expected to be taken in the aforesaid semester. I taught the former. That approach had worked well for decades until the medical schools decided that doctors could be trained equally well if they had History, African Studies, or whatever B.A. degrees, and didn’t really need to know any biology or chemistry prior to med school. This was Affirmative Action in disguise.

    That’s when I took early retirement and launched an untutored career. Hey if it’s good enough for physicians, then I’ll give it a shot. I was successful. But the utter passivity of physicians during the epidemic, which reached levels high enough to amount to corruption, indicates that medicine needs students who care enough about patients to learn scientific basics as undergraduates.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  150. @Anon

    I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.

    Paul Graham majored in philosophy at Cornell and he ended up getting his M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science at Harvard. YMMV

  151. @E. Rekshun

    Fortunately two out of the four group members were fresh off-the-boat Chinese females. Unfortunately, two out of the four group members were fresh off-the-boat Chinese females.

    Is there a typo here or I am just not getting your nuance?

  152. @Yancey Ward

    “The way we are going, when he tries to take out an appendix and instead removes the liver.”

    I wouldn’t exactly consider that STEM.

  153. Realist says:
    @Thrallman

    Science students are measured according to whether or not they got the professor who grades easy.

    If that were true it would apply to all students…not just science students. STEM students are graded more so on merit than all non STEM students.

    Your comment smacks of jealousy of STEM students.

  154. @Rich

    From what I’ve read, a female applying to MIT is treated as an underrepresented minority and is given preference over males who score 20 points higher.

    Very likely. 50 years ago women were less than 10% of the undergraduate student body. Now they’re over 40%.

    • Replies: @turtle
  155. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    You can still go to a third rate law school.

    One of the few good career decisions I ever made was when I dropped out of the night program after one year at New England School of Law.

  156. I don’t know about the Racial Reckoning coming after letter grades but I do know it has come after the name of Ryerson University in Toronto, now the even less notable Toronto Metropolitan University.

    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-tuesday-edition-1.6431579/the-former-ryerson-university-starts-a-new-chapter-with-name-change-says-president-1.6431701

    Egerton Ryerson’s statue has now joined the waste pile of toppled Lenin and Confederate statues.

  157. @Hibernian

    Quarter system doesn’t necessarily mean no final.

    That is not what I stated or insinuated. The point is that the cumulative material one has to prepare for final exams under a semester system contains at least 50% more content than is the case with final exams under the quarter system. If you assume some kind of progressive or exponential increase in knowledge or difficulty over a 50% greater time period than it is not unreasonable that a semester system is roughly twice as intense toward the end, compared to a quarter system. There should be no dispute that a quarter system is comparatively easier. Since the workload under a quarter system is not so challenging or intense during the first few weeks this is a great opportunity to audit additional classes that one does not intend to complete, for the sake of acquiring additional knowledge and encounter more people.

  158. Mr. Anon says:
    @Roland

    What are the lung cancer rates among medical professionals who have been wearing surgical and/or N95 masks for years or decades?

    Prior to COVID, even hospital personnel didn’t wear masks for any great length of time. Certainly not 12 hours a day, day-in-day-out for two years.

  159. @Joe862

    Somewhat similar situation growing up in the ’70s in working-to-middle class suburban Boston. My dad got his AS Engineering Science degree at night on the GI bill at age 30 and had a decent paying job with a large government defense contractor. My mom worked part-time as an office clerk. My parents wanted good grades for me and my three brothers, but I never cracked a book outside of class. I was too busy working crappy part-time jobs for \$2/hr and wasting my time and money on dirtbikes and fixer-upper muscle cars.

    Half-way through high school my parents divorced and my dad moved 1500 miles away leaving my overwhelmed mother with four teenage boys. She went to work full-time and was earning over \$60K per year by the mid-80s w/ only a high school diploma.

    My parents hoped for college for their kids, but didn’t offer any guidance of financial support, and didn’t even try to discourage me from majoring in Criminal Justice. After one semester at the local community college I saw the folly in that and switched to Computer Science, transferred to a reputable Boston-area university, and got a great job after graduation. Brothers did well also – medical school engineering, military.

  160. Hrw-500 says:
    @J.Ross

    That reminds me of this event then Paul Kersey mentioned back in 2013 and the mother was tasered by a security guard. https://www.unz.com/sbpdl/hood-mother-in-underground-atlanta-gets/

    The video in question is also reposted on Bitchute.


    Video Link

  161. Bert says:
    @AnotherDad

    The data on number of sex partners in college don’t support the idea that the nation was broken by the 60s-70s revolution.

    “Predictably, medians suggest much more modest American sexual biographies. College hasn’t had any effect on women’s partner counts. The median woman born after the 1940s has had three sex partners in her lifetime. Men have always been more promiscuous, with medians as high as six. This number hasn’t changed for men born after the 1940s who don’t have four-year college degrees. However, college-educated men born after the 1960s have steadily fewer partners.”

    https://ifstudies.org/blog/nine-decades-of-promiscuity

    My own research, conducted in my dotage via SA, does document small subset of troubled (though useful) coeds who nobody (male or female) in their right mind would marry, but they are a statistical micro-dot outlier.

    America has much larger problems than promiscuity: state-corporate fascism, HBD denial, the open border.

    • Replies: @Nicholas Stix
  162. Joe862 says:
    @PhysicistDave

    Maybe smart employers think that way but the average hiring manager is a socially aggressive cretin. They hire pretty much at random based on whatever the current trend is. They frequently interview a bunch of candidates, rejecting them all for being imperfect, and when they get tired of interviewing just hire the next person.

  163. @gotmituns

    The hell with school grades. The only “grades” that mean anything now are, Expert, Sharpshooter, Riflemen.

    “Embrace the healing power of ‘and.’” (Yes, I earned an Expert badge in my high school’s JROTC Rifle Team. And the lowest qualification is Marksman, which I was able to train some cadets into during the winters when everyone went down to the rifle range.)

    As a for instance, without an education, who do you know who to shoot? How do you know went to, and when not to? The latter is particularly at this stage of the game, we’ve seen our ruling trash’s genocidal ambitions of which this is just the latest example, but for some reason they don’t directly act on them. Perhaps because so many of us own guns and are also good shots?? (Or can become good shots if our cold civil war turns into a hot shooting one.)

  164. @Cato

    As badly as COVID affected college education, the effects are much worse at the K-12 level. Part of the hidden curriculum of school is teaching children how to interact with others, and they just forgot how to do it. Now when they come back to an in-person learning environment, they are feral.

    • Agree: Cato
  165. @American Bulwark

    I am not very fond of the fact that most graduate students in top universities, especially in STEM areas, are from the two most populous countries in the world, namely, China and India (I favor cultivating our own best to compete in those disciplines) but it brings in much needed revenues is the argument, I suppose.

    You’ve got a mistaken impression here, for STEM graduate level study is supported by grants and such including money for their labor in teaching undergraduates (well, in theory, many don’t have the skills required to do it even vaguely wall).

    That Third Worlders from China and India have flooded this domain is due to Direct Action, in the 1980s the US decided it was paying too much for scientific labor. Can’t help but notice not a scientist but an industrialist engineer (((Erich Bloch))) was made head of the National Science Foundation in 1984…. These people are much more willing to live on low wages, cut corners and do whatever their PI tells them to do, especially since there’s increasing legal immigration rewards for these positions, and both parties want lots more.

    The foreigners providing higher education with unrestricted not earmarked tuition money are undergraduates and non-STEM graduates to the degree there’s many of those. And that worldwide game got disrupted by COVID, and in the US I read undergraduate enrollment has sharply declined in general, particularly driven by community colleges, which I can attest is happening in my part of deep Red state flyover country. Per various sources 6.6% and 13.2% respectively since 2019.

  166. As far as intellectual “production,” the life of the mind to which colleges are devoted in their historical origins, the early days of U.C. Santa Cruz were a remarkable success — in such fields as Chaos Theory, ethnobiology, consciousness studies, anthropology, economic demography. The decision to not give grades impacted how the campus fit (did not fit) into the corporate multiversity education factory model, not into the life of the mind, and the shift away from the original idea harmed the intellectual life and functions of the campus.

  167. @Neutral Observer

    Math doesn’t always have to be difficult. It is a language. What you need is a good teacher and book with detailed steps of examples. Many math teachers – with the exception of some Jewish individuals and the Chinese, do not know how to explain. As to books even James Stewart is accused by some on Amazon of jumping steps and not explaining some aspects of mathematics properly. In math either you do it properly or not, there is no half-way.

  168. Cancel ALL the Humanities and Social Science courses. Close all the schools that have nothing left to offer and hope that any pension programs supporting the retired frauds that taught that nonsense go broke. Alternatively, convert the real estate into trade schools that prepare students for real world jobs.

    Stop all student loans, gov’t or otherwise, to force schools to be reasonable with their tuition.

    Once the mental midgets that teach the Humanities and Social Science nonsense no longer have access to the students, normalcy will return.

    MUSCA – Make the US Competitive Again.

  169. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @bruce county

    Spoiler alert: The article at the link was incredibly triggering and made me furious. More details than I’d ever seen on the lengths to which the Woke go to insure that imbeciles don’t really have to deal with math.

  170. @That Would Be Telling

    The question might be,

    “Who shoots first; and when will it stop?”

  171. @PhysicistDave

    When someone is trying to prove something nonsensical, e.g. 1 = 2, the proof almost always involves dividing by 0. I once took a class for education majors where a future elementary school teacher did a presentation very similar to the one I am linking to, but without the explanation at the end showing why the proof was invalid. The rest of the class was mesmerized, but when I humbly raised my hand and told her that she had divided by zero, it was like I had explained the quadratic formula to animals at the zoo.

  172. @Anonymous

    I wouldn’t worry about that. Most of the really devout maskafarians have also had as many of the mRNA clot-shots as the law will allow and that will probably kill them long before the lung-plastics.

  173. Leo D says:
    @kaganovitch

    Still an IQ test…you’d be surprised.

    After they recognized that, even giving them the choice, there is STILL a ‘disparate impact’, it will be required that the teachers will have to decide, and that only the best grade will count towards the final grade…after having been elevated 2 letter grades…or 3…

  174. Here’s what’s wrong with the whole world, but particularly the US.

    Harvard University.
    FrSem 63W – Vegetal Humanities

    This class invites you to practice a new kind of plant-consciousness. Our guides will be contemporary artists and thinkers who are encouraging new relationships between human and vegetal life, or recalling very old ones. Suddenly, we have plant protagonists, gardens in galleries, and botany-based forms of philosophy, architecture, music and more. ….

    Read the whole description @ : https://haa.fas.harvard.edu/classes/frsem-63w

    This bullshit passes for education, and at Harvard, no less.

    You want a good laugh (or cry), go to : https://careerkarma.com/blog/humanities-courses/

    Check out what’s on offer in the Humanities.

  175. @Sam Hildebrand

    he ended up with Bs in these classes and loosing his merit based scholarship

    I can see why…

    • Replies: @Sam Hildebrand
  176. @Mr. Grey

    if I was going to study hard, I wanted that A as a reward

    You studied in elementary school?

  177. Corrupt says:
    @Hang All Text Drivers

    “4. Out of 1725 chess grandmasters in the world, only THREE are black.”

    How many are Asian?

  178. @ScarletNumber

    I know it’s sad that people can’t spell but calm down. Their, They’re. Their, They’re.

    • LOL: Dube
  179. @Sam Hildebrand

    My oldest son took the standard freshman weed out classes, calc 1, chem 1, physics 1.

    Those are not weed out classes. Those are International Harvester Combine classes.

    The ones that trim out the surviving weeds come a little bit later.

  180. anonymous[369] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    HOW do they EVALUATE the professional/academic/career achievements..Does an Enginer from nongraidng college does as good/better than a graduate from a grading college??? WHOM would you HIRE??? trust? I think NONgrading would apply better to Social Studies areas that perform better as portfolios evalutions..BUT an MD..egineer..dentists?????…This a global trend that isleading to the Mediocratizacion of teaching . In my country they discarded EXIT Exams…NOW they take “tests” that evalute their WOKE /emotional skills..?? ..I often wonder whats the use of teaching Calculus to a kid that will be installing your CableTV line feed?????

  181. @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student

    Chemistry is a tough major, but the beast of all majors is Electrical Engineering.

    Both Chemical Engineering and Biochemistry are more demanding than basic Chemistry (organic and inorganic).

    Mechanical and Electrical Engineering are roughly equally difficult. Both entail understanding and solving differential equations. Electrical Engineering uses more transformations and imaginary numbers in calculations, but Mechanical Engineering may incorporate more Statistics. Mechanical Engineering requires better spatial reasoning capabilities for design purposes. Fluid Dynamics and Heat and Mass Transfer problems can get difficult, as with Signal Processing.

    Among interdisciplinary fields, Aerospace (Aeronautics and Astronautics) Technology probably requires the most broad scope of knowledge in science and engineering. It entails both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, plus Material Science and Structural Design (a sub-discipline of Civil Engineering), ideally also Control Theory and Logistics.

    • Replies: @MrE3001
  182. @Aspiring Rapper and Honor Student

    the beast of all majors is Electrical Engineering. Anybody with a double E degree commands respect in STEM land

    Except they can’t get laid. Some colleges have set up what they call EE mixers: electrical engineering and elementary education. Both majors have horrible gender balance so maybe they can have each other

  183. Dumbo says:

    Methinks iSteve doesn’t quite understand the concept of the Great Reset. While this seems stupid, I think we have much bigger problems than that now.

  184. Pixo says:
    @Escher

    In my experience upper-middle class to elite Hispanics in Southern California are about 70% Iberian in phenotype, and the remaining 30% about equally divided between Northern European phenotype and mestizo. Even though about 25% of Mexico is Indian or mostly-Indian, I have never, ever, met such a person with a high end professional job. The most successful one I can think of was my concrete contractor.

    They intermarry with UMC/elite whites at a very high rate so I imagine the “hispanic” kids getting into CalTech, 2004-5 births, will frequently be tall and blond like my neighbor’s HS kid, who is 25% Mexican and 75% white American, and has an anglo first and last name.

    His half Mexican mother looks Northern European, but her brother whom I have met many times looks southern Spanish, black hair and eyes, heavy build, hirsute. I have met his kids too but not their mother. They are black haired and very pale and kind of goth looking, and that darker part of the family is also poorer and shows slight Amerindian ancestry. They visit our nice suburb for family gatherings since it is safe and quiet.

    In summary, while Mexico’s white elites didn’t really come to the US in large numbers, the mestizos who did have sorted themselves into a replication of the color caste system through selective mating among themselves and native whites.

    • Replies: @Ricky11
  185. Ole_ed says:

    So, if we’re lucky, Vlad evaporates ‘Murika, at least the ‘cool’ part of it.

  186. girls often decide they want to lose their virginity when they get to college

    Well the diversity won’t have that problem.

  187. @Inquiring Mind

    Didn’t iSteve just post something about “eliminating grades” in the qualification and training to fly paying passengers around in a jet?

    iSteve had a piece about increasing the diversity of the pilotage. What sort of racist do you have to be to assume that would mean “eliminating grades”?

    I’m asking for a friend.

    btw, for some reason a pass/fail test for airline pilots sounds like something you could sell tickets to.

  188. turtle says:
    @Rex Little

    No idea what goes on today.
    In the late 1960s, as I recall, the M/F ratio was approximately 17/1, which was limited by housing.
    https://mccormick.mit.edu/about/mccormick-history

    MIT’s admissions policy at the time dictated that the number of women
    admitted to MIT should be limited by the amount of housing available to them. The MIT administration claimed that, as McCormick grew overcrowded, they would be “[forced] again to apply more rigorous standards in the selection of female than of male applicants.”

    It was not until 1970 that MIT (under pressure from a growing number of female applicants) changed its admission policy, stating for the first time that female applicants should be judged solely on their merits rather than on the capacity of McCormick Hall. This change increased the number of women from 7.6% (Fall 1969) to 9.4% (Fall 1970) of the freshman class

    None of the dorms were officially coed in those days. Although, contrary to official policy, you could keep your mistress in old East Campus (much to the chagrin of Dean K.R. Wadleigh), you just had to keep it on the down low.

    The Tech coeds I knew were extremely bright. One in particular is one of the few people I have met about whom I could say, without question, “This person is smarter than I am.” Legend has it she consumed a six pack of Budweiser while she wrote her 18.02 exam (3 hours, in the Armory), and earned a “B” in the class, which was multivariate and vector integral calculus. I did not see this with my own eyes, as I took 18.02 the year before (I am class of 1970, she was class of 1971).

    I also got a “B” in 18.02, but I could not have done so under the influence of alcohol. Freshman calculus lectures were given by Professor Arthur P. Mattuck, who was quite a good lecturer, although the “standard” 18.01 and 18.02 were less rigorous than my high school calculus class. I really should have tested out of 18.01, but allowed myself to be intimidated by the idea of em eye tee, so did not even take the AP exam.

    Prof. Mattuck generally assigned more problems than anyone could be expected to do. Hence the saying, “drinking from a fire hose.” My experience was that the lecturers were quite good, in all classes, but the recitation instructors varied in teaching ability. Some were quite good (tip of the hat to Carl Mazza in freshman chemistry) but others pretty much sucked, probably because they did not want to be there, but needed the TA stipend.

    • Replies: @Rex Little
    , @MrE3001
  189. The transition from merit based grading to the ‘dumb down’ system of no accountability in education started in the 50’s. So who can we blame?

  190. American education—and also institutions that depend on the intellectual ability of its members, such as NASA—now exist entirely to put on a farce that “hidden figures” with an IQ of 80 are super-smart and should be given credit not only for the scant achievements of the present but also for the more impressive achievements of the past.

    Let me disabuse any American nationalist that may be still hanging around these parts: the US will not survive. No polity can embrace the insane and destructive ideology that has come to rule the US and survive. What’s more, the world will be better off once the US is gone. White Americans will also be better off as long as they awake sufficiently to ward off roving bands of cannibal Negroes.

  191. FLgeezer says:
    @bjdubbs

    What else would one expect from a “Professor” Greenspun?

  192. @Anon

    I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.

    I imagine that that’s a question a Philosophy Graduate can spend the rest of their life considering.

  193. Tibor says:

    Who would want to go to a brain surgeon if they attended this University?

  194. @turtle

    I am class of 1970

    Hey, so was I. I wonder if we knew each other in person. Probably not, unless you lived in Bexley (which, by the way, did officially go coed sometime in the early 70s).

    • Replies: @turtle
  195. the power if grading scales is that it enables one to pace some kind of measure on the work so that a student knows or has some idea what will be required to improve should they need to do so

    it enables less endowed students to work harder

    it also aides instructors to advise students what they specifically need to do to improve

  196. @HammerJack

    At least they are teaching the students Catch 22:
    You need a math degree to be able to choose which assignments get the most weight.
    But you can’t get a math degree unless you choose which assignments get the most weight.

  197. @JimDandy

    Sports too. Why should the fastest runner get the gold?

  198. Joe862 says:
    @AnotherDad

    It was definitely a thing in the mid-nineties. I had a job that had me in college dorms and the freshman girls’ dorm was full of fat chicks. I mentioned it to a student and the “freshman 15” was an established pattern at that time.

  199. @RoatanBill

    Everybody I have ever known that went to either Harvard or Yale, while firmly convinced of their own brilliance, was unimpressive.

    Beyond the fact that the emperor obviously has no clothes—- it’s a joke.

  200. Joe862 says:
    @Craig Morris

    It’s funny how certain classes are brick walls for those below a certain level of ability. I took an astonishingly unchallenging business statistics course and was amazed that a bunch of kids were having trouble with it. I found abstract algebra somewhat challenging but real analysis was really tough. I had to work really hard but I got an A. The professor said everyone used the same book but if we went to MIT maybe we’d have gone just a little further. And this was at a midwest liberal arts school you’ve never heard of. Around the same time US News and World Report published the presidential candidates’ SAT scores. They all had ivy league degrees and none were ivy league material. I’m smarter, at least on paper, than all of them. I’m just slightly above white trash on the social scale. I’m still trying to make sense of it.

  201. Hibernian says:
    @Bert

    Don’t the Humanities students have to have at least introductory Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and probably some Math to go along with them, to enter Med School? I think that’s what Howard Dean did. Also there are some special programs for this I believe.

  202. Joe862 says:
    @Hang All Text Drivers

    Assuming this is true, how should the rest of us respond to it? Say they’re a few thousand years behind. It’s such a small difference in the big scheme of things. It’s a tough question. And an inevitable one. Some group was going to be behind. Seeing it and having some idea of what to do about it are very different things.

  203. @RoatanBill

    Harvard’s a bit weird in that you can absolutely get a world class education there, note our meta-host’s mention of Math 55, or per a friend there in the 1980s who was good at it but not that good you only had to prove you could do algebra to graduate. So employers for example would look at the majors the students took, simply having a Harvard undergraduate degree didn’t mean the person wasn’t a fairly dumb athlete or legacy admit. MIT I’m pretty sure does add some weight to legacy applicants but only after they’ve passed the first phase of “can they do the work,” and I only knew one of those in the time I spent there and in and around the campus in the 1980s.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  204. Ricky11 says:
    @Pixo

    More like 70% sephardic

  205. @Anon

    ” I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.”

    I’m pretty sure that you do. Here let me remind you: One sits around in a Tokyo hotel room’s bedroom window, in one’s underwear, whilst ones husband goes out doing important work.

  206. turtle says:
    @Rex Little

    My living group was East Campus.
    I recall a Dave Little, also from EC, but not Rex. Don’t recall if I knew anyone from Bexley.

    It’s possible we have, or had, friends/acquaintances in common, though.
    I did have a few friends who were Course VI

    Any of these names ring a bell?
    all Course VI, class of ’70 from East Parallel.
    Lewis Reich
    Lowell P. McClure
    Patrick Peterson

    Did you know any student-athletes?
    I played baseball for awhile, then rugby.
    (maybe TMI, I don’t know)

    • Replies: @Rex Little
  207. anonymous[318] • Disclaimer says:

    PhysicistDave: “a substantial number of very stupid people become university professors, even in STEM”

    Exhibit A:

    https://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/faculty-profile/fisman-david-n/

    https://jessicar.substack.com/p/call-for-retraction-of-paper-entitled?s=r

  208. @That Would Be Telling

    If we’re honest here (and we usually are), pre-Griggs, the point of a pre-employment aptitude test was to weed out dumb Blacks, which is most of them.

    I think you paint with too wide a brush with your comment. As I understand it, Griggs vs. Duke recognized the need for qualification (and thus, I presume, testing) that were relevant to an occupation.

    All the above, with the disclaimer that I’m not an attorney, but I have read a few articles online.

  209. Dube says:
    @Anon

    I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.

    Be assured that the man who knows how will work for the man who knows why.

    Or become a poet and produce enough so that you can finally afford to quit.

  210. @Tex

    Reminds me of a “chapter” from Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil (Aphorism 15). Nietzsche ridicules a philosophy which would have one conclude that our body is the very product of our body’s own [sense] organs.

    Rubber academic grading “standards” seem to me, cut from the same cloth (the same fabric used to make the Emperor’s new clothes in the children’s fable, methinks.)

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Nietzsche_Beyond_Good_and_Evil/LHTKIY4Id1AC?hl=en&gbpv=1&pg=PA16&printsec=frontcover

  211. Bo Bo says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/04/29/reckoning-slavery-accounting-sexual-exploitation-black-women/

    Read the above opinion piece. It tells you a lot about a new historical race issue that we will all see in the future. I predict that the DNA programs will be inundated with leftists trying to tie mixed-race blacks to whites for reparations and family wealth sharing.

    • Replies: @Bo Bo
  212. @turtle

    “Rex Little” isn’t my real name, so you wouldn’t remember me that way. I will say that my last name translates to “little” in a foreign language.

    I don’t recall any of the people you named, but I did have friends at EC. The two whose names I remember are Pete Marmorek and Paul Mockapetris. My best friend in the class was Larry Yeager, but I don’t think he lived at EC.

    Didn’t know any athletes, as I was anything but. Certainly wasn’t about to try rugby; at 125 pounds, I’d have been crushed.

    • Replies: @turtle
  213. @Ralph B. Seymour

    Everybody I have ever known that went to either Harvard or Yale, while firmly convinced of their own brilliance, was unimpressive.

    Harvard could – but likely will not – go back to its roots and require proven proficiency in Ancient Greek and Latin of all applicants before even being considered for acceptance.

  214. MrE3001 says:
    @turtle

    The rule is: If you study drunk/high, then you have to take the test drunk/high.

  215. MrE3001 says:
    @Been_there_done_that

    Mechanical Engineering does come across a fair amount of imaginary numbers and Laplace transforms in the Vibrations and Controls courses. Springs, pendulums, rotating things on axles all end up needing e^(i*pi) quite a bit.

    • Replies: @Been_there_done_that
  216. Ron Unz says:
    @Escher

    How many of those “Hispanics” are white skinned Latin American elites is the question

    Can’t really say, but I doubt they’re “elites.” Only a tiny sliver of Hispanics in America come from an elite background, and I’d bet they’d tend to go to law schools or B schools rather than Caltech.

    The last time I checked, the average Hispanic in America is more than 60% European by genetic ancestry, though that’s not widely recognized. My guess is that Caltech Hispanics might skew somehow more European than average, but probably the overwhelming majority would look obviously Hispanic/Mestizo to you or anyone else.

    Just out of curiosity, I located Caltech’s Latino Club, and here’s the webpage along with a photo, which seems reasonably plausible to me:

    https://clases.caltech.edu/about-us.html

    • Replies: @turtle
    , @HammerJack
  217. Ron Unz says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Harvard’s a bit weird in that you can absolutely get a world class education there, note our meta-host’s mention of Math 55

    Wow. Math 55 certainly had quite a reputation back then, but I never dreamed it now even had its own Wikipedia page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Math_55

    And it even mentions Wilfried Schmid, who was my professor back then.

    I remember in one semester final, he announced he was giving us an extra 10 minutes to read the first question…

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
  218. @The Last Real Calvinist

    A recent UC Board of Regents memo noted that a student from an under-resourced high school “may perform poorly on initial assignments.”

    “Under-resourced” is a euphemism for black-and hispanic-dominated. But schools dominated by blacks and/or hispanics are, if anything, over-resourced. It’s White and asian schools that are under-resourced. Several years ago, Jason Richwine did research that showed that black-dominated public schools typically received twice as much money per student as White-dominated public schools.

    Another thing educrats (including conservatives) like to speak of is “underprepared” students. That’s another euphemism for blacks and hispanics. But they’re not “underprepared,” they’re underintelligent.

    Because violent White Marxists and black supremacists frightened academics out of speaking of IQ over 50 years ago, nobody will point out the obvious: Most blacks and hispanics simply aren’t college material.

  219. @Bert

    “The median woman born after the 1940s has had three sex partners in her lifetime.”

    Gimme a break!

  220. turtle says:
    @Ron Unz

    So tell us, o guru, how it is that descendants of European conquerors (conquistadores) who slaughtered the native population, afflicted them with European diseases, looted their treasure and shipped it back to Europe to finance European wars, somehow morph into an “oppressed minority.”

    This guy, for example:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_de_Oñate
    or this one:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hernán_Cortés
    or this one:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Pizarro

    Or any of the common soldiers who marched with them and obeyed their orders.

    • Agree: res
    • Replies: @Pteronarcyd
  221. @MrE3001

    …e^(i*pi)…

    Yes, very useful in automotive design and analysis of suspension systems, also reciprocating combustion engines, with their vibrations, and associated corrective damping efforts.

  222. @Ralph B. Seymour

    Everybody I have ever known that went to either Harvard or Yale, while firmly convinced of their own brilliance, was unimpressive.

    Confirmation bias, of a kind. Besides being self-reported, your sample is exclusively composed of those who made a point of saying where they went to school. Particularly when the school is prestigious, such people are uniformly losers. I’ve also found that they are (mercifully) rare.

  223. @Ron Unz

    At the risk of stating the obvious, the sample here is composed of students who make a major point of their ethnicity. Hard to tell how they’d differ from the set of all latino students, but reasonable to expect that they might.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  224. Ron Unz says:
    @HammerJack

    At the risk of stating the obvious, the sample here is composed of students who make a major point of their ethnicity. Hard to tell how they’d differ from the set of all latino students, but reasonable to expect that they might.

    Possibly. Maybe if you hunt around on the Caltech website you can find photos of the Latino students who look far more European, but I’m a little doubtful. The smartest American Hispanics I’ve ever personally known seem to look pretty much like the ones in that group photo.

  225. Che Guava says:
    @J.Ross

    Group work does work amongst peers. My own rigorous tertiary education included a little in some courses, it never made me feel as if I were carrying a group of morons.

    Perhaps experiences like that of J. Ross (yes, I know the phenomenon from ‘courses’ at work overseas)finer terminology would be more accurate.

    Parasite-host pretense of learning by the parasites comes to mind, but I can see that is not a catchy term. There must be a good way to say it in English, maybe just parasitic non-education?

    To my thinking, though, as bad as such is, in a way it is only a symptom of deeper stupidity.

    Most western countries have been engaged in ‘arms’ races to top the OECD ratings for university graduates by promoting vocational institutes, such as for nursing and teaching, to alleged ‘university’ status.

    In the case of nursing, a university-level is clearly best for some, but not all.

    In the case of teachers, they should necessarily have a real degree, in their field outside teaching, unless they are only teaching very young children, say up to perhaps 8.

    All sorts of bullshit has accreted around these sub-standard ‘universities’, and it really did originate, at least in major part, in an OECD set up pissing match over university grad. numbers.

    Another stupidity, which I did not experience much here, but a little in high school overseas, is governments treating schools as child-minding and indoctrination centres.

    As anyone knows, bullying of the studious and bright is rampant.

    The old system (still alive here to some extent), young adolescents having a meaningful path for work after leaving school in early teens, I was suggesting to the mother of a boy who finished high school a few years ago, both friends, that he consider trade school with a major company.

    His mother was ‘university or bust’, now he has graduated from a mid-ranked university to work in a field with no relation to his studies.

    The other thing that is healthier in Japan than the ‘west’ is that many still leave school early, and have paths ahead, trades, running bars or restaurants, driving, etc.

    • Replies: @turtle
  226. turtle says:
    @Rex Little

    Well, I’ll be damned.

    Paul Mockapetris, John Cross ’72 and I shared a flat near Inman Square in 1971-1972.
    I was working in industry, having graduated in June 1970 and somehow managed to avoid the draft (my draft lottery number came up in October, but I was I-Y due to a minor physical deficiency, as were many others). Paul was working on a VI-3 degree, having finally acknowledged that he was really a computer guy rather than a physicist. He made sarcastic comments about the difference between “theoretical” computer science and practical computer programming.

    Paul was working at IBM CSS, and we had a time share terminal in the flat, which PVM allowed John and me to crib time off his CP/CMS account @ CSS. John was Course V, but his hobby was model rocketry, and he used the CSS time to write rocket programs. I used it to test ideas for my work responsibilities, for which I otherwise would have had to use batch processing on our client’s IBM 360/30 in Central Square. Big difference in turnaround. 🙂

    Did you have any connection to Nick Negroponte and the Architecture Machine? Maybe that’s how you know Paul?

    I recall a guy named John (?) Kruger from Dedham who may have lived at Bexley. I believe he was Course X, but liked to hold forth on existential philosophy, particularly that of Kierkegaard.

    Pete Marmorek was a bit of a character, to say the least.

    Nice talking to you. 🙂
    Ah, memories…

    • Replies: @Rex Little
  227. turtle says:
    @Ron Unz

    That’s why all this public talk of dumbing down the UC academic system in order to protect “blacks and Hispanics” from academic failure seems like subterfuge to me.

    Agree. I know a fellow from Nicaragua (legal immigrant to U.S., U.S. Army veteran) whose older daughter did well enough to get a full scholarship to CalTech. She graduated, did graduate work at Cornell, and now teaches at U. of Illinois.

    Her younger sister, a UCI graduate in mechanical engineering, works for Tesla, remotely from Hawaii, where her husband is stationed with the U.S. Army.

    The most financially successful Hispanic I have known was born into a large, poor family in Guadalajara, and never owned a pair of shoes until he was 12 years old. Alfredo (nickname “Güero”) made his fortune in the steel construction business in SoCal and retired to his ranch in Jalisco at a fairly young age. His son went to university at CSUSB and later became an attorney.

    My former neighbors, Mexican born, naturalized U.S. citizens, are more “middle class American” in their outlook than I, a native born fourth generation American of European heritage. Their children, native born U.S. citizens, are perfectly bilingual (no “Spanglish”) and have all done quite well academically. Their mom, also a tapatío, a petite blonde, is strikingly beautiful, and always dresses “to the nines,” very stylish, but not gaudy or trashy, whenever she leaves the house.

    So, I do not want to hear any whining about “victims of oppression.” You can peddle that nonsense somewhere else, as far as I am concerned. Suck it up, buttercup. The opportunities are there, if you are willing to work for the desired result. If not, then you are invited to dry up and blow away, like a dead tumbleweed.

    • Replies: @Anonymous123
  228. @Ralph L

    For math majors, symbolic logic would be.

    I initially want to be a chemistry major, and though I did fine enough to proceed through the major, there was no way I was going to get into a top grad school at the end. So I switched to lit with a minor in philosophy, largely because I was a great writer. Off to a top 10 business school, and never looked back.

    A bunch of my college pals were in Chem Eng, and not the greatest students, but went into business right out of undergrad. Gentlemen’s Bs and Cs back then were just fine for the big oil and chem firms.

  229. turtle says:
    @Che Guava

    trade school with a major company.

    His mother was ‘university or bust’

    A dirty little secret (pun intended) is that this is not an either/or proposition.
    In my life, I have had the privilege to know, and work with, many university graduates, typically with STEM degrees, who also had a skilled trade qualification.

    Fact is, if you are a qualified journeyman at any skilled trade, you are likely to have more options, and more freedom, than someone who is limited to working at an office job for a large corporation.

    And then there are musicians, and other artists….some of whom manage to quit their day jobs, others who do not.

    Just my \$0.02

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  230. @turtle

    Heh, figured we’d find mutual acquaintances sooner than later. 🙂

    I barely knew Paul, and pretty sure only as part of Pete’s crowd. There were probably a dozen guys at EC I knew better, but their names were easier to forget than Paul’s (or Pete’s for that matter). Haven’t seen any of them since graduation.

    I don’t remember any Kruger from Bexley. Perhaps he was part of the SDS crowd there; I didn’t befriend any of them since my political inclinations ran in quite the opposite direction.

  231. @J.Ross

    Group work assignments don’t work in college and many times in the work place to bring up a lower skilled individual unless they have real desire to succeed and the skills and the talent. It never fails in group projects one or two of the top performers end up taking on most of the work to ensure the end result is superior or meets or exceeds expectations. One or two semesters in college is not enough time for a student to catch up to the level or degree of their peers with these new lower admissions standards. Professors that have spoken out have been fired. Students that have failed because they have been accepted at higher level universities and failed on equity based reasons have been vilified. What is the answer? Tackle the failing K-12 public school system and offer a Gold standard for the first 13 years of education for all children (school choice); Plus, a stable two parent household that encourages academic achievement and support.

  232. @turtle

    He made a “fortune” and the best he could do is get his kid into CSUSB?

    • Replies: @turtle
  233. turtle says:
    @Anonymous123

    He didn’t make his fortune by being a spendthrift. 🙂

  234. @Mr. Anon

    Ease your fears some, for masks have been worn by construction workers for as much as or more than fifty years, without lots of lung problems from them. Though it is true they are made of plastic fibers, these are long fibers and they are strong ones stuck together. The vast majority of microplastics in lungs probably come from shirts made of microfiber, which are known to shed horribly in the laundry. They must also shed fibers all day long as the wearer moves around and inhales only inches away from the shirt. If you want to make good sense, fear your shirt. Go back to cotton shirts.

    As to masks, I want to add that construction workers call the cheap ones like those used for covid “cheap fifty cent dust masks” and scorn them because they only trap 50% of cement dust which causes emphysema. Cement dust is a gazillion times bigger than viruses. There are good masks, like 3M-9970, which will catch stuff as small as radionuclides, are rated for asbestos, and which are trusted by those who know to reliably prevent hanta infection from happening when cleaning out old rodent infested buildings. This mask seals tight to the face by design, unlike cheap covid masks. 3M-9970 masks are expensive, but can be sterilized with ozone from an ozone generator, dried and saved in a zip-lock bag for reuse many times by a homeowner or ordinary person not exposed to the heavy dust loads of all day construction work. If I were to want to walk through a contagion, that is the mask I’d use. If I want a mask for any work I do, that is the one I go to. It is also one that is relatively easy to breathe through because of the exhalation valve.

  235. bruce county says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Game metrics…LOL.

  236. Bo Bo says:
    @Bo Bo

    Just an update. I found out that the subject of female slaves being sex slaves to white owners was already covered in Wikipedia:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treatment_of_slaves_in_the_United_States

    The Washington Post opinion piece (I ref’d in my post) has about 2500 comment from readers of the opinion piece. Fox News has an article about the writer of the 1619 Project complaining that the Republican party was the party of white people and all minorities should be in the Democrat party. I put two and two together and realized that in 6 months the congressional mid-term elections are coming. So the Washington Post opinion piece I originally ref”d is geared toward the upcoming mid-term elections- I would think.

  237. I went to college to become a elementary school teacher. During my student teaching segment I realized I would have to teach soft communism. The teacher took all the smart kids and teamed them up with stupid kids so the smart kids could do all the work. They even allowed the smart kids to answer questions on the standard tests. the only thing the principle cared about was these tests which gave the staff bonuses.

    This was 3rd graders.

  238. @turtle

    “[H]ow it is that descendants of European conquerors … somehow morph into an “oppressed minority.””

    By rampantly interbreeding to form the hybrid subspecies of Mestizoids, Caucasoid × Americoid, and by dwelling in a nation founded in NW Caucasoid principles.

  239. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The purpose of schooling in the usa is to act as a class marker. This interferes with the other goals of higher education, which are:

    Vocational training for the artisan and professional class;

    Knocking a little culture into the children of the wealthy (liberal arts); and

    Fostering genuine academic geniuses and giving them a place to be academics.

    The “college degree as class marker” means that everyone who (whose family) can pay for a degree should get one. This is at odds with the requirement that people with engineering degrees reall should k ow thier calculus.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  240. Che Guava says:
    @turtle

    I like it and had trades-training, too, much appreciated. Not to serious expert level, but welding, metal turning and fitting, solder, and old-school technical drawing.

    The only one I was almost useless at was metal-fitting, hurt my hands too much, but I still got through the assigned tasks.

    In relation to other points of Japan’s superior approach in other ways, anyone with the ability can become an accountant, various types of paralegal, and even a lawyer, a physiotherapist, mainly through self-study and practical work.

    Acting is the same, most go through an apprentice-like process, the relatively recent negative side of that is ‘idol’ factories, so our cinema is rarely worth watching lately, but switching to western-style drama degrees wouldn’t fix anything.
     
    Similar for animation and comics.

    None of the greats took courses in how to do it, except at times, apprentice-style.

  241. @Dave from Oz

    I think it was Spandrell on his Bloody Shovel blog (or maybe Jim formerly of Jim’s Blog) who put it the most concisely, US higher education is the only way in our society to “buy status.”

  242. anonymous[251] • Disclaimer says:

    As Orwell once said in “1984”

    “Freedom begins with the ability to say 2 + 2 = 4. What’s that’s achieved all else follows” (Something close to that)

    The Anti Cult CRT, BLM powers that be are now pushing very very hard to end testing in basic , non political subjects like math and reading.

    Yes, the CTU Chicago Teachers Union/Communist Teachers Union is openly pushing to abolish testing because that’s supposedly “Racist”.

    Our civilization is going down the drain, remaining sane Whites and others are desperately gasping for air, grasping and straws.

    We’re in the dark ages of Kali Yuga. Stalinism in the old USSR was better than this, at least regular folks could ride the Moscow subway in safety back then.

    J Ryan
    TPC The Political Cesspool Radio Show hosted by James Edwards.

  243. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia

    I don’t know what one does with a Philosophy degree.

    Ricky Gervais has a philosophy degree and he became a comic, writer, producer, and actor. I should think that a degree in philosophy would be a very good background for a comedian.

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