Back in the 1980’s, the US Department of Labor started promoting the use of its General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) to state employment services. When a state agency is trying to get unemployed people back to work, it’s helpful to have a way to rate their skills and qualifications. (…)
Unfortunately, there was a fly in the ointment – blacks scored significantly below whites on the GATB and Hispanics scored someplace in between. Hiring based on raw test scores would have been inconsistent with the government’s affirmative action goals. Accordingly, some bureaucrat conceived the idea of adjusting scores according to an applicant’s race. If a black person took the test, his score would be compared only with the scores of other blacks who took the test. (…)
employment agencies don’t appreciate how much businesses resent being lied to about the qualifications of the candidates the government sends them. Businesses have figured out how to un-fudge the data, however, so they contain their resentment. Over time, they figure out how much the government inflates the score of a black driver or a Hispanic roofer. They receive the fudged government scores, make the necessary mental adjustment in the negative to get a truthful picture of the candidate, hire accordingly and get on with life. (…)
Depending on the way they fudge applicant’s scores during the admission process, some colleges award three or four kinds of degree depending on how finely they slice the applicant pool.
…a Yale minority degree is actually worth, well, about what a normal community college degree might be.