How to Fix the Universities

We got into this mess from the supply side — with “college degree or equivalent” now required for every job short of janitor, colleges had to start cranking out the graduates, standards be damned.  We can fix it from the demand side.

The cutout is “or equivalent.”  Griggs v. Duke Power said it’s rayciss to give your employees intelligence tests.  But Griggs was decided in 1971, long before collecting Diversity Pokemon became the national hobby (in 1971, the few Blacks with college degrees had them from real colleges, in real subjects, and wouldn’t be working for Duke Power).  Thus, “or equivalent.”  The courts effectively mandated a quota system, and it was up to the private sector to figure out just how to make one work (and in the process throwing a bone to the lawyers, who could endlessly sue over just what “or equivalent” was supposed to mean).  So businesses did what academia itself would be forced to do a few years later, after the Bakke decision (1978): Make “being Black” worth the equivalent of 600 SAT points (or whatever it was).

Still, a loophole is a loophole.  Colleges obviously can’t re-establish standards.  90% of the student body– and at least 75% of the professors — would fail out, and then they all go broke.  Nor is it possible to start a new college with real standards, because a) you’ll be forced to admit a bunch of substandard students to comply with “diversity” guidelines, and b) if you try to do it any other way, e.g. online, you won’t get accredited, because the accreditation scam is run by the existing colleges (this is why “for-profit” colleges immediately devolved into a scam).

So what I’m thinking is, start a new online “college” that doesn’t need to be accredited.  Call it a “basic skills training program,” and call passing the basic skills certification course the “or equivalent” the Supremes allowed under Griggs.  Our Basic Skills Cert Course would offer a test — call it the Diverse Undergraduate Matriculation Baseline Assessment (DUMBAss)– and intense online remediation for failed sections.  A pass on the DUMBAss makes you eligible for hire.  (Heck, you could lawyer-proof it further by doing a contingency hire — you’re hired pending a pass on the DUMBAss — and make contingent employees take it at company expense.  It’s cash up front, but in the end it’s far cheaper than hiring an essentially un-fire-able “employee” who can’t do basic math).

So long as everything is done with a random number ID, such that nobody at the Basic Skills Cert Course ever sees any identifying info, you can’t possibly be accused of rayciss (that certain demographic profiles fail the DUMBAss at much higher rates is not a problem until somebody sues… at which point it becomes hilarious, watching lawyers telling the Supreme Court that math itself is rayciss).

You’d probably have to set it up overseas — ideally right next to one of those Caribbean medical schools, but anywhere the Feds can’t touch you would do.  Incorporate in Bermuda (or whatever) and US diversity laws don’t apply to you anyway.  Do it all online, such that Basic Cert employees could “teach” their remedial sections from anywhere, and you’ve set up the educational equivalent of one of those online casinos… except providing a real service.  Not only would this get real companies half-educated employees, but it’d drive all but the biggest name brand colleges out of business.

You could set the whole thing up for about a buck fifty.  Why is nobody doing this?


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3 thoughts on “How to Fix the Universities

  1. Anonymous White Male

    I think that the DUMBAss is a keeper. Unlike human dumbasses. It might be a viable business option, too, but it would be hard to keep a straight face while courting investors.

  2. P_Ang

    I don’t know…that was basically the idea behind the A+ certification. Take this test, pay so much money, and we certify for a lifetime that you “know computers.” The original test was hard and required brains and rather intense study to pass the $350 test for a lifetime cert.

    Most certs had a 1 or 2 year time limit. Fewer people took them because it was pain and angst that you had to repay and retest again 1 or 2 years down the road. Then SO MANY PEOPLE passed the lifetime cert (650,000) that they decided the only way to make it “valuable” was to limit it to two years. Everyone that took the test pre-(2002?) was still lifetime certified. Only problem was, no one takes it now, and no one gives a rat’s-patoot about the cert. It simply isn’t worth the time and money.

    The same thing would happen with DUMBAss. You’d HAVE to make it a lifetime cert. People need to be DUMBAss certified to work. They don’t want to retest and retest after high school once they’ve started working. But if you give it a lifetime cert it becomes worthless. And once enough people have it, it will always be worthless. Even if they forced you to take the DUMBAss every one or two years, eventually thousands of people would complain that it’s rayciss! to not allow points for their outstanding life-knowledge of blackity-blackness growing up in suburban Democratropolic and voting for whatever candidate has the most skin-color while sticking closest to the day’s current DNC party screed. (Besides, would you want to explain to an employer you were DUMBAss certified last year, but because of overtime and family issues you barely managed to pull off a temporary Synaptically Motionless And Retarded Thought certificate (SMART) until you could retest next year?)

    1. Severian Post author

      I was thinking more along the lines of SEC certifications. If you go to work in a financial services firm, you can only do limited things until you pass your Series 6 exam. If you pass, you become a full employee. If you fail, you get fired. (And if you quit, your certification lapses after a year or so).

      I’d see the DUMBAss as a 2 stage process. You take it the first time, and if you fail, you get extensive online remediation for a period of two weeks (or a month, whatever). Then you take it a second time, and if you fail, you’re out. Make it a condition of employment that’s known from the start and it’s legal (doctors get fired if they don’t pass their boards, even though they have MD after their name, and the same goes for mechanics etc.)

      Plus teaching the DUMBAss would be a great source of revenue for folks like us.

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