Recently in the news we have witnessed Princeton and Stanford eliminate their SAT Essay requirement, the University of Chicago has dropped the requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores altogether, we have found that grade inflation is rampant in elite colleges graduating a significant percentage of students summa cum laude, the Ivy League has again been exposed for discriminating against overachieving Asian-Americans, and a coalition of private high schools has proposed to eliminate all grades on the grounds that "a GPA shaves off a lot of humanity."
When Jack Welch ran General Electric from 1981 to 2001, GE and its stock price dramatically outperformed the rest of corporate America, increasing profit to $15 billion per year and increasing the company's value nearly 4,000%. Jack firmly believed in differentiation. He believed that GE should cultivate the strong and cull the weak. As detailed in his books, "Straight From The Gut" and "Winning," Jack's leadership philosophy showered the A's with love, helped develop the B's, and released the C's in order that they may find success elsewhere.
Jack proved that winning created jobs, opportunities, hope for the future, college educations, better healthcare, vacations, successful retirements, and the ability to give back to society. In his terms, equalizing and redistribution created the opposite effects. Now that Jack has long retired, GE has softened his meritocracy and implemented more equal treatment of personnel and equal distribution of corporate capital. Also, GE has greatly downsized, initiated thousands of layoffs, lost its profitability, and its stock has severely underperformed the market, even recently being kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). This former empire which did so much good and helped so many people is now deemed irrelevant. A precursor for us all?
Princeton and Stanford claimed they are dropping the SAT essay because of the cost. But, it adds merely $14 to the fee, and poor students are provided a waiver. The schools propose that the application essay is more predictive. In other words, the kids who have parents who help write the application, or even hire tutors and consultants to help write them, now have even more of an advantage. Do you see how the elites are hurting the people they claim to be helping? Why do we believe this stuff?
The University of Chicago claims that by no longer requiring the SAT or ACT scores they are leveling the playing field for poor and minority students. But now the remainder of the students' applications are weighed more heavily with items such as corporate internships, studies abroad, and advanced extra-curricular activities. Again, this hurts the very people the elites are claiming to support. Objective tests, open to everyone, are one of the few meritorious assessments left for individuals to help raise their own station, to advance above their current circumstances. Why would we want the collectivists to choose who succeeds in our country?
High schools long ago began providing grades above a 4.0. I recall one of my statistics professors in his speeches about the dumbing down of America always complaining about people who use the term "110%." Elite universities have significantly inflated grades and the number of students graduating with special honors. Elite prep schools are proposing to eliminate grades altogether. We must bring back Jack! I am sure he is tanned, rested, and ready, and no doubt he will whip these kids into shape. And, no doubt the "silent majority" will support him 110%!
Finally, it is a disgraceful national secret that we discriminate against the one demographic we should be celebrating for their commitment to achievement, to American meritocracy. Harvard, Yale, and their League have been fraudulently denying admissions to Asian-Americans for years because this demographic studies for their physics exams instead of watching "American Idol" and "Survivor" like the rest of us. To effect their scheme, Harvard assigns low "personal ratings" to Asian-Americans claiming they have lower "likeability," "helpfulness," and "courage" in order that these scores offset their high GPA's and SAT scores. Yet, Harvard's own alumni who volunteer to interview these applicants, the only people who actually meet the applicants, claim they provide Asian-Americans higher scores than any other group. Harvard changes the scores to complete their fraud, and they have been doing it for a very long time. The only reason you don't know about this injustice is because this demographic does not march on Washington and demand equal treatment. They just work harder.
Meritocracy is defined as a system in which those who perform are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement. Achievement is measured by performance, not race, not gender, not socioeconomic status. Therefore, achievement is the ultimate equalizer.
The United States is a meritocracy. We do not believe in equality of outcomes, but in equality of opportunities. Exceptionalism is a race to the top, not the bottom. Do we not still believe this?
"I shudder to think what kind of person I would be today if I had given myself a steady diet of talk shows, soap operas, tabloid journalism, and the like." - Bob Buford