Meritocracy, Inc.: How Wealth Became Merit, Class Became Race, and College Education Became a Gift from the Poor to the Rich
LG: Harvard University did a study based on thirty Harvard graduates over a thirty-year period. They wanted to know which students were most likely to exemplify the things that Harvard values most: doing well financially, having a satisfying career and contributing to society (especially in the form of donating to Harvard). The two variables that most predicted which students would achieve these criteria were low SAT scores and a blue-collar background.
That study was followed by one at the University of Michigan Law School that found that those most likely to do well financially, maintain a satisfying career, and contribute to society, were black and Latino students who were admitted pursuant to Affirmative Action. Conversely, those with the highest LSAT scores were the least likely to mentor younger attorneys, do pro-bono work, sit on community boards, etc.
So, the use of these so called “measures of merit” like standardized tests is backfiring on our institutions of higher learning and blocking the road to a more democratic society.