Lion of the Blogosphere

The other half of Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971)

with 15 comments

On HBD blogs, commenters only seem to remember that the Supreme Court held that Duke Power was not allowed to use an IQ test to hire workers. They forget that the Court also held that Duke could not use high school diplomas.

The facts of this case demonstrate the inadequacy of broad and general testing devices, as well as the infirmity of using diplomas or degrees as fixed measures of capability. History is filled with examples of men and women who rendered highly effective performance without the conventional badges of accomplishment in terms of certificates, diplomas, or degrees. Diplomas and tests are useful servants, but Congress has mandated the common sense proposition that they are not to become masters of reality.

So people who say that employers use “diplomas or degrees” to hire because they’re not allowed to use tests, they have not bothered to read the case or understand it.

Employers use degrees to hire because it’s what they do, it’s a business tradition, an established way of doing things. Tests never caught on outside of computer programming.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

November 13, 2017 at 11:27 am

Posted in Law

15 Responses

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  1. This will be one of several wonderful reversals by Trump’s SCOTUS.

    Andrew E.

    November 13, 2017 at 11:41 am

  2. That crap needs to be overturned. Liberal Supreme Courts are a cancer on America, burdening a civilization whose workings they do not understand.

    In my world, those justices would have been made to take over responsibility for Duke Power. Then after a year of darkness and squalor the executives of Duke Power would have been restored and given responsibility for the Supreme Court docket, to great cheers.


    November 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

  3. There is a way to disintermediate universities from the job of being career gatekeepers, but it isn’t online learning that will replace them. Rather a large investment would need to take place to replicate the physical assets of campus life, but with many fewer academics and more focus on strictly general pre-professional training.

    In would be business math, organization, speaking and writing, out would be literary seminars on obscure prose and theory. Therefore, instead of college being a four plus years slog to obtain a degree, the new attraction would be a two year retreat of transition and acclamation to a professional work environment and networking.

    The costs to families and society would be cut in half, but yield better prepared students for their future. For those who wanted to pursue a strictly academic career or require more intense study, institutions will still remain to train those folks as well.

    Brian Spelman

    November 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

    • …or employers could just train their employees, which is what they used to do before “everyone should go to college” and Big Education took over. College only serves those who work there.

      Let’s just go back to pad OJT.

      Robert the Wise

      November 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      • “paid” not “pad”.

        Robert the Wise

        November 14, 2017 at 9:56 pm

  4. Ironically, the Federal Government relies enormously and both IQ tests and degrees in hiring.

    The whole military uses the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) which is basically a giant IQ test. This was initiated in 1968 and adopted by all branches of the military in 1976. It governs all their hiring and low scorers are barred by law from enlisting. High school diplomas or GEDs are generally required as well.

    As for college diplomas, they are required for virtually all civil service jobs.

    Should companies just follow the Federal government’s lead and pretend this Supreme Court decision never occurred?


    November 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

  5. So why are they allowed to use diplomas if the Supreme Court ruled that they can’t? Just speculating, I could easily imagine but it’s both the tradition and the court ruling reinforcing each other. It’s a lot safer to break a rule is everybody’s also breaking it. The court rules that you can’t do A and you can’t do B, but everyone’s used to doing B, so that part of the ruling is effectively nullified in practice. People aren’t used to doing A, so they feel like they would stick out if they did switch to doing that, and they’re afraid that they will be punished by the legal system because there are violating the ruling in a high-profile way. So no one ever switches to A and it remains not-the-done-thing.

    Greg Pandatshang

    November 13, 2017 at 12:04 pm

  6. What about civil service exams? Did those go away? I took the post office exam when I was in high school…postal service was still requiring the exam in the 90s iirc.

    Mrs Stitch

    November 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    • I took my city’s firefighter exam in 1983, and was offered the job starting at $8/hr. Turned it down to finish my Computer Science degree. Big mistake.

      E. Rekshun

      November 13, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      • You could have died in a fire. Better off with a desk job.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        November 13, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      • The pension programs are all busted, so this idea that firefighters, cops, and teachers have made out great will ultimately be bullshit in most cases. Most ain’t getting the money, because it’s not there.


        November 13, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      • >>The pension programs are all busted, so this idea that firefighters, cops, and teachers have made out great will ultimately be bullshit in most cases. Most ain’t getting the money, because it’s not there.<<

        The left-wing courts will most likely order the taxpayers to come up with the money in the event of bankruptcy. The People will be compelled to meet the obligations by judicial fiat. The People should defy, resist, then we will have a real showdown.


        November 13, 2017 at 10:31 pm

  7. McKinsey uses testing for some hires in their consulting pipeline who are non-traditional and/or non-elite grads. It’s the Mckinsey PST. I think BCG does as well. The test isn’t a be-all-end-all but it is a gatekeeper in the process. It’s a pretty good test IMO.

    Simba of the Blogosphere

    November 13, 2017 at 7:11 pm

  8. Hollywood uses auditions. And it just so happens that Silicon Valley and Hollywood are two of the leading industries in the US.

    JW Bell

    November 14, 2017 at 12:25 am

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