A federal judge (Nicholas Garaufis) recently ruled that multiple choice written axams “discriminate against black applicants” and charged the City of New York with “deliberate discrimination” for continuing to use such time-tested exams.
Ironically enough, the SAME 1-standard deviation disparity in test scores exists between blacks and whites on ALL such standardized exams from the SAT’s and various Civil Service Entrance Exams, to the GRE’s and MCATSs, as well as various professional licensing exams, like the Law Boards and the CPA Exam.
How that one set of disparities “actionable,” while others remain immune from such “remedies” is an interesting dilemma, in and of itself.
The primary reason seems to be political. According to the attorney for the New Haven 20 (Karen Torre) the feds picked Fire Departments because “they believed firefighters wouldn’t fight back,” given their track record of ‘sucking it up’ and dealing with things as they come.
The main reason given for law suits against the FDNY is its vaunted “racial disparity in its makeup.” The charge is that “the FDNY should look a lot more like New York City.”
What’s really odd about this to me is that the FDNY is far from the most “racially out of balance” Department in the City of NY.
Whites are appx. 45% of the city’s population and 77% of the FDNY’s make-up, that’s a 1.67/1 ratio, or less than a 2 to 1 representation of whites within that population. Even if one takes that 77% figure and throws out the “far more diverse” office staff and takes into account only the in-field uniformed workforce, said to be appx. 90% white (with 3% black, 6% Hispanic and 1% other) that’s still a 2 to 1 ratio of whites relative to their numbers in NYC’s population!
By comparison, blacks comprise appx. 27% of NYC’s population and make-up 65% of the Dept of Corrections personnel, a 2.4/1 ratio, or nearly 2½X the black representation of their numbers within the city…and the Department of Juvenile Justice, which is 78% black is a staggering 2.92/1 ratio, or a nearly 3 to 1 representation of blacks relative to their numbers within the city!
Why aren’t those, even greater racial anomalies as large a concern as the FDNY’s much smaller racial disparity?
Is it simply because far more College educated whites take the exams for Emergency Services jobs, virtually assuring a disparate outcome on those exams? That’s certainly one possibility.
If so, then why aren’t the Dept of Justice’s and Nicholas Garaufis’ agendas not being viewed through a similar racial prism?
To do the math yourself, you’ll need two sets of statistics; (1) The racial makeup of New York city is 44.66% White, 26.59% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 9.83% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 13.42% from other races, and 4.92% from two or more races. 26.98% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
SEE: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/New_York_City and (2) the Demographics of City Agencies: http://www.citylimits.org/multimedia/257/new-york-city-s-agencies-by-race-ethnic-breakdown
Seriously, WHY shouldn’t the Department of Corrections, the Department of Juvenile Justice and other such Departments “LOOK a LOT MORE like New York City?”