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Thread: DOJ: Math Don't Care About Black!

  1. #1
    PhilosophyGenius Guest

    DOJ: Math Don't Care About Black!

    Virginia Beach agrees to change the way it scores police math exams

    By DUANE BOURNE, The Virginian-Pilot
    © April 3, 2006 | Last updated 11:12 PM Apr. 3

    (PG: This is the bullshit of all bullshit! And sorry no link)

    VIRGINIA BEACH — The city has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to resolve allegations that it discriminated against black and Hispanic police recruits.


    Under a consent decree filed Monday in federal court in Norfolk, the city will change the way it scores the police entrance exam.

    The Justice Department had complained that the math portion of the exam had an adverse effect on minority applicants and unfairly excluded them from being hired.

    The city will offer to let 124 black and Hispanic former applicants resume the hiring process. Those recruits failed the math test between 2002 and 2005 but would have passed under the new standards.

    Background: Feds say Beach's math exam for police recruits is discriminatory

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    The city also will create a $160,000 fund to compensate those applicants.

    In the 27-page settlement, the Justice Department states that the city did not intentionally discriminate against blacks and Hispanics.

    “The Department of Justice has alleged that the testing component disproportionately disqualified minority applicants,” Deputy City Attorney Mark Stiles said. “They don’t allege that we engaged in that conduct with the intent of discrimination, but rather that the disparate impact was found to have occurred by our simply using the test.”

    In a letter to the city in February, the Justice Department said Virginia Beach had “engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination” against black and Hispanic applicants.

    After an 18-month investigation, the Justice Department found that the police force did not reflect the diversity of the city’s population because of how the math test was graded.

    The Justice Department claimed that the test’s pass-fail system had a disproportionate effect on minorities because the passing rates for blacks and Hispanics were less than 80 percent of the passing rate for whites.

    From 2002 to mid-2005, about 85 percent of white applicants passed the math exam, compared with 59 percent of blacks and 66 percent of Hispanics.

    Under the old standard, Virginia Beach required all recruits to score 70 percent on each of three written tests for reading comprehension, grammar and spelling, and math.

    The Justice Department questioned whether math is relevant to the daily duties of a police officer. The city agreed to eliminate the 70 percent cutoff score for the math part of the test.

    Under the new standard, an applicant must score at least 70 percent on the reading and grammar parts of the test and score an average of at least 60 percent on all three parts of the exam. The new scoring method will take effect as soon as next week, when the next exam will be administered.

    According to data from the city, an additional 15 percent of applicants probably could pass the overall exam under the new standard.

    “This is the right standard,” Stiles said. “The investigation, at least in part, helped us realize what we have to do.”

    At least one city official, Councilwoman Reba McClanan, said she does not agree with the settlement.

    “One of the things that’s insulting about it is they’re telling us we don’t have a right to insist on certain standards,” McClanan said. “My feeling was we should hang in there. We want fairness and we want as many minorities working for our departments as possible, but we also want them to meet certain standards.”

    The city will give 124 applicants a chance to resume participation in the hiring process. Of that number, the city has committed to hiring at least 15 – three Hispanics and 12 blacks – who complete the application process. Those recruits could begin the Police Academy sometime in 2007 or 2008.

    “I hope that we get more than 15 because we have tried to diversify,” Police Chief Jake Jacocks Jr. said.

    In the end, the applicants who failed under the old standard will still have to meet the department’s other entry requirements.

    Whether they choose to continue to the Police Academy, those 124 former applicants are entitled to seek a share of the $160,000. The pool contains two funds: $128,000 for black applicants and $32,000 for Hispanic applicants.

    In the next two months, the city will notify the former applicants about the proposed consent decree so they can tell the federal court whether they consider it fair.

    The court could hold a hearing as early as July. Then the city will know what the 124 former applicants chose to do.

    The city will then evaluate those people seeking hiring relief and determine whether they are eligible. The city also could object to some individuals seeking money.

    A second court hearing will be scheduled to determine the amount of compensation per applicant. That amount will depend on the number of people who apply.

    Staff writer Marisa Taylor contributed to this report.

    Reach Duane Bourne at (757) 222-5150 or

  2. #2
    PhilosophyGenius Guest
    We need to stop lowering standards and dumbing down our society. Kinda like how a group of woman sued the fire departement because they couldn't pass the phycial exams.

  3. #3
    thumper Guest
    how about a separate test for quadropalegics

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