It should not be news to conspiracy theorists that there has been an active communist conspiracy for more than a century to generate class warfare in the United States. To this end the communists have employed various forms of “Fake News,” once referred to as propaganda, to make American workers see red when thinking about how the wealthier classes have kept them from realizing the American Dream.
These propaganda activities have been condemned by leading politicians and business leaders for decades. But UP@NIGHT has discovered a far more insidious scheme than the generation of ordinary “Fake News.” The plan appears to have been hatched during the early Stalinist era in the former Soviet Union. So insidious was this plot that it is only now becoming clear how successful this covert operation has been. And it involved an institution as American as Apple Pie. Yes, unbelievably, the SATs were part of Stalin’s plan.
Brief background: Lenin died in 1924, which allowed Stalin to consolidate power and rule the Soviet Union until his death in 1953. In 1926 the SAT was introduced in the U.S., with some of its earliest boosters, including James Conant, the President of Harvard, seeking to create more equality of opportunity in the country, as opposed to equality of rewards.
But whatever the intentions of educators in supporting the SATs, the cunning Stalin and his commie cohort saw that over time the goal of creating a more meritocratic system of higher ed based on the tests was doomed. They correctly concluded that wealth provides the children of the upper classes advantages in taking so-called objective tests. And their insight wasn’t rocket science: better schools in wealthier districts, combined with the opportunities that the wealthy can provide their children, would certainly lead to higher test scores among the progeny of the well-to-do. As bureaucrats of the first order, the commies understood how people could game an allegedly objective system with enough time and money. As time passed, those left behind by the testing regime would come to realize that they were being snookered, deepening class antagonisms.
The commies decided that they could help deepen class divides by creating a “Fake News” campaign that maintained and broadened the use of SATs, a campaign that included praising the benefits of standardized tests, even supporting the notion that they could help folks achieve the American Dream. In addition, from unnamed but extremely reliable sources, UP@NIGHT has learned that the Educational Testing Service was directly supported in numerous ways by Soviet operatives, including financial contributions and efforts to maintain its non-profit status. Perhaps even more alarming, the ranking of schools by U.S. News has also been part of this campaign. Specifically, against the criticisms coming from academics regarding the biases of rankings, which are pretty obvious, “Fake News” items were planted defending the objectivity of the U.S. News rankings by so-called experts. And the results are just what the commies had originally intended. Rankings fever, which has helped to exacerbate disparities in wealth. (The rankings phenomenon has become so wide-spread that even a smallish academic discipline, Philosophy, has had to grapple with a biased ranking system, The Philosophical Gourmet Report.)
What has been the result? As we learn from a well documented article in Politico, “How U.S. News college rankings promote economic inequality on campus” the use of the SATs, in particular by the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, has indeed helped to promote inequality because of the dependence of Americans on education for economic mobility. These rankings have led to advantages for the children of the wealthy, advantages that have generated antagonisms between the wealthy, the urban elites, and the disenfranchised. From the Politico article:
Recent studies have produced the most powerful statistical evidence in decades that higher education — once considered the ladder of economic mobility — is a prime source of rewarding established wealth. One report by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation found that kids from the top quartile of income earners account for 72 percent of students at the nation’s most competitive schools, while those from the bottom quartile are just 3 percent. Fewer than 10 percent of those in the lowest quartile of income ever get a bachelor’s degree, research has shown.
This has led Brit Kirwan, former chancellor of the University of Maryland system, to declare, “We are creating a permanent underclass in America based on education — something we’ve never had before.” (From the Politico article.)
Two of the graphs from the article illustrate the gravity of the problem. The first, the correlation between SATs and parental income:
Here’s how the Politico article introduces the other graph.
America’s universities are getting two report cards this year. The first, from the Equality of Opportunity Project, brought the shocking revelation that many top universities, including Princeton and Yale, admit more students from the top 1 percent of earners than the bottom 60 percent combined. The second, from U.S. News and World Report, is due on Tuesday — with Princeton and Yale among the contenders for the top spot in the annual rankings.
The two are related: A POLITICO review shows that the criteria used in the U.S. News rankings — a measure so closely followed in the academic world that some colleges have built them into strategic plans — create incentives for schools to favor wealthier students over less wealthy applicants.
What must be done in the face of this threat? First, we must acknowledge that the campaign of Soviet sabotage has been successful. While certainly not the only cause of the prevalence of standardized tests and rankings, the campaign has clearly contributed to the difficult situation that we now face. Second, we must recognize how truly un-American are these rankings and tests. They promote the very lack of mobility that the commies claim is part of advanced capitalist economies. And finally, to defeat the commies we must face the fact that our higher education system must become democratized with regard to admissions. The best way to accomplish this goal: get rid of the SATs and have schools stop supplying data to U.S. News. In lieu of this—as a poor second choice, but better than nothing—give points or take away SAT points from individual applicants based on the wealth and income of their families. In other words, kids from poor backgrounds will get points and rich ones will have them deducted. (Why not, if we are all supposed to start on the same starting line?)
Friends, we can help defeat communism and save our nation by sticking it to the ETS and U.S. News. Act now! USA! USA!