Credentialism

We had another minor conservative victory delivered by President Trump.   He signed a new Executive Order.  Here is an excerpt:

Employers adopting skills- and competency-based hiring recognize that an over-reliance on college degrees excludes capable candidates and undermines labor-market efficiencies.

Degree-based hiring is especially likely to exclude qualified candidates for jobs related to emerging technologies and those with weak connections between educational attainment and the skills or competencies required to perform them.

Moreover, unnecessary obstacles to opportunity disproportionately burden low-income Americans and decrease economic mobility.

I saw this at an article at TheDailySignal by Mary Clare Amselem of the Heritage Foundation:

Trump Executive Order Combats Credentialism in Federal Hiring

This is something we have discussed multiple times at Ratburger.org.  We have decried the overemphasis on college degrees and the devaluation of skills that do not require a degree.

Here are remarks from Ms. Amselem’s article:

While the president’s executive order will not do away with degree requirements for federal positions outright, the shift in focus on skills aligns with the administration’s work in promoting nontraditional education models.

The president has previously expressed approval for apprenticeships and vocational training that allow students to fulfill their career goals without having to pursue a one-size-fits-all college degree.

The Trump administration’s move to refocus hiring on skills rather than degrees is a smart step forward in fighting credential inflation.

Though minor, it is great to see President Trump continuing to press forward with a true conservative agenda.

MAGA

Drain The Swamp

Keep America Great

Happy Independence Day

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13 thoughts on “Credentialism”

  1. Seems mostly like an empty gesture. The Order simply directs the OPM and other federal bureaucrats to

    …review and revise all job classification and qualification standards for positions within the competitive service.

    The OPM is further directed to

    …work with the heads of all agencies to ensure that … agencies assess candidates in a manner that does not rely solely on educational attainment to determine the extent to which candidates possess relevant knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities.  The heads of all agencies shall develop or identify such assessment practices.

    Long on assessment and review, short on teeth.

    While I’m on a rant, what the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is wrong with these jouros who can’t or won’t actually link to the text of the Order in their stupid little articles. I had to actually do a search myself to find it. Do I get part of their salaries for doing their jobs?

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  2. I get that,  drL,  but it’s the spirit of the thing! The non-school spirit!  It’s a move away from this asinine “everybody should go to college” thing we’ve been stuck in for so long.  No: everybody is not bookish.  Everybody should NOT go to college.

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  3. Hypatia:
    I get that,  drL,  but it’s the spirit of the thing! The non-school spirit!  It’s a move away from this asinine “everybody should go to college” thing we’ve been stuck in for so long.  No: everybody is not bookish.  Everybody should NOT go to college.

    My point is that the thought is lovely but it’s not the thought that counts. The Trump administration has been more interested in bold statements than in bold action: the opposite of TR’s speak softly and carry a big stick. I realize that he’s been stymied by the courts and the Congress. Until there’s action, I remain skeptical that this will just be nothing more than another gesture with no effect.

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  4. How does one interview candidate competence without incurring State-ordered execution?  I’m a chemist.  I sort chemists.  (Being a hired gun dripping plausible deniability pays well.)  Paper is meaningless, degrees are worthless, people are fiat professionally disappointing.

    Uncle Al, “Here is a box of markers, there is drawing board, (White board?  Yeah, right.)  Draw me your favorite chemical compound’s molecule.”  Then, we see who comes out alive.

    It’s good if they know something and better if they know more than I do.  I do not tolerate polite losers…but I will give them a brief nice recommendation letter for when they interview at a competitor…and clog the toilets of progress – now the whole of America.

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  5. drlorentz:

    Hypatia:
    I get that,  drL,  but it’s the spirit of the thing! The non-school spirit!  It’s a move away from this asinine “everybody should go to college” thing we’ve been stuck in for so long.  No: everybody is not bookish.  Everybody should NOT go to college.

    My point is that the thought is lovely but it’s not the thought that counts. The Trump administration has been more interested in bold statements than in bold action: the opposite of TR’s speak softly and carry a big stick. I realize that he’s been stymied by the courts and the Congress. Until there’s action, I remain skeptical that this will just be nothing more than another gesture with no effect.

    I think in this case even a mostly empty gesture is a move forward.  It is time to communicate that the Party of Trump values American workers, and that means all American workers, not just the elites that support the Party.

    And I do expect it to be a mostly empty gesture, since most federal jobs are positions for technoweenies who are expected to read and understand hundreds of pages of federal regulations.   That requires a college-level vocabulary.  Not necessarily a requirement for a college degree, but it is easy to understand how requiring a degree became an easy screening tool for these jobs.

    But if a college-level vocabulary and reading comprehension can be demonstrated aside from a college degree, then lots of federal jobs could be opened up to non-graduates.

    Which could be a great boon to thousands of young people who never made it to a four-year degree, and have to check the “some college” box or the “associates degree” box on the application form.

    I think it is a win just to go public with the attitude that such people are valued.

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  6. MJBubba:
    But if a college-level vocabulary and reading comprehension can be demonstrated aside from a college degree, then lots of federal jobs could be opened up to non-graduates.

    Most of these jobs, at all levels of government, used to be competed for by performance on a “civil service exam” which was part domain-specific knowledge but mostly, like the Armed Forces Qualification Test, essentially an IQ test.  That had to be jettisoned due to the “disparate impact” of any such test, and so, absent such a test, degree requirements were imposed as a proxy.  Of course, “educational institutions” were quick to gin up bogus credentials to meet this test in return for debt-financed tuition.

    It’s time to blow away the whole racket.  Re-instate objective merit-based civil service hiring based upon tests, and discard thinly veiled racist quotas.  When the howling mob comes after you, take the case to the majority of the country who are victims of this cynical fraud and especially peel away the Asian ancestry community who is discriminated against by this but votes overwhelmingly for the slavers.

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  7. Trump could have ordered IQ tests or their rough equivalents, e.g., the ASVAB. If it’s good enough for the armed services, it’s good enough for the civil service. The CLEP is also an option. I’m sure there are others. But that would never happen because of muh racism and muh disparate impact.

    Edit: Damn you, John, you beat me to post.

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  8. About 20 years ago I wrote questions for a test prep book for the ASVAB. I bet most snivel servants, even those in technical fields, couldn’t pass it. This is the Mechanical comprehension syllabus:

    The Mechanical Comprehension test consists of 25 items containing illustrated problems covering the principles of gears, pulleys, levers, etc., as well as force and fluid dynamics. Items require general reasoning skills and the manipulation of spatial concepts. Problems involving basic prop­erties of materials are also included.

    A. Basic Compound Machines
    (Gears, cams, pistons, cranks, linkages, belts, chains)
    Direction
    Speed
    Distance
    Combinations

    B. Simple Machines
    (Levers, planes, pulleys, screws, wedges, wheels, axles)

    C. Mechanical Motion
    (Friction, velocity, direction, acceleration, centrifugal force)

    D. Fluid Dynamics
    (Hydraulic forces, compression)

    E. Properties of Materials
    Weight
    Strength
    Expansion/contraction
    Absorption
    Center of gravity

    F. Structural Support

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  9. John Walker:
    Most of these jobs, at all levels of government, used to be competed for by performance on a “civil service exam” which was part domain-specific knowledge but mostly, like the Armed Forces Qualification Test, essentially an IQ test.

    What John left out is what corruption preceded that and how this “skills” bogosity is a return to that corruption. What proceeded, particularly in state and local government, was largely a nepotism. The beneficiaries of nepotism could claim skills that the smarter “unskilled” outsider could quickly acquire and excel. Thus, the exams John mentioned.

    Thus, what is a “skill” how does one acquire it? There will be creative defining of the skills and brutal regulation of who is allowed to acquire them.

    Want to join Agency X? The skills test will test skills that could only be learned if you had a parent who worked for Agency X or if you went through a training program that was limited to DC public school high school students who had been in the DC public schools all their lives or who had been on food stamps for all their lives or a number of diversity admittees who look and think exactly like all the others but who did not meet the other criteria for admission.

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  10. ctlaw:
    As if on cue to prove my point:

    https://newbostonpost.com/2020/07/03/no-more-white-summer-interns-all-reporters-to-assess-their-work-through-a-racial-lens-boston-globe-editor-says/

    From the linked article:

    It’s not a witch hunt, he [Brian McGrory, the editor] said.

    If you have to say that it’s not a witch hunt, it’s a witch hunt. The paper will also stop hiring white interns.

    I view this as good news. Lefty is finally putting his cards on the table. Before, it was all fifth column action and subversion. Now we can identify the insurgents clearly and their repulsive ideas are laid bare.

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  11. drlorentz:

    ctlaw:
    As if on cue to prove my point:

    https://newbostonpost.com/2020/07/03/no-more-white-summer-interns-all-reporters-to-assess-their-work-through-a-racial-lens-boston-globe-editor-says/

    From the linked article:

    It’s not a witch hunt, he [Brian McGrory, the editor] said.

    If you have to say that it’s not a witch hunt, it’s a witch hunt. The paper will also stop hiring white interns.

    I view this as good news. Lefty is finally putting his cards on the table. Before, it was all fifth column action and subversion. Now we can identify the insurgents clearly and their repulsive ideas are laid bare.

    “We must combat racism with a better and more improved racism. Because our racism is pure not like the other kind. In fact it is not racism at all but racial justice.”

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  12. I really like the way Abraham Hamilton III responds re. “justice.”  He has said this several times; here is my paraphrase:

    “‘Social Justice’ is not Justice; “Racial Justice” is not Justice.  There is only Justice.  Special Justice is injustice.”

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