Yesterday’s Washington Post ran an op-ed piece by George Will regarding the current Supreme Court case involving the city of New Haven, Connecticut, and firefighter exams given in 2003. The exams were given to 118 candidates, 27 of them black. There were 15 available promotions, and none of the black candidates had scores high enough to qualify for these promotions. Because no black candidates qualified, no one was promoted. The case is now before the Supreme Court.
Promoting the top 15 candidates, regardless of their race, would not have been discrimination–it would have been giving the job to the most qualified applicant. Giving the job to someone less qualified or denying anyone the job because the test did not produce the results wanted is discrimination and leads to a lower quality of work in general. Anyone who runs a business will tell you that hiring the most qualified people allows his business to run more efficiently and more profitably.
Admittedly the city of New Haven is not a business, but wouldn’t we all be better off if our government ran more effeciently and more fiscally responsibly?