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Opening Arguments

A little above average


A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

“This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class,” Jordan said today from his Waterford home. “I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else."

[. . .]

Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

Most Cops Just Above Normal The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average.

I guess we have to concede the main point that this isn't discrimination in the strictly legal sense, given that it is a standard that is applied to everybody taking the test. But jeez. When a government agency deliberately seeks out "a little above average" employees and refuses to hire smart ones, can the Idiocracy be far off? The court said the policy "might be unwise" but was "a rational way to reduce job turnover." Whaaat? How can something be unwise and rational at the same time?

Considering some of the people we cross paths with every day, it's easy to conclude there might be a lot of government agencies and private companies that do this, even if it's not part of an official policy. Scary.



Bob G.
Sat, 05/04/2013 - 3:39pm


God forbid they hire a potential officer that could OUT-THINK most anyone he comes into contact with (including superiors...lol) and might possiblu wind up as CHIEF faster taqn anyone in that city's history just boggles the mind!

Then again, truth be told, I scored a 99 (out of 100) on the Philly fire department test right out of high school (1970) and wound up 1142 on the "list" to be called, because:

a) I wasn't a MINORITY (they got a 10 point add-on)

b) I wasn't a VET (they got a 10 point add-on)

So, those who were BOTH vets AND a minority got 20 points before the pencil hit the paper, and if they scored a 79, they were right "alongside" me with my "natural" 99.

And no, I WAS never called.

Justice IS truly...blind.