The mismatch admissions problem must stop

To the editor:

The Mismatch Problem?

Certainly we can and probably should spend the time & effort to study, with significant rigor, the outcomes of mismatched admissions to demanding programs….but truly, it’s much simpler than all that.

Consider a Track Meet.
In order to run the 800 m.  at State you have to be fast.  How fast?  Well, first you have to make it on the Team.  That’s pretty fast.  Then you have to win at any number of meets; that’s even faster.  Then fast at District…then faster still at Regionals….and only then — after winning at every single qualifying test — only then will we say, “Yes, Bob, we’d like you to run the 800m at State.”

There is no mismatch problem.  Everyone who’s in the race is qualified.  Everyone who’s there is fast.  We know they’re fast because they had to prove that speed over and over again against the best competition throughout the season.  No doubts; no mismatch; fast vs. fast, may the best man win.

Now let us consider a State Track Meet in which we ‘special-handle’ the unqualified.

We take Steve, as for instance, who isn’t fast enough to make on to his school’s varsity team and we put him there anyway.  He loses a lot of races.  But that doesn’t matter because we mismatch him again  at District and Regionals.   He finishes at the bottom.  And then, through an entirely misplaced sense of Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity, we take poor old Steve….,poor SLOW old Steve…and we give him a lane at the State Meet (because, gosh, it’s good to have a number of Steves at State Meets).  Steve then gets his butt kicked.

Not just a little bit kicked.  Steve is humiliated.  He is lapped before he finishes the first 400.  He quits the race, partway down the backstretch because the winners are already on the podium being metal’d.  He feels horrible; the Coach is pissed; the team feels bad for Steve and angry that Bill, a much faster runner, was pushed aside to make room for good, old, slow Steve.

And what’s the upshot?
Did this embarrassment do anyone any good?  Is Steve now a better person because he failed utterly at a contest he never should have entered?

In Real Life…life outside these ivied halls…mismatch problems don’t happen because, in Real Life, real talent matters.  No one is shocked at that.  The reason I’m not starting guard for the extraordinarily NON-DIVERSE, NON-INCLUSIVE, NO-EQUITY Lakers is because I’m not not not not not anywhere near good enough to play starting guard for the Lakers (even though there’s no one who looks like me actually on the team).

So why do we play these silly reindeer games here?  Why do we place the academically unqualified in positions they’ll only fail?  Why do we move aside the better candidate to humiliate a lesser?  Do we consider that harmless?  Do we consider the resulting humiliation a ‘good try on our part’?

It’s sad; it’s pathetic; it’s wrong…and it’s all kinds of cruel.  It’s also unconstitutional and immoral.  It obviously must stop…even without reading the paper which tells us what everyone already knows.  This does not and cannot work.


Kansas City, Missouri