In June, AP high school and college faculty members from around the world gather in the United States for the annual AP Reading. There they evaluate and score the free-response sections of the AP Exams.
So far, so good. But let's move on to the second sentence of the "How To Apply" section:
We especially encourage women and minorities to apply.
Why? What special benefits or attributes to women and/or minorities bring to scoring a standardized test?
The usual pablum we're fed about such so-called diversity is that different skin color or life experiences enrich the environment and allow people to work with others different from themselves, thereby preparing them for the 21st century workplace--or some such nonsense.
But for this job, readers are not supposed to interject their own opinions and life experiences into the process. By definition, AP exams are standardized tests that are supposed to be graded in accordance with a uniform, standardized methodology. What possible benefits are there--to the students, specifically--to specifically asking for women and minorities to serve as graders?
Answer: there are none. So what legitimate reason might the College Board offer for asking for them?
Update, 5/8/07: If this keeps up, John and I will have to form a mutual admiration society.