Federal judge rules 1995 Chicago firefighters' exam was racially
CHICAGO (AP) - The entrance exam given to applicants for the
Chicago Fire Department in 1995 discriminated against blacks, a
federal judge has ruled after a seven-year legal battle.
A lawsuit filed by black applicants alleged the exam's cutoff
point for "well-qualified" applicants produced a pool of 1,782
candidates that had five times more whites than blacks.
In a ruling issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Joan Gottschall
said the test "could not distinguish between those who were
qualified for the position of (firefighter) and those who were
not," and she called the cutoff point meaningless.
Gottschall scheduled a hearing for April 26 for the next phase
of the case, which will determine damages for the more than 6,000
Clyde Murphy, attorney for the plaintiffs, said it was an
important victory for the applicants, who scored between 65 and 88
and fell in the "qualified" category.
The city has been hiring candidates in that category for the
Fire Academy since 2002, when it ran out of "well-qualified"
applicants who scored 89 and above, and Gottschall said that
ultimately invalidated the test and the cutoff score.
Murphy said he would seek damages on behalf of the qualified
black applicants, including millions of dollars in back pay that
would have gone to the 132 firefighting positions blacks would have
won in a fair system.
City officials were disappointed by the ruling, said Jennifer
Hoyle of the municipal law department.
"We said all along the test was related to job performance, and
it was a valid measure of job performance, which was a conclusion
the judge disagreed with," she said.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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03-24-2005, 07:55 AM #1
Ruling: 1995 Chicago firefighters' exam was raciallyProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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03-24-2005, 10:28 AM #2
You score well, you get a job, period. What is it about that statement that is hard to decipher?
There will be the ultimate irony if they have to lay off personnel to pay any sort of judgement... then there will be no positions left to fill from any list for a while...."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
03-24-2005, 11:09 AM #3
It would also be ironic if this Judge's house is on fire, will he want a fire department with several firefighter that scored 89 versus , several who barley got by with a 71? MIght be the difference between a scorched room & contents and an empty lot.
This is a sore subject for me, What difference does race, religion, gender have to do with one's ability to perform the necesary tasks.
This is not the DMV, this is the FIRE department. What was the line from Backdraft, you have a bad day here & somebody dies...
03-24-2005, 11:33 AM #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2003
It's a sad statement about the world we now live in. If you can't measure up or, God forbid, you just don't get what you want....go ahead and sue, someone will gladly take your pathetic case.
03-24-2005, 11:49 AM #5
Didn't the judge rule in favor because the test wasn't written in ebonics? Just what I heard.Heyyyyy, What's Up There! (Frank Rizzo-Jerky Boys)
03-24-2005, 12:52 PM #6
This is a joke. I have no love for the City of Chicago leadership, but this test was designed to help minorities get on the job. I hope they appeal it and win it.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
03-24-2005, 04:40 PM #7
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
- Westlake, Ohio
Re: Ruling: 1995 Chicago firefighters' exam was racially
What about these tests is racially biased? We're talking about a knowledge of fire fighting here. There are obviously a lot of complex skills and in depth knowledge that have to be demonstrated to do well on the test. If you do well, you obviously know your stuff. If you don't do well, either you didn't study, or you don't have what it takes to make the grade. How long are these people going to go on playing the race card? Decades? Centuries? Give me a break!
03-24-2005, 05:26 PM #8
Not only in Chitown...
Two letters form the opinion page of the Boston Globe's March 24th edition....
Home > News > Boston Globe > Opinion > Letters
The importance of a diverse Fire Dept.
March 24, 2005
The recent graduation of an all-white class from the Boston Fire Academy is an embarrassment for the city and its leaders (''For second year, Boston swears in all-white firefighter class," City & Region, March 19). It is an insult to the communities of color, who are being told once again that their children don't deserve access to economic opportunities.
During the Democratic National Convention last year there was an outcry that Boston is ''colorblind" and that the old Boston does not exist anymore. Others who spoke out to say that the ''ism" brothers were alive and well were criticized.
The reality is that the old Boston and the ''isms" never left. The graduation of the past two classes of firefighters prove it. In the last year, two classes have graduated ''all white. " A third class is now being processed, again with no minority representation.
The fire commissioner has the power to enact selective certification, and the mayor has the power to tell him to do it. The police commissioner has had the courage to do so in several classes to reach minority applicants.
Cultural customs, language barriers, and a growing immigrant population highlight the need for a diverse force. Several lives have already been lost due to language barriers. Family members who spoke no English could not tell the firefighters that someone was trapped. How many more lives must be lost just to appease the majority's sense of entitlement?
The Boston Society of Vulcans, an organization of minority firefighters, urges the mayor, commissioner, and other involved parties to sit down with us and develop a process -- from hiring to promotions -- that will be fair to all.
KAREN L. MILLER
Boston Society of Vulcans
Is all-white class result of bias?
March 24, 2005
The caption under the picture in Saturday's Globe about the new firefighters pronounces that it is the second consecutive all-white graduating class. There was the innuendo that some sort of discrimination had reared its ugly head. The accompanying article fails to offer enough factual explanation. Did members of the class receive the highest scores on the civil service examination? Did the minority candidates all drop out? Or is some sort of real discrimination being practiced here?
To make the sly remark without further explanation is yellow journalism of the worst kind. Since this issue has been reviewed by the courts, one suspects that there is no such discrimination happening.
RUDOLF R. BOENTGEN
Note the sections I placed in bold....
The Boston FD has met it's court ordered affirmative action requirements and the order was rescinded.
The police commissioner has taken officers off the streets and reassigned them to minority recruiting for the upcoming Entrance exam for police officers... the majority of them are women and not only from the neighborhoods of color and womens groups but lesbian, gay, bisexuals and transgendered community. Crime is up in those very communities... I wonder why?
Many of the recruits (or FFOPS in BFD lingo) in the last two classes that graduated were passed over in previous hirings, even though they scored the highest marks on the entrance exam.
The big question is: Does Ms. Miller really want a hiring process that is fair to all, ie., the highest scores get hired regardless of color, gender or sexual orientation or only the one that puts minorities first?
Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 03-24-2005 at 09:46 PM."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
03-24-2005, 05:52 PM #9
It still bothers me that ANYONE whether elected official, or person on the street would want anyone but the most qualified people as Emergency workers.
Here is an idea, lets make some tinted SCBA masks, line all the firefighters up in a line, now pick out the minorities. OH yeah , it doesnt matter now does it. HOw do you tell them apart now? Maybe by the quality of the job they do?
Oh well, I shouldnt let it get to me. All I can do is go out this weekend and be the best Firefighter/ EMT I can be.
Everyone have a SAFE & happy Easter weekend !!!
03-26-2005, 09:47 AM #10
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- No. Providence R.I. : Land of the "How ya doins"
It has always been my stance that if you want the job then take the tests, pass with high scores and you have earned it. NOBODY regardless of race is owed anything. If you want it, EARN IT. I am sick of minority groups complaing that they are underrepresented and that they should pass over QUALIFIED candidates to acheive politically correct quotas. In NY they complained about the percentage of minorities on the job and those that took the test. You can't force the job on them. I took the last FDNY test and they extended it a month in order to get more minority candidates. If they don't apply then they don't get the job. Instead of whining and crying about affirmative action, minority groups should stand up and empower themselves to rightfully earn their place in society and not have it handed to them. I do not owe anyone anything. I find it insulting that my tax dollars go to pay for affirmative action programs that are designed to "right" past wrongs of which I had no part of. NOBODY DESERVES A FREE RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!"I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we know the work which a fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling."
Edward F. Croker
Fire Dept. City of New York
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03-26-2005, 10:13 AM #11
- Join Date
- Feb 2001
- Illinois-where pertnear is close enough!
Grading on the curve to hit a targeted minority quota is absolutely wrong.
Why is it that we pass the Civil Rights Act that says that all races shall be equal in the eyes of the law, but then we turn right around and say "you know, to make it fair, we are going to have to make it easier for this race or that race. Yeah; we know we might have to deprive the rights of others, but this will make it 'fair'."
One test; one result.
If you want to make the test easier, fine. Then raise the minimum score.
What's the difference?
I believe that we should all be treated the same. At the very least, I don't wish to give up my rights simply because I don't fit a certain profile.
Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)
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