Businesses, Schools, & Cookies

The whole cookie can only be as good as its parts? Can the whole be as good with lower quality parts?

Have you ever made cookies at home from scratch selecting and mixing each ingredient and baking the cookies to perfection? If you have, or if you care to think about making cookie, what do you guess would happen if you were making oatmeal raisin cookies and used lower quality raisins?

It would affect the taste of the finished cookies, of course. In fact, it could make the finished cookies taste less good — and maybe not edible.

Have you heard that certain law schools are very good?  That is, their graduates are often top-caliber lawyers? Have you heard that certain medical schools are very good?  That is, their graduates are often top-caliber doctors? Have you heard that certain graduate business schools are very good?  That is, their graduates are often top-caliber business managers?

Do you believe that these schools admit only the best students into their programs?

Have you heard that over recent decades these and other schools started giving extra admission credits — that is, add to their entrance exam scores — for some specific non-academic traits? This allows applicants with lower academic grades to rank higher if they have certain other characteristics considered of value.

Have you heard that applicants at many of these and other schools are given extra points if they are of certain ethnic and social backgrounds?

Do you think that the extra points awarded to applicants because they are members of specific ethnic groups or from certain social backgrounds effectively raises those applicants’ ranks above other applicants even though others have better academic grades?

What do you guess would be the results if any of these top-caliber schools lowered their standards and admitted less skilled individuals into their programs? Would graduating classes be better, about the same, or of lower caliber?

If you bake cookies today, will you use some raisins of a lower caliber just to provide each raisin with its opportunity to make it into your cookies? Of course not, for that would make no sense.

Do know someone who had top grades, but was not admitted to a top school because he or she was not a member of a desired ethnic or social background?

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