A diploma, whether it is for high school, medical school, or barber college, is a certification from the school that issued it. That diploma states that the school is certifying that the person thereupon named has met the standards for that diploma. Or have they?

Nowadays, that isn’t what a diploma means. It was decided years ago, with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that it was unfair and discriminatory to treat students with intellectual disabilities (what used to be referred to as retarded) the same as other students. So this law was passed to make things more equitable. (Not equal, which is the same standard, but equitable, meaning that they have the same outcome.)

In order to make students with disabilities more likely to have the same outcome, they are granted accommodations. These accommodations can vary. It can mean that they are granted extra time, or are allowed to test in a private room with no one watching them, or that they are even give multiple choice tests with one or more of the wrong choices eliminated. Furthermore, the law goes on to say that there can be no mention of the accommodations on the student’s transcript, diploma, or other certifications. Don’t want them having the stigma of people thinking they had it easier than other students, you see.

As a result, not every student is being evaluated by the same standard. This means that a diploma is no longer a certification, as there is no guarantee that two students who have received that diploma were measured against the same yardstick. Remember that next time you are having your hair cut or being treated by a healthcare professional.

There was a student in my nursing class who received the accommodation of testing in a private room, and was also allowed to have her cell phone in the room with her. She graduated with a 94% test average, the highest in the class. I wonder why. No one on staff could challenge her on it, or she would scream about IDEA and racial discrimination.

The same happened when I was a teacher. All a student needed was a letter from a physician, saying that a student had a learning disability, and the student got all kinds of accommodations. There were some families who had 4 or 5 kids, all with extensive accommodations. It’s the newest way to get your kid that high GPA they’ve always wanted.

It doesn’t just extend to the classroom. Even licensing exams are given with accommodations. The implications are obvious. Your doctor or nurse might be wholly unable to provide you with competent care, but at least we didn’t hurt their feelings by making them seem inadequate.

This also makes licensure and the certification that goes with it wholly worthless.


grumpy · January 27, 2023 at 10:01 am

Don’t even get me started on “Foreign” education. I work at a hospital which has a majority of “foreign-trained” nurses, who also have a state nursing license. During a 12-hr shift, I will receive dozens of calls “please advise” in situations that ANY US nursing graduate from the 80s and before would have easily known. Rather interesting that the domain of white RNs remains the ED, ICU, and OR/PACU. The med-surg floors are predominantly foreign nurses. A frequent example – patient so-so has a blood pressure of 100/52; do you still want me to give their blood pressure medicine??

I see ZERO critical thinking on said floors. Critical-care areas are starting to see these same foreign-trained nurses (usually Paki, Indian).

Jonathan · January 27, 2023 at 11:59 am

Unfortunately, I’m not surprised. As more jobs require certifications of some type, more people will look for shortcuts …

If you want to look at fraud in certifications, look up problems with English proficiency tests and licensing for pilots licensing overseas!

Zarba · January 27, 2023 at 1:56 pm

We interview college graduates every day who cannot write coherent sentence, let alone an e-mail to a customer. God forbid we allow them to write a business letter. They are generally unprepared for the real world, unless they come from a hard science background (and even that is getting iffy).

These are generally the same people who list “Microsoft Windows” as a technical skill.

Ratty Corcaran · January 27, 2023 at 2:25 pm

All of those are constructs of the white male patriarchy and will be thrown overboard.
We had special ed classes and the “resource room” back in the day with the prototype box wine aunties as the teachers.
People should pay attention when they hear terms like fundamental transformation or great reset leap forward.

“Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

Jester · January 27, 2023 at 4:42 pm

I suppose with this going on it’s now only a matter of time before airline pilots get the same treatment. I mean if a medical praticioner can get in though this that would otherwise not qualify and can imact hundreds or thousands over a career why not pilots too. Only a few hundred souls that could be impacted there!

    joe · January 28, 2023 at 6:09 am

    this is already ongoing from what I understand… with the shortage of pilots they can’t wait for current standards so the hours of experience are being reduced to get bodies in the pilot seat… another reason for flight cancellations… not enough pilots

    Jonathan · January 28, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Already happening; foreign pilot training (including mandated English proficiency) has always been poor, but now there are a growing number of outright fake frauds, mostly connected to specific overseas training schools.
    Here is a recent article about pilots and a scandal school in Russia: https://theaviationist.com/2014/01/16/russia-license-scandal/
    Here is an article about problems in Pakistan: https://www.aerotime.aero/articles/26713-pia-clears-110-pilots
    These were easy to find ones; there have been MANY others globally, some uncovered after fatal accidents.

Anonymous · January 27, 2023 at 11:38 pm

In my last college teaching job, I was getting students who couldn’t read and would have the tests read to them as part of their accommodations.

    Divemedic · January 28, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    There are some high schools where all of the graduating seniors are functionally illiterate. When I was teaching, I would get students who were in the 11th grade, but were reading at a third grade level and performing math at a fifth grade level. Try teaching chemistry or physics, which are both a combination of algebra and science, to a child who can’t read or perform simple calculations.
    Then I was blamed at the end of the year when they couldn’t pass the end of course exam.

      joe · January 28, 2023 at 3:23 pm

      sheep are easier to manipulate…

Steve Rogers · January 28, 2023 at 1:07 pm


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