December 12, 2012, 11:45 am
Psst! Want to hear about the latest fiasco? Everywhere you look is another book, article, or blog post reminding us of the dubious success of meritocracy in the United States. Unending scandals—MF Global, Knight Capital, Madoffgate, Liborgate, Peregrine—suggest that the system ostensibly selecting and training society’s current leaders is seriously flawed. Even universities are not immune, as the recent scandal at Penn State has shown.
What’s wrong today is not meritocracy, per se, but rather our meritocracy. Our society uses an outdated and inadequate notion of merit. America, which relies so heavily on standardized tests as a means of entry into opportunity-expanding educational institutions, is at best a fractured meritocracy. The selection tests we use are based on too narrow a band of skills to provide a basis for a true meritocracy.
Research by Douglas Detterman and his…