Friday, January 27, 2023

That "professional certification" may not be worth the paper on which it's printed


Divemedic warns that many certifications are over-rated, if not worthless, thanks to politically correct "accommodations".

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.

. . .

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.

There's more at the link.

I think we owe Divemedic a vote of thanks for rendering a public service by reminding us of this.  I'm certainly going to keep it in mind when next I have to use the services of a licensed and "certified" or "certificated" professional.  I think a few pointed questions may be in order before I trust them with my life, my health, my possessions, or my money!



boron said...

I will guarantee that this has been going on sub rosa for many years; at least since the '60s and likely well before that

Old NFO said...

Sadly, I agree with Boron.

Rick T said...

"Paper Certs" have been an issue in IT for as long as they have existed.

An accommodation for a quiet room and extra time are fine, but allowing a cell phone in with them makes the tests a farce.

Mind your own business said...

This has been true in most forms of education for at least two decades.

My daughter was given accommodations in high school for her exams. She was prone to panic/anxiety attacks, and since it was only high school classes of questionable value, I didn't mind.

But I think about 25% of my fellow law school students were given exam accommodations throughout their three years in law school in the early 2000's. I think it was harder to get accommodations for bar exams, and so many had a lot more trouble with those.

Back in the 1980's, such a thing was unheard of in graduate level classes where I got my doctorate. SO I'm guessing it's been almost 35 years of this going on.

Mike-SMO said...

The certification, maybe, means that they have gone through the basics. As a practical matter it doesn't mean anything. Dealing with vague situations and unusual is a different beast. Whenever I get a new doc (i am old), I talk with the person. The current doc was annoying since he was "baby talking " me. I challenged and, mid sentence, he switched to adult English. The Certificate is a starting point for an interview. If the person can't talk, or think, I'm gone. My barber retired. That is a tough one. I can't see me and my late wife is gone, so judging skill is difficult.

I don't expect "perfection", but I expect consideration. Way back, I brought a container back to a Pharmacist because the tablets were the wrong color. Instead of xmg, they were 5xmg. The Pharmacist quickly replaced the medication and checked the records. "Shit! I filled that order". Responsiveness, not absolute perfection, is needed. Good reaction to a question. Many with the certification can't handle either. The paper on the wall don't mean a thing. Some got their "paper" by memorizing the likely possibilities for an exam. The world isn't like that.

Rick T said...

I think many tests should be open book, but written and timed so you have to know the material well enough to find the fiddly details quickly to answer the questions.

I've taken IT cert tests where the questions required access to installation documents we didn't get, or keyed on a single piece of trivia mentioned in passing during the class, but *nowhere* in any product document, how-to-guide, or best practice.

In the nuclear navy we never got a multiple-guess test, it was always a long written question and write out your answer. One reason why the US Navy can operate their nuclear plants with high school grads (enlisted operators) and officers (barely) supervise.

dakotared said...

I think it’s a huge disservice to think it’s only certification that is covered by this. Almost any degree nowadays is suspect; up to and including a medical degree. If you’re thinking that people aren’t pushed through programs they have no business “accomplishing “. Even high level degrees suffer from the need to have inclusion and diversity represented in their programs.

LL said...

I have long asserted that I am an amateur trail surgeon - capable of fixing any medical condition on the trail with a quart of drinkable spirits (for the constitution) a pint of spirits (for the patient), a knife, a hammer, a hacksaw, and a needle and thread. Can I now self-certify? I am an aggrieved minority - everybody knows that - since I became a negro female. That should count for something. It should look something like this Dr. LL, AMD(T). I think that it looks damned impressive and only serves to validate a lifetime of amateur service to those in distress.

Hamsterman said...

Q: What do you call the person who graduates at the bottom of the class in the absolute worst Med school?

A: Doctor

Dan said...

College degrees, Certifications, Licensure. All exist mainly to transfer money from one pocket to another. Competence is no longer relevant and indeed, these days the mention of it is likely to get you 'culture canceled'.

Ed Bonderenka said...

This certainly explains a lot.

coyoteken48 said...

That would make me think twice about getting a vasectomy.---ken

Linda Fox said...

Some accommodations are reasonable (extended time, for example - my eldest daughter was given extra time, if needed, on her ACT. She didn't use it, but it made her less anxious).
Calculators are not longer considered an unusual consideration - and, probably, they should not be. After all, if the student can manage to use them and come up with the correct answer, who cares?
Spelling? There are some very bright people who will NEVER be able to spell all that well. If they can turn in work/tests that pass the mark, who cares that they needed spell check?
The real problem with these assists is that, in many cases, they enfeeble the person getting them. That student feels incapable of performing to standards, and may even do worse than without them.
The thing is, students have to get out of that "I MUST get a A or I will die!" attitude. For some things in life, an A is not necessary. Better that the students get a true picture of their performance compared to others, than to have an overinflated image of their worth.
Failure teaches us a lot - mostly, that either I'm woefully unsuited for that type of work, or that I need to take responsibility for my failure, analyze why it happened, and make some changes in how I do things in the future.
Some parents need to get realistic feedback about their kid. He may NOT be college material. That's not a personal failure, it just doesn't fit his skillset or desires. The real issue is that today's kids, and their parents, have no clue that being a doctor, lawyer, or other highly-paid college is just NOT a realistic option.
By not giving them that feedback, they lose out on other opportunities - skilled trades, sales of the legal variety, health and personal care work, restaurant work, and other useful jobs. They may not make a million in their first decade, but they also won't waste time in college before flunking out (or worse, graduating with a useless degree). They can concentrate on the work of becoming a responsible adult.

Anonymous said...

How about "President".

coyoteken48 said...

Well said Linda---ken

Ed Bonderenka said...

Lenda +1.

tsquared said...

Rick T said...
"Paper Certs" have been an issue in IT for as long as they have existed.

Rick nailed it. In the early 90's I got a IT Project Manager cert. By 2000 that Cert was no longer the favored Project Manager Cert and it disappeared three or four years later.