Suit Letter #1

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Thread: Suit Letter #1

  1. #1
    GS3k's Avatar
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    Suit Letter #1

    This is the letter that was fired off to the V.P. of hiring/training/management no behalf (?) of C.T.I. or at least against the barrier analysis.

    Dear *V.P.*, et. al.,

    Mr. *V.P.*, I'm not sure if you personally crafted the policy you announced via email on December 30, 2013, or are simply the FAA’s chosen messenger. My communication is not in any manner meant to be insulting, simply the truth that most folks (including those in the FAA) feel, yet cannot state for a variety of reasons. As *Mike Echo* did a fine job in illustrating glaring shortcomings of the report in his email to you earlier today (regarding statistical and research methodologies -confusing correlation with causation, etc.), I’ll focus on different issues. Specifically what I believe the “other reason” is for the change in policy *Mike Echo* speaks of.

    It has been proven that CTI graduates have a much higher success rate regarding initial certification. The FAA knows this. The best way to ensure that you have a "diverse" workforce is by properly preparing a controller candidate regardless of race, ethnicity or gender. Quotas are illegal regardless of who they impact. In the second to the last sentence, of your email it says "...those who meet the qualification standards and pass the biographical questionnaire." [emphasis added]. Could you please enumerate the objective and subjective factors and/or benchmarks that determine whether
    or not a prospective applicant “passes” a biographical questionnaire? By its very nature this would involve subjective interpretation which leads directly to bias. In addition, please provide a copy of the raw data your consultants and/or employees used in the design and implementation of the questionnaire itself and grading criteria to all affected parties including CTI institutions. Using a biographical questionnaire to screen folks based on their race, ethnicity, or gender is likely facially discriminatory. Racial and gender gerrymandering of the hiring process is not only illegal- it is odorous and shameful.

    By essentially ignoring the thousands of current CTI controller applicants (including many, many, minority graduates) who have a statistically higher chance of achieving a full performance level rating as a certified professional controller, the FAA is circumventing congressional mandate. In addition, CTI students have been purposefully mislead by the FAA. They have had a carrot placed in front of them- that they have intentionally and artificially been prevented from "getting"- due toblatant FAA racial politics. All folks deserve a fair chance regardless of gender or skin color.

    I am not trying to attack you in any sense and certainly not insult you-yet your email appears to be a whitewashing of the actual purpose behind the new OTS hiring program. I believe it is an illegal form of discrimination on its face. Ironically those who have crafted this program are short sighted. There are many students, regardless of race or gender, who with proper preparation may become successful CPCs. That is, successfully pass the certification process and have rewarding careers versus being placed in a situation where the odds are stacked greatly against them due to lack of preparation. Color nor gender is a “barrier” to successful completion of the air traffic control training process- lack of aptitude and desire is. The best way to achieve the admirable goal of diversity is through preparation- not reverse discrimination.

    The term “Barrier Analysis” is interesting in, and of, itself. I am personally aware of many minority (race/gender) CTI air traffic control students that have already achieved full performance level position with the FAA or are well on their way to that recognition. I see no barrier to any qualified college student (regardless of race or gender) from enrolling and successfully graduating from a CTI program that actually prepares them for success. Could you please elaborate on the data that your consultants used in making this determination? Again, I agree with Mr. Esquibel, a fundamental error students make is confusing correlation with causation. What data and determinative models where used in making what appears to be a results oriented titling that a barrier exists?

    The United States Supreme Court has spoken many times on the issue of discrimination. Reading Ricci v. Destefano, the following factors may indicate reverse discrimination:

    1. the employer (FAA) conducted disparity analyses (Barrier Analysis Report ) after an assessment (AT-SAT) was implemented; and

    2. after an assessment had been implemented, the employer “changed” assessment implementation characteristics (See the Barrier Analysis Report) like cut scores, weighting schemes, and so forth (or cancelled the results as in Ricci) based in part on the results of the disparity analysis and/or adequacy of the assessment.

    As the FAA conducted the Barrier Analysis Report after a much debated and analyzed assessment process was implemented and thousands of CTI students who have passed the assessment, are on the FAA’s hiring rolls, and have been artificially delayed from gaining employment due to elements within the FAA’s Human Resources office who apparently do not like the racial makeup of those on the list, it appears that the FAA is in fact going against settled law and engaging in disparate treatment and racial discrimination. It is interesting to me that one of the consultants the FAA paid to craft the new policy, James Outtz, lists his expertise as race discrimination issues and selection system design.

    In a recent case involving Bridgeport Connecticut firefighters Mr. Outtz apparently played some role in the design of a selection system that the parties felt violated Ricci and caused the defendants to settle the matter. In short, Mr. Outtz participated in the design and/or implementation for the firefighters that excluded a fully-qualified white and Hispanic males and permitted the promotion of a minority that was objectively under-qualified for the position. The ensuing lawsuit against Bridgeport triggered nationwide publicity regarding reverse-discrimination policies.

    *V.P.*, if you are just the messenger, and your recognize the unfairness and flaws of this policy, I apologize for the tone and tenor of this email. If you actually supported it and played a role in its architecture- shame on you and the rest of the folks who have apparently gamed the CTI and FAA hiring process after so many folks have built their dreams on multiple representations by the FAA. The rest of my missive is addressed to the many folks affected by the FAA’s policy change. As with *Mike Echo*, I am not some outside stakeholder pounding the table. I have almost 27 years of FAA
    service as a FPL/CPC controller in several of the FAA’s busiest facilities. My sincere hope is that the FAA will hire the eligible candidates already waiting (including many minority applicants) and ensure moving forward that the process is fair for all regardless of race or gender. Using a subjective tool (biographical questionnaire) to screen out ATC applicants based on race and/or gender is disparate treatment and unfair to all. In instituting this policy I believe the FAA is opening itself up for complaints and lawsuits regarding institutional reverse discrimination.

    I urge all institutions to ask these pointed questions of the FAA should they choose to actually have a meeting/telecon explaining their actions. I further urge the meeting/telecon participants to not take platitudes and evasive answers in lieu of honest and straightforward data. Insist on verifiable data. Lastly, I urge all CTI graduates, students, invested parents, and CTI institutions who have been intentionally and purposefully mislead to immediately contact their congressional representatives. This includes CTI students of both genders and all races. I believe the FAA will take no action and will implement this facially discriminatory policy despite this email unless your collective voices are heard by Congress. Silence is your enemy. The thimblerig engaged in by the FAA through this new policy should not go unchallenged.

    In the event that the FAA continues with this apparent illegal “quota” screening tool a nationwide class action discrimination lawsuit may be in order. Be advised, that although I am a lawyer that handles many different types of litigation, this is not in any manner a solicitation. In fact, a specialist in this area is needed and I, nor my firm, will handle any cases regarding the above issues. Please do not call or email my firm with a request to represent your interests- it is simply outside the scope of what we do and not the intent of this email. The purpose of this email is to bring discriminatory hiring practices to your attention- not solicit litigation.

    *Fin*

  2. #2
    NovemberEcho's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    You realize that by opening the application process to more people is the exact opposite of discrimination, yes?

  3. #3
    GS3k's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Quote Originally Posted by NovemberEcho View Post
    You realize that by opening the application process to more people is the exact opposite of discrimination, yes?
    There are so many fallacious arguments and grammatical errors I personally didn't know where to begin, but yes this is a good place to start picking it apart.

    I'm just posting it so that everyone can stay abreast of the situation, I just edited out any names because of my great respect for S.M. policies.

  4. #4
    NovemberEcho's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Ah, thought you wrote it.

  5. #5
    GS3k's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Quote Originally Posted by NovemberEcho View Post
    Ah, thought you wrote it.
    This is a letter from a lawyer to the V.P., aptly entitled (by me) suit letter #1, I'm sure there will be many more to come.

  6. #6
    Ice_cold656's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Yeah, really glad I got in when I did. This is shaping up to be a Charlie Fox.

  7. #7
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    FAA only said they were looking to diversify. I don't agree that it automatically means race or that unqualified people will be selected over qualified. The letter focuses solely on race and I know the barrier analysis mentions it but the FAA has never said we are looking to hire more minorities. An open announcement for everyone would be hard to prove a race agenda especially when the biographical questionnaire will more than likely be coming from OPM. You can even look one up on their website.

  8. #8
    GS3k's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Quote Originally Posted by AvInErDgUrL View Post
    FAA only said they were looking to diversify. I don't agree that it automatically means race or that unqualified people will be selected over qualified. The letter focuses solely on race and I know the barrier analysis mentions it but the FAA has never said we are looking to hire more minorities. An open announcement for everyone would be hard to prove a race agenda especially when the biographical questionnaire will more than likely be coming from OPM. You can even look one up on their website.
    You're one hundred percent correct on every front and yet here we are.

  9. #9
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskeyGolf View Post
    This is not a letter written by a lawyer. This is a letter written by an instructor of a CTI school who probably got a degree in political science along the way. Whoever did write this letter is just throwing gasoline on a fire for the CTI program. It is not professional and does not leave an opening for conversation.
    This was definitely sent from a law office, and I agree it's not doing the program any favors.

  10. #10
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Found this interesting - maybe what the biographical questionnaire is all about:

    The results of this study suggest that an empirically-keyed, response option-scored biodata instrument has validity as a predictor of ATCS job performance ratings.

    Development, Validation, and Fairness of a Biographical Data Questionnaire for the Air Traffic Control Specialist Occupation
    http://libraryonline.erau.edu/online...ts/AM12-19.pdf

  11. #11
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Quote Originally Posted by h4xit View Post
    Found this interesting - maybe what the biographical questionnaire is all about:

    The results of this study suggest that an empirically-keyed, response option-scored biodata instrument has validity as a predictor of ATCS job performance ratings.

    Development, Validation, and Fairness of a Biographical Data Questionnaire for the Air Traffic Control Specialist Occupation
    http://libraryonline.erau.edu/online...ts/AM12-19.pdf
    i understood almost none of that.

  12. #12
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Yeah me either. Was hoping maybe someone could decipher

  13. #13
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    At the end of that report it shows all the race/gender stats. Why even mention that when it's apparently not about race/gender? ... waiting.... .... .. ok, because it is.

    I feel white males had the same oppritunity as white females, black males as hispanic males... mix and match, you get the point. It was a very simple yet time staking process that was layed out to everyone.
    1) Get a CTI degree
    2) Pass the ATSAT above 85%
    3) Apply

    Go hawks!

  14. #14
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    I think it's interesting that the barrier analysis showed that the at sat was racially bias but this document shows that no ethic group was represented by more than 10% in the top ranking and that females and other racial minorities were not adversely affected by the selections based on test rankings.

  15. #15
    GS3k's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Quote Originally Posted by lrcr View Post
    At the end of that report it shows all the race/gender stats. Why even mention that when it's apparently not about race/gender? ... waiting.... .... .. ok, because it is.
    Maybe, just maybe, it could possibly be because there are federal laws in place regulating hiring practices.

  16. #16
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    The measurement of biographical data (or “biodata”)
    encompasses the notion of asking individuals to recall and

    report their typical, and sometimes, specific behaviors or
    experiences in a referent situation, generally from an earlier

    time in their lives


    To me it sounds like everyone has been freaking out about this Biographical questionnaire for the wrong reason. I dont think it going to ask you your race, religion or anything else like that, its a way of gauging on how you react to different situations. Which, I think if done correctly would be an awesome tool in selecting new ATCS. I may be wrong, as I still need to finish reading the rest of the report but I dont think this is a way to disqualify white, Christian males.

  17. #17
    charliezuluatc
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    You are wasting your time with this and other letters. You will get a letter back from the FAA most likely saying go pound sand in a very long winded way. The agency shall do what the agency has decided to do.

  18. #18
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    Phillymanlove promises you that the legal team from the FAA and the OPM are going to open said letter and wipe their asses with it. Phillymanlove laughs so hard at this. The FAA has stated the entire time that they could hire through a Public Announcement. If you don't like it tough. Look for a job at Midwest or DOD or Raytheon or whomever....

    What is this shit?

  19. #19
    h4xit's Avatar
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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    FAA gon hire who they damn well please.

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    Re: Suit Letter #1

    This study compared how well two questionnaires predicted job performance and compared them to how well the ATSAT does. It shows that the ABA and BQ are much better at predicting job performance while also not showing bias toward groups. The key parts are below and are all quoted.


    Method
    Sample
    Development and validation. ABA, BQ, and criterion data were extracted from AT-SAT concurrent, criterionrelated validation database. Overall, 1,232 incumbent controllers participated in the AT-SAT validation (Keenan, 2001, p. 31). The AT-SAT validation database included 266 records with ABA and criterion data and 482 with BQ and criterion data.

    Measures
    Predictors. The Applicant Background Assessment (ABA) is a 142-item multiple choice (five response options per item) biodata questionnaire. The ABA was based on: 1) a review of ATCS occupational qualification standards, 2) a review of job analyses conducted by the FAA, 3) a review of previous biodata research done at the FAA, 4) interviews with training staff members to determine characteristics that differentiated those controllers who succeeded or failed in training, and 5) interviews with ATCS supervisors to ascertain characteristics differentiating good and poor ATCSs. The items included on the ABA were limited to those dealing with experiences that were under the control of the applicant.

    The Biographical Questionnaire (BQ) is a 145-item inventory that was developed based on items from Owens’ Biographical Questionnaire (Owens & Schoenfeldt, 1979). The BQ items tap eight areas: 1) educational background, 2) prior military or civilian experience in ATC, 3) importance placed on various factors (e.g., salary, benefits, job security), 4) time expected to become an effective ATCS, 5) commitment to an ATCS career, 6) work-related attitudes, 7) expected satisfaction with aspects of ATCS careers, and 8) general personal information (e.g., socioeconomic status growing up, alcohol and tobacco usage; Collins, et al, 1992).


    Job performance criterion. Two criterion measures were developed in the course of the AT-SAT concurrent validation study: a computer-based measure of technical performance; and a job performance rating. The computer-based performance measure (CBPM) was designed as a practical and economical assessment of a controller’s technical proficiency in separating aircraft (Hanson, Borman, Mogilka, Manning, & Hedge, 1999).

    The ratings-based measure consisted of over-the-shoulder ratings used by peers and supervisors to assess typical on the-job performance (Borman, Hedge, Hanson, Bruskiewicz, Mogilka, Manning, et al., 2001). The assessment consists of behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS) for the ten performance categories identified as important to the ATCS occupation by subject matter experts: 1) maintaining safe and efficient air traffic flow; 2) maintaining attention and vigilance; 3) prioritizing communicating, and informing; 4) coordinating; 5) managing multiple tasks; 6) reacting to stress; 7) adaptability and flexibility; 8) technical knowledge; 9) teamwork; and 10) overall effectiveness. A composite of the two criteria was used in the concurrent validation of AT-SAT (Ramos, Heil, & Manning, 2001b). In subsequent analyses, the average rating of the ten BARS was used as the criterion (Wise, Tsacoumis, Waugh, Putka, & Hom, 2001).


    Results
    Statistical Analyses
    The correlation between scores on the AT-SAT test battery and the average job performance rating in this analysis was .26 (n=260, p<.01)

    The zero-order correlations between the 80-, 100-, and 120-item biodata scales and average job performance ratings (e.g., “criterion-related validities”) were .59, .62, and .63 respectively.


    Discussion
    From a test fairness perspective, biodata yielded nearly identical mean scores across gender and ethnicity scores that were well below ds typically found for tests of general mental ability—which tend to yield high subgroup differences of around 1.0. The results of this study follow the typical research findings on biodata—that it holds promise for prediction while at the same time causing less adverse impact potential relative to tests of general cognitive ability.

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