Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Educational Testing Service

For the last couple of days, I have been staying at the Henry Chauncey Conference Center that is one small part of the huge compound where the Educational Testing Service (ETS) is located, here in Princeton, New Jersey. The conference Center is beautiful, with wonderful accommodations, delicious food, and incredibly hospitable service. The Center, by the way, is named after Henry Chauncey, ETS's first CEO when this august citadel of the American meritocracy opened its doors in 1947 with a large grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. In his memoir, former Harvard President James B. Conant claimed that with the use of his Harvard connections and his interest in employing standardized tests to determine college admission, he, in effect, "set Henry Chauncey up in business" in 1947. Things have been going swimmingly for ETS ever since.

So why the huge compound with its scattering of buildings nestled in this bucolic setting, not unlike a low security military base? One theory would be that this setting provides physical protection from the rebellious masses. When the people, who have been duped time and again by the loopy logic of ETS, finally decide to rise up and once and for all seek to dismantle by force this embodiment of the capitalist status quo, they can be easily turned away by rapidly assembled military forces who will be arrayed along expansive grassy knolls sworn to protect Henry Chauncey's grand legacy. For what is America in 2010 without ETS?

No comments:

Post a Comment