Exposing FAA Corruption & Discrimination Against Veterans and Students of All Races
Exposing FAA Corruption & Discrimination Against             Veterans and Students of All Races

Barrier Analysis Report- Flaws

Changes to the FAA’s hiring program are based primarily upon the information and recommendations contained in the report “Barrier Analysis of the Air Traffic Control Specialists [sic] (ATCS) Centralized Hiring Process, written by Dr. James Outtz and Dr. Paul Hanges (hereinafter the "Outtz Study"). This report makes the repeated assertion that AT-CTI schools, lack diversity in their populations, and as such are not supplying the FAA with qualified minority applicants.

 

The data upon which this results-oriented report is based is severely flawed. The AT-CTI program as it exists now was created in 2007. Prior to that, the program had far fewer schools and produced a very limited pool of applicants. The CTI program expanded in 2007 in order to allow the FAA to improve both the quality of its ATC applicants, as well as to reduce training costs for the agency. As shown in the report FAA Has Opportunities to Reduce Academy Training Time and Costs by Increasing Educational Requirements for Newly Hired Air Traffic Controllers (2005), significant savings could be had by the agency in terms of reduced training time if the role of the CTI program were expanded – estimates of these savings vary between $16.8 and $21.3M between 2006 and 2014 (p.4). In response to this, new CTI schools were certified and added to the program in 2008, bringing the total number of schools from 23 to 36. Assuming the first students entered these new CTI schools in 2008, the first graduates of the current CTI program would not reach the FAA until 2010. The diversity data relating to the CTI program cited in the Outtz study purports to represent CTI diversity number for the period 2007-2011, capturing only a portion of current CTI populations. Nowhere in the Outtz study is this fact recognized or stated.

 

This data is further complicated by the fact that CTI schools do not report demographic information to the FAA. The data in this chart is constructed from applications received by the FAA during this period in which applicants identified themselves as CTI students. It is not representative in any fashion of the actual enrolled diversity within CTI programs. This does not stop the Outtz study from repeatedly claiming that CTI schools lack diversity based on this extremely tangential data. It is upon this data that the Outtz study, and subsequent other reports, make the claim that the CTI schools are failing to provide a diverse population to the FAA. The data is also counterintuitive, claiming only 179 African American students among 36 schools in 5 years. If each school only produced one African American graduate per semester, that would still be 360 graduates during that time frame, which seems even more outrageous when you consider that the CTI program boasts schools such as Hampton University, a historically black college.

 

More troubling is the Outtz study’s apparent ignorance regarding the inclusion of two-year schools in the CTI program. The study repeatedly refers to four-year schools, without mention of two-year institutions. The Outtz study points to the “troubling” loss of CTI minority students between the first and fourth years, which begs the question if two-year institutions are being included in those numbers. If they are, those students would certainly not be captured in statistics related to fourth-year students. Once again, we have issues of data validity, as the numbers the Outtz study used to determine a significant drop-off in minority students from first to fourth year is based on an internal FAA report ,"FAA Air Traffic – Collegiate Training Initiative Diversity Data 2012-13" (February 2013). The data from this report was based upon a blind, anonymous, voluntary survey conducted by the CTI office in 2012. Students were given a questionnaire that asked basic questions about their demographic information. There were no sampling controls instituted, and the pool of respondents versus potential responses is an unknowable value, providing no clear relationships to diversity numbers. The survey was conducted only twice, leaving assertions of student drop-off rates highly suspect, as parallel populations were compared, rather than enrollments over time. Assumptions were literally made about long-term enrollments based on incomplete snapshot data. A later report commissioned by the FAA to validate the Outtz study pointed to the absence of comparative data between two- and four-year schools. (Extension to Barrier Analysis Report, April 2013, p. 17).

 

The authors of this study also make several troubling statements. On p. 23, the Outtz study advocates filtering CTI schools based upon their diversity numbers. Such a mechanism would constitute a de-facto minority quota system, by making minority enrollment a condition of FAA accreditation. In addition:

 

“Another barrier that we identified concerned the decision regarding the applicant sources that will be used to sample applications. The definition of the applicant pool affects the extent to which different RNO [race/national origin] and gender groups are able to pass the minimum qualification criterion. This application source barrier precedes all other barriers in this process because it not only is the first step in determining the hiring process, but it also influences where to draw the applicants from outside the legal requirements that must be met and what sources are the best sources for diversity in the applicant pools.” (page 17) [emphasis added]

This statement is troubling on several levels, the least of which being that the authors of the Outtz study appear to be advocating a purposeful violation or circumvention of  existing HR laws and policies for the sake of creating a diverse applicant pool. This is either a gross semantic error and evidence of poor scholarship, or the authors are explicitly advocating an ends-justify-the-means stance.

 

In addition, the Minimum Qualification Criteria are that applicants must be a U.S. Citizen, able to speak English, be below the age of 31 years, and have a combination of 3 years of work experience and/or college. ATP Metrics (another FAA contractor) and the Outtz study are making an illogical and untrue statement that such MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (the Outtz study refers to them as "applicant/application source barriers") themselves are a barrier to minority applicants (p. 17). In actuality, the MINUMUM QUALIFICATIONS act as a "barrier" to all applicants. In spite of these minimum qualification requirements, applicants will often apply for ATC positions only to be screened out due to not meeting the minimum qualifications requirements such as not being a U.S. citizen, speak English, under the age of 31 years, etc. (Barrier Analysis Extension, pg. 5; Barrier Analysis Report, pgs. 13, 17, 38). The minimum qualification requirements screen ALL applicant sources regardless of race or gender. Outtz is stating that the fact a large portion of minority applicants don't pass the minimum qualification requirements suggests that per se discrimination exists. This is utter nonsense as the minimum qualification requirements apply to all applicants regardless of race or gender.

 

Perhaps the most troubling section of the report comes on p.131, where the Outtz study questions alleged barriers created by the AT-SAT or Air Traffic Selection and Aptitude Exam. In relevant part:

 

“Further, as revealed in our results, several of the scales of the AT-SAT show substantial problems with regard to RNO and gender diversity. Specifically, the Dials Subtest, the Applied Math Subtest, the Angles Subtest, and the AT-Scenarios Efficiency and Safety scales caused problems with regard to both RNO and gender diversity. The Scan Subtest, the Letter Factory Situation Awareness and Performance Scales, the AT-SAT Scenarios Procedure scale, and the Analogies Correct Scale caused problems for RNO diversity. Overall, this is not surprising given that this portion of the AT-SAT is measuring cognitive ability.” [emphasis added].

The results of the Outtz’s study should be nothing short of insulting to those truly interested in fostering diversity, both in education and in the workforce. Statements like this that falsely suggest people within a RNO or gender class suffer from deficient cognitive abilities have no place in discussions that craft national policy.

 

The FAA’s Air Traffic Organization conducted its own diversity study in 2012, as previously discussed. While the data points gained by that study had questionable utility, many other observations were made in the course of the study. The FAA diversity study not only measured enrollment data, the schools themselves were also surveyed regarding their outreach and recruiting efforts for minority students. The report offered the following observation: “After reviewing the statistics inherent in the self-identification questionnaires and the partner school diversity initiatives, it is clear that the FAA AT-CTI schools are making great strides to incorporate minority students and faculty into their programs.” (Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) Partner School Diversity and Outreach 2012-2013, p. 3). The FAA’s own internal finding found that outreach and recruiting efforts were exemplary, which was verbally told to the CTI schools during monthly teleconferences, as well as at the CTI Best Practices Conference in September of 2013. This seemingly contradicts the conclusions of the Outtz study, and this fact is significant on several fronts:

• The FAA study was based on data actually collected from the CTI schools. While the enrollment number data collection was flawed, the conclusions were based on verifiable survey information provided by the schools regarding outreach, recruiting and minority populations.

• The Outtz study was based on incomplete data gleaned from the FAA’s application system, completely separate and in secret from the CTI schools. No CTI schools were contacted by Dr. Outtz or his colleagues or provided data for his study. Dr. Outtz apparently made assumptions based upon this incomplete data source and used those assumptions to paint CTI schools as lacking in diversity.

 

The CTI schools are now being treated as though they are incapable of providing a diverse population to the FAA. The FAA has stopped sharing information with the schools, and it is clear that this process was secretly being crafted over many months, while CTI schools were openly and actively deceived by the FAA about it. CTI schools were repeatedly told that the CTI program would be expanding, that the FAA was planning on better utilizing the schools in accordance with the recommendations set forth by an independent review panel commissioned by the FAA in 2011. CTI schools began assuming a posture to take on this expanded role, while the FAA was enacting a policy that would explicitly exclude those schools based upon data from a faulty study performed to promote a specific agenda in direct opposition to the cost-savings and efficiency promoting recommendations made in 2005 and 2011. The FAA has acted in extraordinary bad faith with regard to the CTI, and the core implied accusation, that CTI schools lack diversity, cannot be substantiated.

 

It is very apparent that certain elements within the FAA Human Resources and Civil Rights Offices are hijacking the CTI program, snubbing their noses at Congress, and actually discriminating against well-qualified and trained CTI applicants under the guise of remedying non-existent discrimination.

Safe Towers Act:

Twitter?

CTI versus GENERAL PUBLIC APPLICANTS:

CONGRESS- MOST RECENT FAA NUMBERS

 

There were a total of 964 new hires… who entered training at an air traffic control facility….

 

Of those, CTI hires attained CPC status from their first facility at a rate of 74.6%...

 

followed by Military at 70.3%... 

 

and General Public at a rate of 44.7%...

 

CTI and Military attained first facility CPC status at a nearly 65% greater rate than General Public.

 

Source: FAA New Hire Training Performance Semi-Annual Report.

 

_______________________ “…Overall, a larger proportion of CTI trainees were successful and a smaller proportion unsuccessful than GP trainees…Simply based on training performance, a preference for CTI graduates over GP applicants at both en route and terminal facilities seems warranted….

Source: The Utility of the Air Traffic Selection and Training Test Battery in Hiring Graduates of an Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative Program, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, Federal Aviation Administration.

About...

We are students and veterans who believe those who serve in the military or graduate the CTI Program are better prepared to enter the air traffic control specialist career path. CTI  and veteran students of all races and genders perform better and certify at a much higher rate than off-the-street candidates. The FAA is well aware of this fact, yet due to alleged discrimination, that their own studies disprove, the FAA has effectively eliminated the CTI/ Veteran special hiring pool.

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: we are NOT affiliated in any way with the CTI school association or the CTI connection groups.

 

We are an independent source advocating for current CTI students, VRAs (Veterans) and former CTI graduates as well as exposing alleged corruption by FAA employees.  

 

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