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Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2019

American University teaching faculty to grade writing without ‘judging its quality’ to end subconscious racism

American University is hosting a seminar in February to teach faculty how to assess writing without judging its quality. In the seminar’s own words: “grading ain’t just grading.”

University of Washington-Tacoma professor Asao Inoue is leading the event which has the stated purpose is to pursue “antiracist ends” through writing assessments — full name: GRADING AIN’T JUST GRADING: RETHINKING WRITING ASSESSMENT ECOLOGIES TOWARDS ANTIRACIST ENDS”.

Inoue sees subconscious racism in standards, due to white students consistently outperforming black and Latino students.

The second session, which has a typo in the title, aims to “reduce the negative effects of a single standard of writing used in conventional grading practices.”

“This interactive workshop will focus on redesigning writing courses’ assessment ecologies in ways that reduce the negative effects of a single standard of writing used in conventional grading practices. It will offer an alternative to such grading practices, labor-based grading contracts, and a comprehensive theory of assessment that may lead participants to other ways of redesigning their courses’ assessments.”

A national scholarly organization that preaches its “commitment” to academic excellence came out against the seminar, speaking to The College Fix that Inoue’s ideas are “destroying the very idea that composition classes should teach all students to write well.”

In an email, National Association of Scholars spokesperson Chance Layton said Inoue is “substituting social justice ideologues’ bigotry for instruction in composition”:

The national dominance of social justice educators such as Prof. Inoue indoctrinates college graduates nationwide into social justice ideology and bigotry–but fails to teach them how to write a coherent sentence.

In his 2015 book “Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future,” Inoue wrote “We must rethink how we assess writing, if we want to address the racism.”

He has stated that “A Grade-less Writing Course that Focuses on Labor and Assessing,” Inoue argues that writing teachers should “calculate course grades by labor completed and dispense almost completely with judgments of quality when producing course grades.”

photo/ Alexandra / München via pixabay

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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