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American U. Trains Faculty Not to Consider Quality When Grading Writing

American U. Trains Faculty Not to Consider Quality When Grading Writing

“anti-racist writing assessment practices”

If they’re not basing grades on quality, what is the standard they’re using?

The College Fix reports:

American University trains faculty not to judge quality of writing when grading

Earlier this year, American University invited an outside professor to teach its faculty how to pursue “antiracist ends” through writing assessments.

Asao Inoue of the University of Washington-Tacoma is known for advocating that students should be graded based on the “labor” they put into their work, not the “quality” of the finished product.

The training has now moved in-house, according to a faculty workshop taking place Thursday morning.

Neisha-Anne Green of the Academic Support and Access Center and Marnie Twigg of the Writing Studies Program will lead the session, titled “How to Incorporate Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Your Classroom.”

The description says the session builds on strategies that Inoue taught in February. It will show participants how to revise course materials so they don’t accidentally promote or reinforce racist practices:

Participants will work together with facilitators and each other to reimagine course materials with an eye for these practices. Participants will submit a writing assignment prompt, rubric, or other assessment-related materials of their choosing prior to the session. Facilitators will provide feedback on these materials, opportunities to workshop them in small groups with writing experts, and models for troubleshooting when things don’t go the way you plan.

While the description doesn’t specify the components of “anti-racist writing assessment practices,” the agenda for Inoue’s daylong seminar from February provides clues.


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It seems as though they don’t consider themselves to be qualified to judge quality. So they have to grade according to effort.

Maybe the Nobel prizes should be awarded on the basis of effort rather than quality of research. Then, finally, the bias against flat-earthers would be rectified by giving them some Nobel prizes.

The SJWs are tying themselves into knots trying to get around the massive academic gaps between blacks/hispanics and whites/asians. So quality is racist. I had read a few years ago that expecting minorities to use standard English was linguistic racism. I’m sick of it, I just want to partition the US into sane vs insane areas and block the insane from ever coming near us.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to kat100. | August 16, 2019 at 8:15 am

    I’m, like… wondering if, like, this applies to, yah-know, white kids who, like, can’t compose good declarative sentences and stuff.

Is ‘quality’ some sort of code word for grammatically correct? In some courses you do want grammatically correct papers with easy, logical movement from one topic to the next. In others, creative writing for example, quality would be defined much differently and often is as simple as ‘what you are trying to express comes through and touches the readers mind and heart’. For those courses, grammar and flow are seen in a different light.

I’d love to see the syllabus of the talk and if it applies different standards depending on the course.

    PostLiberal in reply to kyrrat. | August 16, 2019 at 4:06 am

    In some courses you do want grammatically correct papers with easy, logical movement from one topic to the next.
    Nearly all courses will require such writing. In addition, writing in a professional job, once one has left the university, will have similar requirements. As one of my profs said, “Brief, concise, and to the point” is what employers want.

    In others, creative writing for example, quality would be defined much differently…
    Dialogue would definitely not necessarily be grammatical.

    In fiction, grammatically correct, concise sentences generally make for a more readable product. Example from Fionnegan’s Wake:

    With her issavan essavans and her patterjackmartins about all them inns and ouses. Tilling a teel of a tum, telling a toll of a teary turty Taubling. Grace before Glutton. For what we are, gif, a gross if, we are, about to believe. So pool the begg and pass the kish for crawsake. Omen. So sigh us. Grampupus is fallen down but grinny sprids the boord

    How many people have read Finnegan’s Wake from start to finish? Such “creative” but difficult prose turns most people off.

    Similarly, the page-long sentences of Gabriel Garcia Marquez become tiring- for me at least.

    Until a writer “knows the rules” of writing- such as good grammar- “breaking the rules” of writing will result in a product more incoherent than creative.

OleDirtyBarrister | August 15, 2019 at 4:13 pm

The bizarre, contradictory, anti-intellectual problem with the “effort” versus “quality of outcome” issue is that a superior effort results in a higher quality product. Conversely, a half-assed effort to learn the English language and to write a good paper or answer to a questions results in garbage.

Poor effort generally results in poor results outside of academia too, and playing games in academia and failing to immerse people in reality fails in one material respect that an education experience in academia should help prepare one for life in the real world. (Academics don’t care that much for that objective, they want to tickle their own preoccupations, indoctrinate, and draw a check, and the customers of the educational system can all be hanged.)

Antifundamentalist | August 15, 2019 at 9:36 pm

American U. need to lose academic accreditation over this stunt.

I taught middle school writing in the 90’s. National recognition for my program. Students included kids of field workers. My student Jose could write rings around most current college kids. After school he worked in the fields with his parents. Public ed sucks. Most universities suck. Just sayin’.

BerettaTomcat | August 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

This is a flagrantly racist grading policy that promotes Black privilege. It will harm Blacks who land a job where they are expected to perform, rather than just collect a paycheck for filling an affirmative action quota.