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Arizona State Dean Thinks Grading a Student’s Writing is a Form of Racism and White Supremacy

Arizona State Dean Thinks Grading a Student’s Writing is a Form of Racism and White Supremacy

“Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom”

This kind of woke approach to grading is not fair to the students. What’s being learned here is progressivism, not writing.

The Daily Wire reports:

Arizona State Dean: Grading Writing Based On Quality Is ‘Racist,’ Promotes ‘White Language Supremacy’

An Arizona State University Associate Dean penned a 358-page book detailing how grading student’s writing is a form of racism and white supremacy.

In a book titled “Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom,” professor Asao Inoue encourages teachers to ditch grading for a “labor-based” grading system wherein students earn grades based on their effort. The quality of a student’s writing would not help or hinder their course grade.

“This book focuses on one kind of grading contract, one that calculates final course grades purely by the labor students complete, not by any judgments of the quality of their writing,” Inoue writes. “While the qualities of student writing is still at the center of the classroom and feedback, it has no bearing on the course grade.”

Near the beginning of the document, the author admits that the theory of “labor-based” grading is rooted in critical race theory. Critical race theory is the idea that America is rooted in racism as are the systems of modern American society.

Critical race theory contributed to Inoue’s idea that ranking things is a system rooted in racism. Because grading is a form of ranking, grading must also be a racist idea. In his book, Inoue dubbed grading and the education system writ large “racist” for their connections to ranking.


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“What’s being learned here is progressivism, not writing.”

From the point of view of the woke, this is a good thing.

As standards change toward judging people on the basis of conformity to woke standards, rather than results, it can be argued that learning these standards will serve the students well in later life.

They just fail society.

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, Dean.

Morning Sunshine | March 7, 2021 at 12:29 pm

In college in the 90s, we often said that sociologists could not write a coherent paragraph to save their lives. And yet, we had to read their books. It is hard to grasp/understand an idea that is not articulated clearly. I have this conversation almost daily with my 8-yo old whose full explanation of things is “it just won’t work” “why?” and “I already told you, it won’t work! You are not listening to me!” We are working on her being able to articulate her ideas and thoughts into words.

These “woke” education people are handicapping the future. They cannot do math and they cannot communicate. The future will be stupid and not even know it. And then they will be slaves to those who do know how to do math and can communicate. And they might not even realize it.

The grade depends on the hours of labor. So at a rate of $15 / hour (surely their students are worth the Democrat minimum wage!) how much does an A cost?

caseoftheblues | March 7, 2021 at 4:39 pm

CRT…I can’t decide who it’s more racist towards… it’s basic premist is whites are evil and blacks stupid and incapable.

George_Kaplan | March 7, 2021 at 5:48 pm

That’s fine, just so long as employers realise Arizona State graduates received their bit of paper for attending, not for demonstrating they actually learnt the subject.

henrybowman | March 7, 2021 at 6:53 pm

Sigh. The Labor Theory of Value. That idiotic Marxist idea that a five-year-old balsa branch makes just as good a hammer handle as a five-year-old oak branch.

This was happening when I left higher ed, and it was appalling. We were essentially “taken over” by the grading writing is racist police and told to stop correcting or even mentioning correct grammar, punctuation, etc. We were supposed to grade, back then the term was, “holistically.” Not on whether or not a student could identify a subject or verb, compose a complete sentence (even a short one), or understand even basic punctuation rules. Instead, we were supposed to “feel” what they “meant” and grade for effort and “meaning.”

It was insane and insulting (to us and to our students). A lot of us bailed, and yes, we left students to this lunacy, but we didn’t really have a leg to stand on in terms of teaching actual writing or basic grammar and punctuation skills. We were flat out directed not to take those ‘noninclusive’ elements into account or even to share information about how to punctuate a sentence.

They weren’t there yet, but the basic idea was that grammar, punctuation, communicating clearly and effectively, and expressing one’s ideas well was RAAACIST. Now, it’s only white people communicate well–which is untrue–so let’s make sure no one of any race, but the elite, can do so for equity. And for ease of imposing authoritarianism on an uneducated, unthinking, inarticulate populace.

I can’t wait until the engineering school gets on board with labor-based grading.

Classic Marxism — the labor theory of value. The value of a thing depends on how much work went into it. So if I spend all day making something that you can make in an hour, my product is worth more than yours, even if yours is better by all objective criteria and consumers unanimously prefer it.

    randian in reply to Milhouse. | March 8, 2021 at 2:37 am

    Indeed. This theory of grading says the least competent should get the best grade.

    henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | March 8, 2021 at 11:53 am

    This gets complicated by the fact that if you can make 20 a day while your competition makes one, your product is in fact worth less, because you are reducing scarcity. Of course, your competitor’s is now also worth less, but comparatively few people notice that. da Vinci learned that lesson when he invented an automated pin-making machine. He expected to reap great wealth; instead, he just made pins the nearly worthless commodity they are today.

This ignores the whole concept of wasted effort. Labor that does not produce something of value is wasted and worthless, and should not be rewarded.

    henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | March 8, 2021 at 11:57 am

    I like to point out that according to the labor theory of value, Jobs would be a pauper and the Stooges would be millionaires.

    Back when I was still an actual educator, I would respond to students who told me how hard they worked on their “F” essay by explaining, in so many words, they should work smart, not hard. Spending ten hours failing to meet the assignment was not smart. So yeah, someone who dashed out the assignment, meeting the requirements, in thirty minutes will do better than someone whose ten-hour effort suggests they didn’t even read the assignment much less meet its basic requirements.

    No matter your race, sexual orientation, gender, etc., the assignment requires these things, you did not do them, any of them, not one. If it took you ten hours to not meet a single assignment requirement, Good News!, you’re perfect for union and / or government work.

    Okay, I never said that, but I can attest that grading for labor is destructive to our entire society, to our culture, and to everything we hold dear.

Oddly enough, in the Community College sector, there is a serious movement for “competency-based education,” basically grading students when they demonstrate competency rather than worrying about how many hours they sat in a classroom. Quite contrary to “effort-based,” ne pas?
The latest move in CC’s is not just student success (meaning a degree and/or a transfer) but “post-graduation success” (employment in the major field or completion of a baccalaureate degree). So it appears we’re going in the opposite direction of this nonsense — unless, of course, the baccalaureate institutions buy into it.

    henrybowman in reply to John M. | March 8, 2021 at 12:01 pm

    The most common example of competency based credentials is advanced placement.

    When I went to college, your grade was based solely on your exams, plus any required product (thesis, labs, etc.) You could show up to zero classes, go well on the exams, and that was your grade. It made perfect sense to me, which probably today means it’s much too white.

    What will “effort based grading” do to advanced placement programs? I guess it’s probably moot anyway, given that we now have to spend all our attention and money on the remedial people, not the advanced ones.

BTW, I wonder if her publisher would have accepted her book proposal if it was so filled with grammar and usage errors that it became unreadable.

    henrybowman in reply to John M. | March 8, 2021 at 12:03 pm

    It depends on whether or not she contracted with an idiot publisher, like the one who agreed to publish “In Defense of Looting,” and then complained when people stole the book.

Why not just have students pay their tuition and hand them a degree. Save the costs of buildings, staff and professors.

    Milhouse in reply to Photoman42. | March 8, 2021 at 9:49 am

    Because according to her the degree would be worthless without effort. What counts is not what the student has learned (anything of value she has to teach could be learned in an afternoon), but the effort the student has put in. So you need to slog out the full four years no matter what, and that’s what gives the degree its value.

      henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | March 8, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      Gee, who besides me just noticed the parallel between this story and the one about the kid in Baltimore who was told to repeat his past four years?

      It ain’t learnin’, it’s doin’ time.

    MAJack in reply to Photoman42. | March 8, 2021 at 9:59 am

    The genius of that…

His colleague sent out this:

Dear ASU Law Community:

Tomorrow, the ASU Law chapter of the Federalist Society with be hosting a virtual event featuring John Eastman as a speaker. While we respect our students’ First Amendment right to host events like this, we believe Mr. Eastman is beneath the standards of ASU Law. We condemn his involvement in the recent events at the Capitol and his inflammatory statements about the presidential election.

While ASU permits registered student organizations to host guest speakers and use university facilities for student events, we want to be clear that ASU does not endorse the views of any invited speaker. It is important to emphasize again, the university does not have any legal recourse or option to cancel these types of events. Every faculty member who was approached to be part of this discussion has voluntarily withdrawn their participation. In addition, all faculty including faculty advisors have urged the students to reschedule or postpone this event.

Despite all of these discussions, the students have made their own independent decision to move forward. I respect the right, although vehemently disagree with the judgement, of our students to move forward with this event. They made the invitation long ago—and they wish to “honor” that invitation. What is important to note is that one person does have the power to stop this event from happening and that is Mr. Eastman himself. No faculty member will appear with him yet he is insisting the event should proceed. As of this writing, he has selfishly chosen not to cancel. I urge Mr. Eastman to do the right thing and give our students the opportunity to reschedule this event.

While we at ASU Law cannot cancel the event, members of our community may, of course, exercise their right to voice disapproval of Mr. Eastman’s involvement and not attend tomorrow’s event.


Dean Douglas Sylvester
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Fine … grade their writing or not … I don’t care … but if they come to me looking for a job and can’t write a simple and legible sentence … I won’t hire them.

For bloody sakes … grade ’em … hold them to a standard … teach them how to survive and function in the real world rather than take the low road.