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Some Instructors at Boston University No Longer Grading Students on Writing

Some Instructors at Boston University No Longer Grading Students on Writing

“suggesting the method inspires students and creates equity”

Some schools are determined to make higher education irrelevant in the name of equity.

Campus Reform reports:

University writing instructors are no longer grading students’ writing

At Boston University, students are no longer graded on their writing, as Marisa Milanese and Gwen Kordonowy, explain in a recent article on the school’s writing program’s “‘ungrading’ movement.”

According to Milanese and Kordonowy in a recent column, out of 100 instructors in the Boston University program, “nearly half employed contract grading in some form this semester.”

Milanese and Kordonowy, a master lecturer and senior lecture, respectively, say they still comment on students’ writing, although, they “…no longer place a letter or number on anything they write. No As and Bs. No 82s or 94s.”

The pair refer to their technique as “contract grading,” which “typically involves minimum expectations for students to earn a final course grade.”

The explanation goes on to suggest, “These expectations are unrelated to performance: Attend class and participate, meet due dates, fulfill the criteria of every assignment, make substantive revisions and so on.”

Campus Reform has also reported on the “ungrading” movement, which gained popularity during the pandemic.

Alternative grading methods have become increasingly popular in higher education, including labor and competency-based grades.

Boston University professors Milanese and Kordonowy defend the “ungrading” movement and labor-based grading by suggesting the method inspires students and creates equity.


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The Gentle Grizzly | January 30, 2022 at 12:44 pm

Boston University… wasn’t that a highly thought-of college years ago?

What colleges need now is an unpaying movement.

Instructors who oppose a realistic assessment of what their students have learned are those who either know or suspect that they are doing a lousy job. They know that the assessment will be embarrassing for both them and their students.

That’s exactly why the state of Oregon stopped giving exams on reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic for high-school graduation. Their exam scores showed that a large fraction of the students hadn’t learned anything and shouldn’t be graduating.

When the university admits students who are not qualified to be there this is the logical next step.

Lazy instructors produce lazy students. Those that can, do. Those that teach ……..

Having graded undergraduate writing at the senior level in the recent past, I can tell you one thing about this story. It is complete and total BS and here’s why…

~10% of graduating students can compose in a professional manner. Yes, that number is staggeringly low. The reason this story is BS is because the white and affluent students can’t do it either, and they really don’t care! They see writing as something they will do once in college and never again….right back to text lingo after that. They also have great difficulty communicating verbally. They speak English, but they can’t articulate to form a decent dialogue…you have to work hard to pry basic information from them because their language is so lazy.

This can be thought of as a 100-year-trend. Universities need bodies. The higher the “body count,” the larger their income stream. Insistence on standards of any kind tends to lower the body count . This is especially in an increasingly multicultural/multi-racial nation where “equity” is the reigning ideology.

If a job applicant can’t write an intelligible paragraph … I won’t hire them. The ability to write is tied to the ability to think. If they can’t write well … they likely can’t think well either.