“Traditional assessment and grading practices may perpetuate bias and inequities”
Isn’t this insulting to the people they claim they’re trying to help?
Campus Reform reports:
University of California system weighs ending letter grades due to ‘bias and inequities’
The University of California (UC) is weighing alternatives to the conventional letter grade system in the interest of solving “bias and inequities.”
A Mar. 16 memo from the public university system’s Office of the President asks the Academic and Student Affairs Committee to consider “more effective options for advancing achievement and educational equity” than “traditional grading practices.”
The document points to UC campuses that are testing “pass/no pass” grading models.
While UC Irvine’s Division of the Academic Senate extended the deadline to opt for “pass/no pass” grading to the tenth week of instruction, UC Berkeley’s College of Chemistry is planning a “pass/no pass” model for first-year students, according to the document.
The memo casts doubt upon the assumption that students who earn A’s “have mastered the material, while students at the bottom may have not,” and alleges that students from an under-resourced high school perform poorly on initial assessments, but may master the final.
“That student will always have a lower grade overall because of their preparation starting point, compared to another student from a well-resourced high school that started strong and does as well on that final, but has never progressed in the course,” the memo states.
A “Summary Table of Assessment Adaptations” included in the document offers various ways to heighten “equity” surrounding certain exams. While an open-note or open-book test can “ask questions that have students make connections to their own experiences,” weekly quizzes can allow “multiple attempts” and collaboration exams become a “community-building experience.”
“Traditional assessment and grading practices may perpetuate bias and inequities,” the memo concluded, “and the University of California is engaged in a number of efforts to advance initiatives that promote grading with equity, including those that improve and reward mastery of subject matter in a course.”
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