Academic Absurdity of the Week: Writing is Racist

Like our coveted Green Weenie Award, we could cover academic absurdities on an hourly basis these days. To paraphrase Will Rogers, there’s no trouble exposing the rot of our universities when so many faculty are working full time for you. So we limit ourselves to the most extraordinary or novel expressions of academic rot.

Like the idea that conventions in writing are—wait for it, you know what’s coming—raaaacccist!

American University has just what we need—a writing workshop in February:

Grading Ain’t Just Grading: Rethinking Writing Assessment—Ecologies Towards Antiracist Ends

With
Asao B. Inoue
February 1st, 2019

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

PLENARY SESSION: THE LANGUAGE STANDARDS THAT KILL OUR STUDENTS: GRADING AIN’T JUST GRADING

9:45 AM -11:00 AM
MGC 3-5

Open to all faculty who preregister

This plenary will argue against the use of conventional standards in college courses that grade student writing by single standards. Inoue will discuss the ways that White language supremacy is perpetuated in college classrooms despite the better intentions of faculty, particularly through the practices of grading writing.

BREAKOUT SESSION: CREATING ANITRACIST WRITING ASSESSMENT ECOLOGIES IN WRITING COURSES

11:20AM – 12:35PM
MGC 3-5

(Note: We believe this workshop will be most helpful to Writing Studies faculty, but others are also invited to sign up.)

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.

There’s more, but this is enough. Click on the headline to take in the full degradation of grading proposed here. It’s pretty clear what this all means: more liberal condescension of minorities. “Reduc[ing] the negative effects of a single standard of writing used in conventional grading practices” can only mean “not grading according to standards of excellence.”

I’m told that “minority” is now an incorrect term (like “illegal alien”) on campus. We’re supposed to say “marginalized groups.” Fine: nothing will marginalize a struggling student more than telling them they are exempt from academic canons of excellence and achievement. But this is the Orwellian world of higher education today, where the real racists parade under the banner of anti-racism.

Memo to American University alumni pondering year-end donation appeals: Not. One. Dime.

Responses