First came Oregon’s “Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction” suggesting that having kids show their work is a crutch for teachers, that there isn’t a right or wrong answer, and that grading “reinforces inequity…”
In its wake came Illinois’s “Culturally Responsible Teaching and Leading Standards” with such mandates as understanding that there is not one correct way of doing something, embracing/encouraging progressive viewpoints, and promoting student activism and advocacy.
And now both Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare are on the WOKE chopping block, accused of everything from racism to colonialism, along with a whole host of others folks and institutions.
And now comes this: Arizona State University associate dean Asao Inoue’s Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom.
As explained by DailyWire.com’s Chrissy Clark, “Professor 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.”
Writes Inoue, “This book focuses on one kind of writing contract, one that calculates final course grades purely by the labor students complete, not by any judgements of the quality of their writing. While the qualities of student writing is still at the center of the classroom and feedback, it has no bearing on the course grade.”
Notes Clark, “Labor-based grading is rooted in critical race theory… the idea that America is rooted in racism as are the systems of modern American society.”
According to Inoue, “Ranking is a part of a much longer racist and White supremacist tradition in Western intellectual history. Ranking has been deeply embedded in racist thinking, discourses, and logics, mainly because it has been deployed as a way to justify a number of racist, empirical, and colonial projects over the last four-hundred years.”
Oh, yes, he also believes that “education at all levels has been and still is a part of these racist projects”
As Clark discovered, Inoue says that those who use a regular grading system and require that their students use proper English in English class are racist. Not “bad people,” but among those who contribute to our “racist status quo.”
As he puts it, “All standards for good writing are deeply informed by a White racial habitus, which makes grading by such standards White supremacist.”
Enough said, I’m thinking, except for this: In case you don’t already know, according to Oxford Languages, habitus is “the way a person of a particular background perceives and reacts to the world.”
Your thoughts, please.