Faculty workshops designed to persuade teachers not to grade based upon merit are popping up at universities from Washington, D.C. to the potato capital of the world.
Idaho’s Boise State University is hosting an event next week entitled “Inclusive Teaching Means Inclusive Grading, Too.” It’s listed as part of the BUILD certificate program, or Boise State Uniting for Inclusion and Leadership in Diversity.
The program’s stated purpose is to help participants gain knowledge of, demonstrate commitment to, and become a campus leader in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. The [writer] attempted to obtain more information on the faculty workshop, which is hidden behind a campus login screen, but the administration did not respond to email or phone calls.
Although the specifics of this event are shrouded in secrecy, other events held by different universities shed light on it.
BSU’s event has the exact same name as a previous University of Tennessee-Knoxville faculty workshop. It was aimed to “engage instructors in conversations and activities designed to foreground diversity and inclusion in considerations of assessment and grading practices.”
The University of Michigan held a faculty workshop with a near-identical name as well. The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching stated on its website that attending teachers would “be asked to review their own practices” on grading throughout the event.
This workshop is reminiscent of one held in February at American University, designed to teach faculty “how to assess writing without judging its quality.”
Titled “Grading ain’t just grading” and promising to help teachers rethink “writing assessment ecologies toward antiracist ends,” the workshop warned that “the practices of grading writing” maintained “White language supremacy.”
BSU has been in the news recently regarding its woke faculty-focused activities. The taxpayer-funded institution is currently hosting a book circle designed to “dig deep into ourselves to explore the ways in which we all, as individuals, sometimes unknowingly, support racism and white supremacy.” Better yet, participation in the book circle “counts for two opportunities toward the BUILD Certificate Program.”
Other upcoming events in the BUILD program are hidden behind a login by the university, as well.
“Implicit Bias in the Academic Workplace” appears to be a recurring faculty workshop, judging by the March 2019 date on a public document The Fix located. It tells attendees that previous experiences and “messages that are fed to us via news and popular culture may cause us to create an inequitable environment.”