Professor Says it’s Racist to Grade Students on Quality of Writing

In the latest entry to the Everything is Racist file cabinet, Professor Asao Inoue is headed to American University in Washington, D.C., where he plans to indoctrinate educators with a seminar entitled, “Grading Ain’t Just Grading: Rethinking Writing Assessment Ecologies Towards Antiracist Ends.” According to College Reform, Inoue hails from the University of Washington-Tacoma, where the writing center displays a poster specifically stating that grading writing according to the rules of conventional grammar is racism personified. He’s now apparently on a mission to spread that crazy ideology to the nation’s capital and beyond.

From College Reform:

Inoue previously published an essay titled, “A Grade-less Writing Course that Focuses on Labor and Assessing,” in which he argues in favor of “dispens[ing] almost completely with judgments of quality when producing course grades.”

“I argue that a productive way to design and teach a first-year writing course is to conceive of it as labor – and calculate course grades by labor completed – and dispense almost completely with judgments of quality when producing course grades,” Inoue writes in an essay summary on

“This is my ideal writing course, and allows me to cultivate a more critical, democratic community. It shares responsibility and negotiates most of the work in the course with students, as well as the terms by which that work is done,” he adds. “Finally, it operates from an assumption about assessing writing (in all its forms) that allows students to democratically address difference and see acts of assessing as acts of reading, critical judgment, and writing.”

The Daily Caller reported last year that a poster at UW Tacoma adheres to this kind of progressive thinking on grades, particularly when it comes to grammar and writing.

“Linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent ‘standard’ of English,” the poster reads. “Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.”

This is not necessarily a brand new way of thinking about grammar – the linguistic community has been split for quite some time between prescriptivists and descriptionists. And yes, language is obviously evolving. But that doesn’t mean we should throw all the rules out the window and declare grammar an “anything goes” zone, lest we lose all ability to communicate. Any fool can see this.

Well, until some progressive comes along and tells you that it’s “racist” to apply rules to grammar and language. There’s something about that attack that causes otherwise-sensible people to lose their minds. Which is why, we assume, the left uses it so often.

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