Prof. Calls for Abolishing Grade System, Installing 'Labor-Based' One Instead - Report

© AP Photo / Matt YorkA pedestrian crosses a typically busy intersection on the campus of Arizona State University on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz.
A pedestrian crosses a typically busy intersection on the campus of Arizona State University on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Tempe, Ariz. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.11.2021
In his online talk “The Possibilities of Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies,” the professor reportedly complained that white supremacy "makes up the culture and normal practices of our classrooms and disciplines."
A professor at Arizona State University is advocating for the elimination of "White supremacy language" and the replacement of the traditional grading system with labor-based grading that will reallocate "power," The College Fix reported on Tuesday.

"White language supremacy in writing classrooms is due to the uneven and diverse linguistic legacies that everyone inherits, and the racialized white discourses that are used as standards, which give privilege to those students who embody those habits of white language already," said professor of rhetoric and composition Asao Inoue.

Inoue proposed introducing labor-based grading to address the problems, which "redistributes power in ways that allow for more diverse habits of language to circulate." He also invented the term "Habits of White Language," which is used to describe how academics and teachers rate papers.
Labor-based grading is weighing assignments based on the amount of "labor" students put into their work rather than providing grades based on grammar or work quality.
"Labor-based grading structurally changes everyone’s relationship to dominant standards of English that come from elite, masculine, heteronormative, ableist, white racial groups of speakers," Inoue is quoted as saying.
Furthermore, throughout his lecture, Inoue gave participants opportunities to engage in "an important anti-racist practice" of observing how they participate in racism or anti-racism.
“Pausing in our work helps us intervene and disrupt by first noticing ourselves participating in racism, engaging in white fragility, in white rage, or white language supremacy,” Inoue said.
The Rhetoric, Writing, and Linguistics Speaker Series, sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, presented Inoue's talk, which lasted 70 minutes. The talk was focused on educators, but students, alumni, and others were welcome to attend, according to the report.
Late last month, the professor wrote a rather lengthy blog post, exploring the essence of the phenomenon of the language of white supremacy in teaching. Inoue wrote that the "antiracist use of any model of English languaging should open up our eyes, ears, and hearts to our own and others’ languaging behaviors."
Earlier this year, Inoue and his wife established an anti-racist educational endowment. Its goals are to fund "an antiracist teaching conference for secondary and postsecondary teachers," "support a summer workshop or institute for a smaller group of teachers to learn about and research antiracist teaching approaches," and create "several scholarships for students who wish to focus on antiracist approaches to teaching in a variety of disciplines."
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