ASU professor calls traditional grading racist, suggests 'labor-based grading' instead

ASU professor Aso Inoue recently lectured an audience at the University of Tennessee about 'White language supremacy in writing classrooms.'

Campus Reform has previously reported on similar instances of Inoue likening traditional grading methods to racism.

Arizona State University professor Asao Inoue recently ranted about “White language supremacy in writing classrooms,” during which he called for abolishing traditional grading in favor of “labor-based grading.”

The latter method scores assignments based on the amount of effort students put towards in the work, devaluing quality and accuracy in the grading. 

During Nov. 5 lecture at the University of Tennessee titled “The Possibilities of Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies”, Inoue claimed that “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”.

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In order to rid the classroom of the “Habits of White Language”, Inoue advocated for grading to be based on the time spent on assignments, a move he claims “structurally changes everyone’s relationship to dominant standards of English that come from elite, masculine, heteronormative, ableist, white racial groups of speakers,” The College Fix reported

Inoue paused several times throughout the speech, according to The College Fix, to allow the audience to practice being “anti-racist” by observing themselves “participating in racism, engaging in white fragility, in white rage, or in white language supremacy”. 

Inoue has spent a considerable amount of time promoting his grading philosophy. As Campus Reform reported in March, he wrote a 358 page book titled Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom

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Campus Reform also reported on his keynote speech at an “Antiracist Teaching” conference just last month where he espoused the same talking points.

Dr. James Lindsay, founder of New Discourses and a prominent anti-Critical Race Theory intellectual, condemned Inoue’s remarks as a “terrible approach to education” that is “informed” by a CRT line of thinking.

”These statements reflect a terrible approach to education informed by a Critical Race Theory analysis of grading and assessment,” Lindsay told Campus Reform. “The objective is to switch to a more subjective method of assessment so that having the right political views matters more than doing good work.” 

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Lindsay then asserted that Inoue’s proposed grading method would do damage to those it claims to benefit.

He said:

When reached for comment, Inoue suggested it would “be best for [Smith] to read my past books.”

Campus Reform contacted Arizona State for a statement. This article will be updated accordingly.

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