Some unsettling academic news from the Chicagoland area is making the rounds today. That happens fairly often, actually. But this particular case concerns Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRFHS):
“Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will require teachers next school year to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students.” https://t.co/7GLangveTU
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) May 31, 2022
Thinking you can escape the city of Chicago to get access to better public schools in the suburbs? Think again, sucker. https://t.co/b1ZI2l0Xud
— Jeff B. is *BOX OFFICE POISON* (@EsotericCD) May 31, 2022
Now, it’s important to note that the West Cook News article suggests that OPRFHS’s plans are explicit about favoring black and brown students over white and Asian students. That’s not exactly the case, at least not based on the presentation West Cook News links to:
But the measures they are considering could end up having that effect.
As West Cook News’ article points out, some educational experts believe that that DEI initiatives are more important than traditional academics-based ones:
“By training teachers to remove the non-academic factors from their grading practices and recognize when personal biases manifest, districts can proactively signal a clear commitment toward DEIJ [Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice],” said Margaret Sullivan, associate director at the Education Advisory Board, which sells consulting services to colleges and universities.
Sullivan calls grading based on traditional classroom testing and homework performance “outdated practices” and foster “unconscious biases.”
“Teachers may unintentionally let non-academic factors—like student behavior or whether a student showed up to virtual class—interfere with their final evaluation of students.,” she said. “Traditional student grades include non-academic criteria that do not reflect student learning gains—including participation and on-time homework submission.”
And what do participation and on-time homework submission have to do with education? It’s not like showing up is important for learning and turning in homework is a good way for teachers to evaluate academic performan— oh, wait.
This will set minorities up for failure in higher education. Equality looks a lot like oppression from my point of view https://t.co/D7yABwaDpQ
— Jess Darby (@jdarby30) May 31, 2022
Except this sort of thinking has gotten increasingly popular in higher education, too.
Where it will really set minorities up for failure is in the real world.