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Just show up and you get a "B"!

To heck with writing standards! Just sit in that chair and you'll get a "B"

What if you could have just attended class and played nice with others to get your university degree? $60,000 well spent? Probably not, but this grading ideology is now here and it's called labor-based grading.

First and foremost, labor-based grading is now trending, so we might need to get used to it (although, I was once dining in Williamsburg, NY and was told broccoli rabe is the trending vegetable and that I must order it... but that didn't necessarily mean it was very good). In Labor-based grading (and according to this US News & World Report Article), students can come to class on time, work well with others, and turn in assignments on time, and receive NO lower than a "B" grade. It's so easy a caveman could do it!


Argument for: According to the article, one professor who teachers writing courses and espouses the new system says "Labor-based approaches aim to remove the focus from grades without removing the focus on quality." Students can now complete work on time, attend class, and cooperate with others to receive a minimum of a "B" grade. Quality of writing is just icing on the cake. This takes the focus off performance, which can relieve stress and help students to relax which can improve their writing. One proponent also says labor-based grading "eliminates racial bias."

Argument against: In the name of justice and equity, students in this new-fangled grading movement receive a minimum of a "B" grade for just existing. The "self-esteem" movement of the 80s and 90s has come full-circle, and previously agreed benchmarks of quality and professionalism are the unfortunate casualties. This only perpetuates the fledgling writing skills of America's university class. Many would argue this is a continuation of the de-standardizing of Western language and our education systems that will eventually result in greater failure, and the exodus from publicly funded schools is proof. If this trend continues, what's preventing a parent from sending their 5-year old to college to get a degree? They too can attend, get along with others, and will turn their work in. Probably better than some college students.

Regardless of your view on the matter, you may have noticed that by adding the phrase "racial justice" to any new idea it is bound to receive plaudits, regardless of whether it will achieve that goal. On the flip side, as an innovator and optimist, I am curious to see where this leads as there is a chance it might just work...

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