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Not long ago, there be Ebonics.  You remember that gentle readers?  “Dey be, dem be, dat ho be?”  It was the idea that slovenly, inarticulate, grammatically incorrect speech and writing were as valuable as–hell, superior to–standard academic English, even standard American English.  Therefore, anyone using the unique and unimaginably valuable “language” of Ebonics dare not be held to the same standards of speech and writing as those not so blessed.

That was an earlier time when the Left was not quite so ubiquitous and powerful, Ebonics died a well-deserved death.  But in academia circa 2018, Leftism rules.  I’ve explored math–it’s racist,  and also proper grammar, spelling and punctuation–they’re racist too.  

Fortunately, the brilliant scholars of American University are working tirelessly for diversity, inclusion, and the language skills of illiterate 8-year olds.  Powerline reports:

Like our coveted Green Weenie Award, we could cover academic absurdities on an hourly basis these days. To paraphrase Will Rogers, there’s no trouble exposing the rot of our universities when so many faculty are working full time for you. So we limit ourselves to the most extraordinary or novel expressions of academic rot.

Like the idea that conventions in writing are—wait for it, you know what’s coming—raaaacccist!

American University has just what we need—a writing workshop in February:

Grading Ain’t Just Grading: Rethinking Writing Assessment—Ecologies Towards Antiracist Ends

Asao B. Inoue
February 1st, 2019



9:45 AM -11:00 AM
MGC 3-5

Open to all faculty who preregister

This plenary will argue against the use of conventional standards in college courses that grade student writing by single standards. Inoue will discuss the ways that White language supremacy is perpetuated in college classrooms despite the better intentions of faculty, particularly through the practices of grading writing.


You see what’s coming, don’t you gentle readers?

This interactive workshop will focus on redesigning writing courses’ assessment ecologies in ways that reduce the negative effects of a single standard of writing used in conventional grading practices. It will offer an alternative to such grading practices, labor-based grading contracts, and a comprehensive theory of assessment that may lead participants to other ways of redesigning their courses’ assessments.

In other words, minority students are incapable of college-level writing.  We must therefore adjust “assessment ecologies” to prevent them from feeling microaggressed against and unsafe when competent professors actually take points for the kinds of mistakes one sees in a second grade class.

“Oh, you can’t write a simple sentence?  You have no idea what capitalization and punctuation are? There isn’t a single sentence in this paper that actually makes sense?  No problem!  I’ll just adjust my assessment ecology because your unique culture is invaluable and a beacon unto the nations.  100%, and don’t bother to come to class the rest of the semester; you’ve already passed with an “A.”

This is how civilization is lost.

Regular readers know I am losing hope in the future of education.  At one time in the golden past, school districts hired administrators charged with hiring the best possible teachers.  Thereafter, their job was to ensure those teachers had everything they needed to do their jobs as well as possible.  They, and all principals, understood their primary job was to run schools, to ensure a safe and proper academic atmosphere where effort and excellence were expected and rewarded, and where disruptions, crime and sloth were not.  Teachers were the experts, and everyone else was in a support role.

That system worked, and built the wealthiest, most technologically advanced society in history.  So of course, it had to be destroyed, and we are well on the way to total destruction.

In far too many American schools, teachers accomplish good things not because of, but in spite of, their principals and administrators, people who would not think of asking a teacher what they need or how they can make their jobs easier and more effective.  Instead, teachers are barraged from above with demands for data production, “classroom systems,” and a wide variety of other nonsensical retreads of failed ideas that continue to make a great deal of money for various consultant/hucksters selling their shabby wares to gullible educrats far more interested in pumping up their resumes than in helping teachers educate every student.

Why do teachers do it?  Because they believe in what they do.  Because they believe they have experience and knowledge to share that others don’t.  Despite what many think, not everyone can teach, and truly excellent teachers, like excellence in every field, are rare.  But mostly, they do it because they love the kids, and thanks to Fox News, just in time for Christmas, we have a shining example:

One elementary school teacher in Washington state is feeling especially thankful for one unexpected gift from a thoughtful student, as the youngster with ‘nothing to give’ creatively presented her class instructor with the marshmallows from her subsidized school breakfast of Lucky Charms. [skip]

Today I received some chocolates, sweet handmade notes, some jewelry, but these Lucky Charm marshmallows stood out to me the most,’ the 24-year-old teacher in Kennewick wrote on social media, USA Today reports.

‘You see, 100% of my school is on free/reduced lunch. They also get free breakfast at school every day of the school week. This kiddo wanted to get my something so badly, but had nothing to give,’ she continued. ‘So rather than give me nothing, this student opened up her free breakfast cereal this morning, took the packaging of her spork, straw, and napkin, and finally took the time to take every marshmallow out of her cereal to put in a bag – for me.

‘Be grateful for what you have, and what others give you. It all truly comes from the deepest parts of their hearts,’ she concluded.

Honest emotion is always touching, and I bawled my eyes out when I read this one.  We do it because the kids are worth it, and because we can never tell where our influence ends.  We will never know how much of a difference we made in their lives, but we have to believe we will.

So we put up with the stupidity and cruelty and the insults to our intelligence and professionalism.  When the bell rings, we shut the doors and teach as well and as fast as we can.  And we cherish the children anxious to learn, who have next to nothing, but freely give it all.

Merry Christmas everyone, and join me in praying for the survival of civilization, for that child, for all those children, and for the teachers who do it anyway.