Showing posts from November 21, 2021

The Benefits of Labor Logs for Writing Courses

I woke up the other night unable to sleep, so I thought about why a student, or teacher, should keep a labor log in a writing course. I know, that's probably not what you think about when you lie awake at night, but I feel there are some not-so-obvious benefits that are worth explaining to students and teachers, but really, this post is for students.  Now, if you are new to labor-based grading or labor logs and you want to learn more about both, which I use together in my courses, you can check out my book on the subject, Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom (2019). It's free online. I've also made a labor-based grading resource page on my website ( ) with  resources geared for both teachers and students from all over the internet.  So what are the benefits of keeping a labor log. In short, there are at least two important benefits for those who keep them, particularly stud

Bout to Be MORE Racist: The Philly Magnet School Decision

Recently, I got this email from my dear friend Eli Goldblatt (at Temple U). He put me in contact with a committed and engaged pair of teachers who are concerned about the changes to admissions for magnet schools in the Philadelphia area , and more specifically they were concerned about a 90-minute, timed writing exam that students would now have to take for several of the magnet schools admissions processes. The exam would be scored by a computer, an automated scoring technology . The move is meant to centralize decisions and eliminate local decisions that were understood before as racist, or having too much bias that led to racist outcomes in some of the magnet schools. So the changes are meant to " increase diversity " (that's good), but as far as I can tell, they mean by this to "eliminate bias" in decisions by people for admission, which opens a host of other racist problems that it seems clear they've not thought through.  These two Philly teachers wan

Blogbook -- Logocentric Languaging Next to Kisceral-centric Languaging

Entry 37 From one angle, the focus on logocentric arguments in the CCSS for high school students and the OS for college students seems reasonable. Note the value-heavy adjective, “reasonable,” in my statement. Why is “reason” and “logical-ness” so highly valued in determining a standard for most writing in schools and colleges? We could say, as Davis does for the CCSS (see post 36 ), that this is what colleges and universities ask of students. And that wouldn’t be completely wrong. But that dodges the institutionally-created “need” for this kind of orientation in our students’ languaging. It also dodges where all disciplines and educational institutions get their ideas for what “logical” and “reason” mean. Colleges have wanted students to take SATs and ACTs, but those standardized tests have been shown to be culturally biased, white supremacist, and produce racial scoring gaps that help create racial inequity ( note 251 ). So what colleges want from students has often been fallible,