Society and Culture
University of Wisconsin Policy Calls for Grade Distribution by Race and Ethnicity
I was just doing my normal internet surfing, riding the news wave and trying to find something that hasn’t bombarded your TV or social media outlets yet. What I stumbled upon is so ridiculous and infuriating I just could not let it go.
So, the University of Wisconsin – Madison has come up with a new policy that states good grades should be distributed equally among different races. Known as the “Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence,” this policy calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”
I’m sorry, WHAT!?! Obviously colleges like the idea of diversity — they promote it every chance they get — but if you go back and actually read what the policy calls for then you’ll see that while they may be promoting diversity, they are also promoting racial oppression. “Historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups” — it is stated right there. In most cases white people have not been historically underrepresented. So what UW-Madison is saying is let’s give out free grades to students who are not white and who may not have worked as hard as other students. What about those students who are “historically underrepresented” who work their asses off to get those good grades? Why should they have to work so hard for their grades but their peers simply get handed the same grade because of their race or ethnicity?
By all means please promote diversity at a university, it is one of the best ways for people to learn from one another. But handing out grades based on race is a slap in the face to every student and professor at any university.
W. Lee Hansen, professor of economics at UW-Madison, was outraged by this policy and shared his opinion. “Suppose there were a surge of interest in a high demand field such as computer science. Under the ‘equity’ policy, it seems that some of those who want to study this field would be told that they’ll have to choose another major because computer science already has “enough” students from their ‘difference’ group.” Professor Hansen goes on to say, “Especially shocking is the language about “equity” in the distribution of grades. Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them so that academically weaker, ‘historically underrepresented racial/ethnic’ students perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students.”
How would any professor or student be okay with even the idea of this policy? How did UW-Madison get away with putting this policy into effect! Each student had to work hard to get into the university but now all of a sudden the school is saying that no matter what you did in the past if you are considered “historically underrepresented” you can simply show up to class and still get a good grade.
What’s the point of going to college if this is how it is going to be? These kids are going to end up with a four-year degree that they did not earn but simply purchased. If that’s the case why not just close down all institutions and require people to write a check for $80,000 – $125,000 to the government and have them hand out degrees.
Instead of promoting hard work, dedication, and real education, UW-Madison has basically said, “Come to UW-Madison where you pay tuition and we will give you the grades.” Is this really the kind of reputation that a university wants to have? Is this the kind of reputation that any student graduating from this institution wants to have? I know if I were ever in a situation where I was going to hire someone I would never want to hire the graduate from UW-Madison because he may not have understood the purpose of college and may not have learned anything except that things can apparently just be handed to you.
Life does not work that way. Life is not easy or fair and part of that statement includes the idea that school is not easy. You get the grade you worked for, not the grade that was assigned to you because of your race.
Too many of today’s youth are just expecting a hand out. They aren’t being taught the value of a dollar or a strong work ethic. Here comes the reference again, Idiocracy at its finest.
I also find it very interesting how hard generations before us fought for equality but here we are creating more separation than ever before. Is it not obvious to the world that subtle lines are being drawn in the sand? No one is created equal anymore. We might as well throw out the Declaration of Independence and forget about our past because nothing has really changed. People talk about how racism and sexism are still very alive in our world and how things need to change for the better. But how can anything change when universities are promoting policies that demonstrate separation over equality? Equality is not being promoted in this “Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence” policy at all.
You want to be equal? Take the same classes as your peers, work as hard as you can and get the grade you deserve. That makes you equal with your peers, not waiting around for a professor to give you an A for a class that you probably barely attended, never studied for and possibly slept through.
Shame on you University of Wisconsin – Madison for not only promoting racial and ethnic oppression but for also basically telling your students that they aren’t smart enough to get the grades on their own. Not to mention telling the world that handing out grades because of race or ethnicity is okay, thanks for basically showing the world that the fight for desegregation in all aspects meant nothing. I’m sure Medgar Evers, Betty Friedan, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King, Jr. are all turning in their graves.
Allison Dawson (@AllyD528) Born in Germany, raised in Mississippi and Texas. Graduate of Texas Tech University and Arizona State University. Currently dedicating her life to studying for the LSAT. Twitter junkie. Conservative.
Featured image courtesy of [Okandasan via Flickr]