Sunday, 16 January 2005

Bad essay gets bad grade, news at 11

Everyone’s favorite Moonie-owned newspaper, the Washington Times, attempts to make a cause celebré out of a student who got a bad grade on an American government exam at Foothill College, a community college in the Bay Area. (þ: Wizbang)

Steven Taylor and James Joyner have offered their grades of the purported essay in question, and—like them—I’d be hard pressed to give a non-failing grade to the essay, even leaving aside the weak grammar; it fails to meaningfully respond to the question as written, instead going off on a tangent to discuss the contemporary constitution and its effects. That the essay may be a heartwarming account by a hard-working immigrant doesn’t redeem that failing; indeed, if the question had asked for such an essay, I’d be inclined to give the essay a significantly better grade, though probably not an A. As it stands, I’d probably give it something on the order of 12–13 points out of 20.

All that said, if the professor did indeed tell the student he needed “psychological treatment” (as the Times account alleges), the prof ought to be disciplined. There’s more from the student’s side here (þ: PoliBlog).

Wednesday, 9 February 2005

Prof responds on bad essay

The Jawa Report has a Foothill College professor’s response to allegations of political bias in grading an essay assignment about the writing of the Constitution.

I also like Rusty’s response to student complaints that he gives too many F’s:

In fact, not a semester goes by where at least one student doesn’t accuse me of giving them an F because I don’t like their politics or have some personal vendetta against them. The fact is that neither is true.

The reason I give so many students an F is because there is no lower grade to give.

As the Blogfather would say, “heh.” (þ: Steven Taylor)