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U of Wisconsin Madison's 'grade redistribution' program

U of Wisconsin Madison
U of Wisconsin Madison
U of Wisconsin Madison

"I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." So said then-candidate Barack Obama famously to Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelburger in Toledo as televisions cameras rolled in October 2012. Not everyone shares that opinion, including it appears Obama himself. Despite having earned $481,098 in 2013, the president was willing to part with only about 12.3% in the form of charitable deductions.

Although Obama doesn't practice what he preaches, his ideas on wealth redistribution have caught on among liberals in academia who have hit upon another method for spreading the "wealth."

Campus Reform reports on a new policy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison that seeks to redistribute good grades equally among students of different races. The “Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence,” as the policy is called, aims 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.”

One former member of the university's faculty has reservations about the arrangement. His name is W. Lee Hansen, and last week he authored a piece for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in which he stated:

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.

Hanson has concerns as well about a facet of the framework that would essentially create arbitrary quotas in select fields of study based on race. He writes:

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.

A post at National Review Online about the initiative is even more cynical:

Political correctness has for some time mandated that everyone get an A, so it was only a matter of time before the coercive forces seeking “Diversity and Inclusive Excellence” rendered grades utterly meaningless. But to commandeer grades as a vehicle for reparations? That level of brainlessness deserves an F — no matter what color you are.

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