2 Benedict Professors Fired Over Grading Policy





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Discus: College Search and Selection: August 2004 Archive: 2 Benedict Professors Fired Over Grading Policy
By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Saturday, August 21, 2004 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Apparently, Benedict College has a unique grading policy. Two professors refused to follow it. Do you think they should have been fired? See this link.

http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/9447881.htm

By Deloren986 (Deloren986) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

The policy itself is ridiculous and a disservice to collegiate academics. I understand the desire to want students who have not had the best of educations to succeed but undermining their ability is not the way to do it. The professors should not have been fired for refusing to lower standards especially for the student who did not make above 40% on tests if anything that student, who was most likely abusing the SEE policy, should have been placed academic probation and if at the end of the year they did not have a passing grade should have failed the course just like at anyother college. This is just another reason HBCUs will never be as respected as other colleges.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 01:40 pm: Edit

Thank you so much for posting the article! To me, it's particularly sad to see that a black Harvard trained economist (the college prez) somehow thinks that it's doing a favor to students to pass them in courses even though they did not learn the material.

Giving free passes doesn't help anyone. It just gives the students the erroneous message that they are too stupid to be expected to pass the course. If the president himself is smart enough to have gotten a doctorate in economics at one of the world's top universities, why doesn't he think that black students at his lower tier college are smart enough to learn undergraduate material there?

To me, his kind of well-meaning, misguided policy is the worst kind of racism. It gives the message that black students are not smart enough to achieve what's possible for other students, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to achieve.

IMO the president should be fired, and his misguided policy should be cast out along with him!

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 02:18 pm: Edit

"If the president himself is smart enough to have gotten a doctorate in economics at one of the world's top universities, why doesn't he think that black students at his lower tier college are smart enough to learn undergraduate material there?"

Didn't the uni-bomber, Ted Kazinsky, graduate from Harvard? Seems like getting advanced degrees at Harvard doesn't necessarily certify one's intelligence or ability to reason.

By Spn2200 (Spn2200) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 03:40 pm: Edit

The unibomber did graduate from Harvard, and I he was probably very intelligient, but that does not mean that he is sane.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:04 pm: Edit

Wait, I thought he went to michigan undergraduate and then berkeley for grad.

By Familyguy24 (Familyguy24) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

nvm, Ph D at UMich, and an assistant professor at Berkeley.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:24 pm: Edit

The unibomber went to Harvard for his undergraduate studies, and I believe one's undergraduate college is his true alma mater.

By Northstarmom (Northstarmom) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 04:40 pm: Edit

Here's the info I found on the Benedict College president:

David Swinton
President
Benedict College
Education:
B.A. in Economics (with Honors), New York University 1968; M.A., Ph.D. in Economics, Harvard University 1974

The article referred to in the original post also described him this way:
"he Harvard-educated Swinton acknowledged he would not implement such a policy at a more selective institution and does not know of a similar policy at any other college.

But he said Benedict is unique. Founded in 1870 to educate freed slaves, the college has been a haven for students who must overcome barriers to obtain higher education. Many are the first in their families to attend college.

With its open-admissions policy, Swinton said, many students arrive at Benedict with poor study habits and weak high school records. His job, he said, is to help them succeed."

By Boysmom (Boysmom) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 05:08 pm: Edit

While I agree that effort should count for something, I wonder how, exactly, do you measure effort? I guess I also feel that if you give 100% and still can't even get a passing grade, you should get some remedial help, but not be passed. And I also agree that telling a minority student that they aren't capable does them no good at all.

By Mysticwistful (Mysticwistful) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 06:35 pm: Edit

David Swinton is an NYU person then. He doesn't besmirtch Harvard's name at all.

By Tlaktan (Tlaktan) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 10:58 pm: Edit

Uh. He got his MA and his Ph.d from Harvard, methinks.

By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Sunday, August 22, 2004 - 11:21 pm: Edit

Look at it from the flip side.

This policy totally ••••• the naturally smart kids. The kid that walks in and immediately understands the material. He doesn't go to class often, but he studies hard and aces the exams. He get screwed, because the maximum he can get is a 40%.

It might promote good study habits, but it compromises the college as an institution for learning.


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