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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Confronting the Ideologies of Assimilation and Neutrality in Writing Program Assessment through Antiracist Dynamic Criteria Mapping

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license

This article contributes to conversations about antiracist writing program assessment, with particular attention to the evaluation of first-year writing samples. In an effort to confront the racist ideologies of assimilation and neutrality, I employed a modified version of dynamic criteria mapping (DCM) that involved surveying students, conducting instructor focus groups, and analyzing writing prompts. The triangulated results informed the development of an assessment tool that was used to examine 89 writing samples. The goal of this assessment was not to produce a set of standards that mirror community values but rather to describe what was happening in the writing program and then use that information to facilitate critical reflection on the ways in which classroom practices align with or depart from the programmatic goal of delivering socially just writing instruction. By sharing my own experiences, I hope to help other writing program administrators (WPAs) develop processes for enacting antiracist writing assessment in their own contexts. I also reflect on the ways my procedure did—and did not—achieve its antiracist goals.

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