To bridge racial equity gaps, the Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecology (AWAE) Grant is working to restructure grading. 

Funded by College Spark Washington, the grant supports writing-assessment changes at various participating institutions like Bellevue College, Pierce College, and Shoreline Community College.  

“Traditional assessment is based on what an instructor thinks is good work. But there could be unintentional bias in that assessment. When we think about acceptable forms of language, those are primarily white forms which don’t represent the diversity of the student body,” said Bellevue College’s Sajonna Sletten in a press release from the school. 

Instead, the new assessment would prioritize individual markers, such as participation in class and the development of writing skills.  

At the center of the project is Arizona State University Professor Asao B. Inoue’s labor-contract model, which applies a social justice lens to education.  

This project launched in January and is scheduled to wrap up at the end of fall.