In what one professor calls “affirmative action” grading, Brooklyn College wants to “re-educate” instructors whose minority students have lousy grades, The Post has learned.
In an eight-point “anti-racist” agenda shared with the school community this month, college president Michelle Anderson said the school had “recently raised funds to offer professional development to faculty in classes with the highest racial disparities in outcomes” and the most grades of D or F or withdrawals.
“We must identify and address the structural obstacles that Black students and students of color more generally face at the College,” she wrote, adding, “We need to create stronger systems of support for their academic and career success.”
But one Brooklyn College professor said the plan sounded like “grade affirmative action,” where students would be tracked by race, and the profs of failing students ch astened by “the threat of a re-education camp and the accompanying stigma.”
The professor wondered if some faculty members would inflate grades “in order to avoid the stigma of being subtly labeled a racist.”
Racial disparities, said the prof, could be linked to inequities in high school education, leaving “some students under-prepared for college courses. In that case, offering more remedial courses would be a sounder strategy to address racial disparities in grade outcomes.”
Anderson outlined an effort to “alter systems, policies, and practices” in pursuit of educational equality at the public college, which is part of the taxpayer-funded City University of New York.
Anderson highlighted “listening sessions,” greater diversity in hiring, staff mentoring to retain faculty and boosting “culturally relevant programs at the College [to] ensure that we deepen our anti-racist pedagogy.”
A college spokesman denied there would be grade inflation and said the “professional development” opportunities would be optional.
A student’s self-reported race is part of the demographic information the school already collects when students enroll.
“Brooklyn College is proactively addressing structural obstacles that students of color face every day,” it said in a statement. “The college is enhancing faculty professional development to learn best practices in the classroom.”
A spokesman for CUNY’s faculty union did not respond to a request for comment.
Approximately 17,000 students attend the school in Midwood and 25 percent are white; 21 percent Hispanic; 19 percent black; 18 percent Asian, and 3 percent biracial or of other ethnicities. Fourteen percent did not declare a race, according to the school’s website.