Old Stuff – Well, before getting to the old stuff, let me mention one new thing: Welcome! I’ve been a wallflower at the Blog Dance long enough and, with prompting from my daughter and co-blogger Jessie (actualy, “prompting” is a bit mild for the get-a-blog abuse she has subjected me to), I have finally decided to venture out onto the floor. Now we’ll see if anyone wants to dance with me.
With apologies for looking backward (but I AM a historian, after all), I will begin with one or two recent (well, pretty recent) items that caught my attention. Here’s the first one.
Blind Grading – Recently both Eugene Volokh (29 May at 8:15PM and again on 31 May at 7:45AM) and Glenn Reynolds (9 June at 8:06AM) mentioned that their law schools practice blind grading, i.e., the professors do not know whose exams they are grading.
I suspect most law schools follow the same policy, which I find odd given how much sympathy there is among the law professoriat for taking notice of race at every opportunity. Blind grading thus seems like something of an anomaly, a little island of (color+)-blindness surrounded by a virtual sea of color-consciousness. There are racial preferences for admission to selective and some not-so-selective colleges; there are racial preferencs for admission to law school; and after graduation there are racial preferences in hiring in many firms and organizations. Given all that, why NOT have race-conscious grading as well? I’m having a hard time imagining what the argument against it — especially a principled argument — would be from people who support racial consciousness everywhere else and, indeed, are sometimes heard to argue that it is racist NOT to take race into account.
On the other hand, these are the same people who, curiously, vehemently oppose racial profiling….