Voices, privilege, and cultural context in writing instruction in the USA

“Too often, those teachers who do feel some level of confidence about the assessment of students of color, have been shut out of the conversation. Their voices have been silenced by bureaucratic procedures, lack of inclusion, and lack of acknowledgment for the resources they can bring to the discussion. In order to remedy this situation, not only must we “learn how to better privilege the voices and interpretations from teachers most knowledgeable about the context of students’ assessment” (Huot, 1996), but we must learn how to better privilege the voices and interpretations from teachers most knowledgeable about the cultural context of students’ assessment. Unless we accomplish this task, writing achievement for underachieving students will, quite likely, continue to decline.

Excerpted from Arnetha Bell’s “Expanding the dialogue on culture as a critical component when assessing writing”

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