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October 27, 1972 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-10-27

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Eighty-two years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Why restructure

'U'

grading system?

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1972

EDITOR'S NOTE-This is the second
in a series of articles discussing aca-
demic reform-including both faculty
and student problems-in the literary
college.
By JAY RISING
EDUCATION IN the University has till
now almost solely been placed in the
hands of the faculty to confer upon the
students. The present teaching techniques
- large lectures, grading policies, and fa-
. culty separation from students - have forc-
ed education to mean learning as "book
work" in the strictest sense.
Due to the University's support of anti-
quated educational techniques, students are
forced to learn by the syllabus, unable to
explore their interests and ultimately the
majority are unsatisfied with the outcome.
One of the major instruments which helps
to maintain this type of environment is the
grading police of the University. Students
in the literary college will have their first
oportunity next week to express their views
on grading and indicate the policy most
favorable to them. Here, without specifying
what grading proposal seems most attrac-
tice, I would like to present a rationale for
constructive reform of present grading poli-
cies.
IN THE UNIVERSITY today the objec-
tives of grading have lost their original
purpose as a means to an end Now the end
most sought in classrooms is the grading it-
self. This is not a healthy objective for an
institution of higher learning'. It is the out-
come of the total environment, of which
grading is part of and to an extent directs,
which promulgates success on the basis of
one's grade point.
Specific overall goals for the whole stu-

dent population, placing students as passive
learners, settling students up against each
other; all these come from the present en-
vironment.
What type of environment should be creat-
ed to eliminate 'these outcomes? The
basic tenets, which for the most part are
ironically agreed upon and possible originat-
ed from the very people who uphold tradi-
tion grading policies, consist of these main
theories:
! Direction - That- a university educa-
tion be a motivating and educational exper-
ience, preparing the individual for life to
come;
* Awareness of the World and Oneself -
that everyone's education be suited to their
specific needs to help each individual reach
their own full intellectual potential; and
* Understanding - That each student oe
provided with the ability to comprehend and
analyze the myriad experiences and ideas
which confront him.
THE FULFILLMENT of these objectives
requires structuring curricula, educational
alternatives, and particularly grading poli-
cies to become means to meet these ends.
Concerning grading policies, the present
graded system employed in LS&A has lost
site of these ends and the grade has it)-
stead become an end in itself. How our pre-
sent grading system is detrimental to the
positive educational objective is witnessed
through the competitive, unilateral, and
alienating nature it evolved and fosters.
First, the competitive nature of our grad-
ing system is not one of healthy competi-
tion where one strives to do his best, but
rather the unhealthy struggle to outdo one's
classmates in an atmosphere or rivalry and
coldness. The acquisition of the und rstand-

able fear which competition promotes, based
on the taunted importance of grades in ad-
mission to graduate schools or for the
acquisition of a good' job, has become the
great preventive in a student's 'ree develop-
ment of his total personality.
Second, there is the proposition that
grading creates a unilateral nature in the
classroom. Because grades are often de-
termined by students' success with required
course material, exploration of individual
interests outside the projected syllabus is
often carried on to the "grade point detri-
ment" of the student.
Thus the learning comes from the teacher
to the student, not from the students them-
selves or from students to teachers. It
is basically an undirectional process.
Last, the alienating nature of a graded
environment is evidenced by the lack of
relationships or rapport between students
and faculty. As long as the college, though
innocently, uses grades to sustain an au-
thoritarian position for the faculty, and
places students in the role of people spend-
ing four years in college in order to get a
job, in order to retire, has the college edu-
cation really accomplished its objectives?
The preparation for a full life has been
lost.
THE GRADED SYSTEM attempted to
achieve its goal through the use of grades
as a motivational technique, a feedback
mechanism, and as a placement proseptus
for the 'real' world. While these are posi-
tive and necessary functions for an indixvid-
ual's education, the non-graded atmosphere
could more adequately provide them, and
more successfully achieve the overall edu-
cational goals as well. There have been
countless numbers of studies and reports

on types of motivators present and waiting
for use in every classroom. A variety of
feedback mechanisms, such as using the
same tests used in a graded classroom but
in an ungraded manner for the benefit of
the individual student, and placement pos-
sibilities the non-graded graduate has re-
ceived, have already been suggested.
All have yielded promising and acceptable
results, demanding the implementation of
reformed grading policies. Grading reform
can only help the students find a direction,
awareness, and understanding from their
college education. Grading reform opens the
door wide enough so that students may ex-
plore their interests and at the same time
acquire basic skills, so they can more
fully analyze their. intellectual capabilities
and better comprehend the many intricacies
of a particular subject, and so mold their
education to their personal needs. Through
these elementary means the non-graded
system will better meet those ends desired
by all.
FOR THE FIRST time the question of
grading reform in the literary college has
been placed before the students as a refer-
endum in the forthcoming elections. Fur-
ther discussion of grading reform and par-
ticular proposals suggesting directions
which it should take are being presented at
a student forum on Monday, at 8:30 in
Aud A of Angell Hall.
For the student voice to be heard in un-
graded classrooms and the college, stu-
dents must show their concern both at the
forum and- in the classroom.
Jay Rising is president of the LSA Stu-
dent Government.

ti

II

1

A

4j

4

The Victor in Vietnam

Time to end the war?

YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, someone
called The Daily and asked, "Is the
war over?"
The answer was then, and is now, "No."
Though newspaper headlines shriek
about a cease - fire nearly arranged, the
actions of the Nixon administration over
the past three years should make us
wary of "all but concluded" peace settle-
ments. It is, of course, possible that peace
is imminent, but the opinion of many key
figures is, at best, guarded.
Highly revealing were comments yes-
terday by North Vietnamese negotiator
Xuan Thuy that the United States "seeks
to create obstacles in order not to carry
out- the accords agreed upon. . . The
-American side wants to make believe that

it is doing everything possible to peace-
fully settle the Vietnam problem and
that the war is approaching an end."
Henry Kissinger, in yesterday's news
conference, did not mention the North
Vietnamese assertion that the United
States is using South Vietnamese Presi-
dent Nguyen Van Thieu to block a set-
tlement.
THE DEADLINE set by the North Viet-
namese for signing the settlement-
Tuesday-makes it difficult for the Nixon
administration to stall on the matter.
So if there is no agreement by then,
some real action - on the battlefield-
may begin.
-ZACHARY SCHILLER

Burghardt for state. rep

IF ONLY because of its diverse collection
of candidates, the state representa-
tive race is one of the most confusing
contests facing local voters this year.
Among the four running, we believe
the Human Rights Party's Steve Burg-
hardt can best supply Ann Arbor with
a truly progressiye representation.
The choice between Burghardt and
Democrat Perry Bullard is a tough one.
Both -push a good progressive program
for basic social reform including state-
funded public health care, legalization
of, marijuana, decriminalization of "vic-
timless crimes," and support for tenants
rights and mass transit. Both would pro-
pose significant legislation and amass
a consistently positive voting record.
However,- there are severe limitations
on what can be legislatively accomplish-
ed in Lansing. It is for that reason that
the question of :social activism becomes
paramount in deciding between the two.
T IT a basic tenet of HRP philosophy
that real social change cannot come
through legislation alone, but that ex-
ternal citizen pressure on the govern-
ment is an integral part of the policy
making process.
The partyhas consistently backed its
rhetoric. with action, lending support
and participation to such causes at the
Buhr Machine Tool strike of 1971 and the
CPHA strike last spring. As a Peace
Corps volunteer in Columbia in 1965, as
a prime organizer of the Tenants Union
rent strike of 1.69, and as a participant
in the Black Action Movement support
Coalition in 1970, Burghardt has shown
real commitment to grass roots com-
:munity organizing as a lever for social
change.
Bullard also claims a record of "sub-
stantial activism" citing involvement in

erans Against the war among other
groups. But in neither the Tenants Un-
ion or the veterans group was Bullard's
involvement prolonged or substantial. It
is significant that whenever Burghardt
talks about activism, Bullard talks about
getting on committees and being a mem-
ber of the majority party.
The implication that membership in a
traditional party will give Bullard's radi-
cal proposals any more likelihood of pas-
sage than Burghardt's is simply untrue.
The Legislature as it now stands-a
bastion of parochialism - will oppose
radical change no matter whom it comes
from, a Bullard or a Burghardt.
1HE OTHER state representative can-
didates fill up the field, and make
the race an exciting one, but both repre-
sent viewpoints which we must reject.
We applaud the refreshing honesty and
dedication to principles of Conservative
Party candidate Alan Harris. It is be-
cause of his principles, however, that we
cannot support him.
Harris is an advocate of laissez-faire-
essentially a "hands off" policy by the
government in social and economic mat-
ters. This policy, he argues, would be the
surest guarantee of freedom for the indi-
vidual. In practice, however, attempts at
laissez-faire government have produced
not freedom, but the most despicable tyr-
anny by those who "have" over those
who "have not."
Republican Mike Renner, the fourth
candidate, is a product of the local GOP
strategy of running wishy-washy liberal-
sounding candidates who mouth reform-
ist slogans while proposing nothing to
alter basic social inequities.
The voice of ,Ann Arbor will be little
. more than a whisper if we elect a repre-
sentstive who is eontent to take his com-

Letters:
He ra
Hard swallowing year a
To The Daily: in 1974.
WALTER SHAPIRO'S recent en- didacy
dorsement of Perry Bullard was dressin
pleasant but a bit hard to swallow, issues
somewhat like his candidate. The meanin
statement was blatantly political -
support for his party's nominee, and
a contradiction of many of the
principles on which Shapiro based
his campaign.
Take Shapiro on party bosses To The
and compromise: "I believe that ON F
Perry's candidacy and my cam- Arbor(
paign for Congress (although I sponso
lost by 1200 votes district-wide, I two c
carried Ann Arbor by more than the Se
five-to-one) proves that t is pos- Rep. N
sible to run effective campaigns in gressm
the Democratic primary without Duri
catering to party bosses, whout pien s
compromising on one single issua." Esch f
Shapiro is the man who ran for gressio
Congress "despite" the city Demo- ferenc
cratic party, his was the totally Mr. St
non-partisan campaign under the the m
Democratic banner. Having lost, throug
however, he now does his duty as reform
, good party man, which coupled I fin
with his own pitch, seems to be Stepmi
looking to 1974. the De
Shapiro continues: "What is be the
needed is someone like Perry Bul- ondly,
lard who understands the legisla- trolled
tive process, and is committeed to 40 ye.
left-wing programs, not someone brough
who is going to use the legislature change
as a platform to posture, much in in tha
the way HRP often uses City Coun- electio
cil." This from the man who was comet
going to be the Bella Abzug of the sionali
midwest, the youngest person in -
Congress, not there to "go along ',0
but to shake things up. The radical
Democrat who was going to de-
feat the "liberal" Marvin Esch ad
vises that we send a liberal to To Th
Lansing, rather than the radical I G
Steve Burghardt who might use the spring
legislature as "a platform n Vt' - downt
ture." about
had a
ONE LAST point of Shapio's agains
wears thin, his assurance "that the I plan
manner in which Perry Bullard I go
was nominated was far more open, ClerkF
for more democratic, than the way sponse
HRP selected its candidates." Bul- tee ba
lard got the nomination because he chised.
stencilled his name on 4.6 times islatur
as many walls as the next candi- prohibi
date. HRP is young and has not state a
finalized all its nominating p r o- tempor
cedures, but this does not jusfy lot inT
the shallow opportunism of many we we
of Bullard's campaign tactics. His to vot
over-abundant 'name association" situati
operation, coupled with his highly school
dubious claims of affiliation with be abl
various organizations quite p o s- you su
sibly define him as "slick". How
Walter Shapiro is a good man. gan cii
Health
By RUBEN ZAMORANO was t
]PHIS LAST WEEKEND, the School
first National Conference on blackr
Health Manpower Education for Dentist
the Spanish - surnamed was held the sc
in Chicago. nursin
Never before have this nation's did no
Latinos had the opportunity to was of
meet for such an endeavor. The to jus
meeting was held to develop a na- tendan
tional strategy to ensure that the
federal government, non - federal AS A
institutions and schools increase, dent I
or at least allow. Latinos the op- top a

Readers give election

n a strong campaign this
nd possibly he will r u n
His will probably be a can-
to support, if he runs ad-
g himself intelligently to the
of the time, and shuns these
gless party gesture's.
-Dwight Pelz
Oct. 19
Champion
Daily:
FRIDAY, Oct. 20, the Ann
Chapter of Common Cause
red a debate between the
cndidates for Congress in
cond Congressional District,
Marvin Stempien and Con-
aan Marvin Esch.
ng that debate, Mr. Stem-
aid that both he and Mr.
avored the concept of con-
nal reform and that the dif-
e between the two was that
tempion was a member of
ajority party, and that only
h the majority party can
be effected.
d it very interesting that Mr.
en would first imply that
mocratic Party will forever
majority party, and sec-
that the party that has con-
Congress for 38 of the last
ars, and which has not
t about one significant
e in congressional structure
t time will now upon the
n of Marvin Stempien be-
the champions of congres-
reform.
Paul LaClair
Oct. 24
Disenfranchised
e Daily:
RADUATED from U-M last
and am now going to school
here. I don't know much
Tennessee politics, and I
burning desire to vote
t Doug and Judge Elden, so
ned to vote in Ann Arbor.
t a rude shock from City
Harold Sanders today in re-
to my request for an absen-
ilot - I've been disenfran-
It seems that the state leg-
e passed a law this year
iting anyone who leaves the
and resides elsewhere, even
rarily, from casting .his bal-
Michigan. Remember when
re repeatedly told we had
e at home? Well now the
on's reversed - if you go to
out-of-state, you had better
e to vote at school, 'cause
re can't at home.
many thousands of Michi-
tizens are in the same pre-

,.
,,
a _ r
;r.
-t
\
,'
.
x . I ,

dicament? I fear to guess. Maybe
thousands, when you figure all
the graduates of state universities
who planned to vote where they
did last spring - tat school. But
don't let me be too unkind to the
state. If I can prove I can't'regis-
ter here because I'm not -a resi-
dent of Tennessee, I get to vote for
President in Ann Arbor. Of course
it took a lawyer to find that loop-
hole for me. I doubt that most'oth-
ers in this situation even know
they can do that because the let-
ter from the city doesn't mention
it.

Socialists
To The Daily:
STATED THOREAU, "there are
a thousand hacking at the branches
of evil to one who is striking at
the roots."
The Socialist Labor Party (or-
ganized since 1890) is the only po-
litical group in America which
strikes at the roots of the evils in-
herent under our capitalist sys-
tem. Only through its viable pro-
gram of Socialist Industrial Gov-
ernment can peace and plenty be
guaranteed to all regardless of
race, color or creed.
The presidential ticket of the So-
cialist Labor Party, Louis Fisher
and Genevieve Gunderson, deserve
the support and vote of all working
people. Unlike all other candi-
dates, they have no "gimmicks"
or reforms to offer. They are cam-
paigning on a straight-forward
program of Socialist Industrial
Government under which goods
will be produced for use, the in-
dustries will be collectively-owned,
and people will vote for their gov-
ernment from where they work.
Such a Society can only be brought
about by the workers themselves
-not by self-appointed "leaders".
-A. Sim
Oct. 20'
As I lay dying
To The Daily:
AS I LIE flat on my back, I
can't help but feel compelled to
share my fate with the unsuspect-
ing, who consider the University's
Health Service a panacea for medi-
cal aid. Over a month ago, I went
to them severely ill. They infirm-
erized me, poked me, jabbed me,
examined and re-examined me and
informed me they couldn't find out
what was wrong. Three weeks lat-
er, still ill, I discovered myself
driving from Ann Arbor, to the of-
fice of my family physician. Be-
fore any blood tests, he knew I
had rheumatic fever. Now my fate
is months in bed, and a semester
lost in school. I can't help but
wonder if the story would have
ended differently had I b e e n
treated properly in the first place.
-L. Young
School of Social Work
Oct. 19
Out of focus
To The Daily:
I WAS INDEED surprised on
Tuesday (Oct. 24) to discover that
the Arts Department had nothing
more interesting to cover than a
skin flick in Ypsi. The Korean

Dance Troupe, Ah Ahk, performed
Sunday and only merited a fuzzy,
out-of-focus phdtograph. As I know
very little about Korean dance and
music, I would have enjoyed some
sort of comment on the nature of
their program. Furthermore, the
poet Thomas Transtromer was
scheduled to give a reading on
Tuesday. Had. the Arts Column
seized the opportunity to provide
some background on him, I might
have made a point of attending. In-
stead, the Arts Department chose
to recite all the cliches they could
think of concerning skin flicks
while showing how hip they are by
reducing the column to a series
of foutr letter epithets. I n, e v e r
thought that The Daily, which - has
stooped pretty low in the p a s t,
would resort to such worthless re-
porting to fill its pages.
-Don Petersen, '74
Oct. 24
Used by police
To Tha Daily:
IN THE FIVE years of my sub-
scriptions to The Daily the Oct. 18
publication is the first for which I
write this formal protest.
The ,Daily's role as police spies
and informants destroyed a Daily
tradition which in five years I
had revered and come to expect.
Previously The Daily had inde-
pendence from police and others.
Previously the policy was to op-
pose the punishment of those who
committed "crimes" without vic-
tims.
In the future will the paper con-
tinue to use its organization for the
zealous promotion of puritanical
moral codes? Now The Daily has
people in jail.
The Daily writes of organized
crime and blackmail. Does it have
any evidence to support this? Just
because of what the police say?
Or what it would like to believe?
The Daily writes of women hav-
ing their bodies exploited. Are
these women held there under
force? Can they quit if they want?
Was Fitzgerald forced to take the
job?
The only exploitation which has
occurred is that The Daily has
been used by the police.
-Victor Stanis
Microbiology 1971
Oct. 24
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to any-
one who w i s h e s to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should be less than 1,000
words.

A

I

'S
-s
I

views

I
4
J

I

Promises, promises
I can't vote in Tennessee be-
cause because I'm not a resident,
and even if I was it's too late to
register. So have a good election
without me, Doug. I've waited four
years; I can wait a few more.
-Phil Cherner
Oct. 19

professionals ignore

hat one professor in the
of Public , Health and a
recruiter from the School of
ry attended. The deans of
hools of dentistry, medicine,
g, and pharmacy apparently
t feel that the conference
sufficient merit or import
tify their attention or at-
ce.
A CHICANO and as a stu-
submit that once again the
dministrators at this uni-

administration.
They were also to assist us in
giving us an idea of what their in-
stitutions were doing in recruit-
ment, admissions, retention, fi-
nancing, and inclusion of the Raza
student.
I am very naturally angry that
the deans not only chose to ignore
the invitation, I am also deeply
resentful of the manner in which
they very effectively cut out any
participation for dialogue.

dental schools, in the sar
only 67 were Mexican - A
and perhaps 26 werei
Puerto Rican."
The picture in the
fields of osteopathy, veteri
tometry, pharmacy, podia
sing, allied health and
health are even more aby
The main concern for
tinos at the conferencec
health manpower has bee
unavailable to the million
tinos in areas of urban a

Latinos*
me year, siveness
4merican THIS NEGLECT is not new for
mainland us here at the University; we are
asked to accept half-time advo-
training cacy, we lose the sole Chicano
nary, op- counselor and recrqiter for lack
try, nur- of finances, and we are told that
I public no Latino faculty can be hired,
(smal. and a student food cooperative is
the La- rejected . . . When is this to stop?
was that The cooperation of the Univer-
n and is sity at this conference was re-
ms of La- quested, but the University did
nd rural not even have the courtesy to re-

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