Grading Bias Essay

410 Words2 Pages
Let’s say you are a student who dresses wildly, complete with face piercings and tattoos around your eyes. In addition to the piercings and tattoos, you have bright green hair. Do you think your professor would look at you differently or even grade your work differently just because of your “uniqueness?” Similarly, and perhaps more seriously, do you think that a professor’s judgments of the color of your skin or race would impact how they grade your assignments? This segment will be looking at the views of ethnicity and its impact on grading biases.

It is known that weakness in languages and poor social/educational backgrounds of parents are directly correlated to reduced educational performance (Ammermüller 2007; Casey and Dustmann 2008),
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Because there is reduced educational performance in students with poor social/economic backgrounds, the teacher’s expectations are diminished. This could result in better grades than they should have gotten OR the students could result in having lower grades if the teacher believe the assignment to be from a student with a high social/educational background (Darley and Gross 2005).

In the current study, the researchers focused on the ethnicity effect, in which they took ten essays, gave them either German or Turkish names, and had teachers grade them. This was to see if a student’s origin had an effect on grading biases. They found that most teachers do not grade based on a student’s ethnicity. They also found that there is no link between observed teacher behaviors and grading bias.

To really understand the impact of perceptions of ethnicity on grading, more research needs to be done. There are a couple reasons for this. One, the study found relatively small effects, “as grading bias amounts to about 10% of a standard deviation in essay grades” (Sprietsma 2013). And secondly, since many teachers were not willing to participate in the study, the researchers believed that grading bias could be larger in an actual population rather than this sample (Sprietsma
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