The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Graduate Resources

Writing Studies Graduate Student Symposium

April 30, 2010

11:20 – 12:35: Session 3: Interrogating Educational Policy

Carey Hawkins Ash, “The Case for Education as a Fundamental Right of Citizenship in the United States”

Since 1896, the issue of “separate but equal” has been an ever present notion in American society. From water fountains to lunch counters, the use of public facilities and the receipt of public services have often been impacted by the ethno-racial group to which one belongs. One of the greatest examples of this circumstance can be found in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) wherein it was determined that separate public school facilities for African-American and Caucasian students were inherently unequal. Although the Supreme Court eradicated the “separate” premise of the “separate but equal” doctrine in the Brown decision, the ever elusive goal of providing equal educational opportunities to all of America’s students remains ephemeral. It is this notion of a right to equal educational opportunities that I examine through the lens of the landmark Supreme Court case San Antonio School District v. Rodriguez (1973).

Andrea Olinger, “Who’s Responsible for “Student English”? The Regulation of Faculty Cooperation in Postwar College Writing”

The Senate Committee on Student English was established in 1941 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to combat the “problems of student English.” At the time, however, the Committee often located the “problem” of student writing in faculty from other disciplines, who failed to hold students to high standards for grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation. By tracing the development, promotion, and use of a sample of the Committee's publications and products--the university-wide “Stylebook” (1951-1956), a research report on faculty members' attitudes toward the treatment of writing in their classes (1955), a letter enjoining them to "stress literacy" in their classes (1955), and a checklist and pad of pink slips that they could use to identify "deficient" writing (1957-1959)--I will examine how the Committee positioned faculty cooperation as a “problem” to be “corrected”—just like student writing.

Sonia Kline, “Developing a Theoretical and Analytical Framework for Examining Computer-Based Writing Assessment Programs”

Building on socio-cultural, cognitive and multiliteries perspectives, I will present four central understandings about writing that computer technology has great potential to promote, but that are frequently neglected in writing assessment.


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