Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future

  • Pedagogy, transformative practice, Writing Assessment, assessment, reform, Social Justice, Race, antiracism

By Asao B. Inoue
Copy edited by Don Donahue. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

This book is the winner of the 2017 CCCC Outstanding Book Award and the 2017 Council of Writing Program Administrators Best Book Award.

CoverIn Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies, Asao B. Inoue theorizes classroom writing assessment as a complex system that is "more than" its interconnected elements. To explain how and why antiracist work in the writing classroom is vital to literacy learning, Inoue incorporates ideas about the white racial habitus that informs dominant discourses in the academy and other contexts. Inoue helps teachers understand the unintended racism that often occurs when teachers do not have explicit antiracist agendas in their assessments. Drawing on his own teaching and classroom inquiry, Inoue offers a heuristic for developing and critiquing writing assessment ecologies that explores seven elements of any writing assessment ecology: power, parts, purposes, people, processes, products, and places.


This book is the winner of the 2017 CCCC Outstanding Book Award. It was also the winner of the Best Book Award from the Council of Writing Program Administrators in 2017. The CWPA award is given every two years.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter


Introduction: Writing Assessment Ecologies as Antiracist Projects

Chapter 1: The Function of Race in Writing Assessments

Chapter 2: Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies

Chapter 3: The Elements of an Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecology

Chapter 4: Approaching Antiracist Work in an Assessment Ecology

Chapter 5: Designing Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies



Appendix A: English 160W's Grading Contract

Appendix B: Example Problem Posing Labor Process

About the Author

Asao B. Inoue is Director of University Writing and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma. He has published on writing assessment, validity, and composition pedagogy in Assessing Writing, The Journal of Writing Assessment, Composition Forum, and Research in the Teaching of English, among other journals and collections. His co-edited collection Race and Writing Assessment (2012) won the CCCC's Outstanding Book Award for an edited collection.

Publication Information: Inoue, Asao B. (2015). Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies: Teaching and Assessing Writing for a Socially Just Future. The WAC Clearinghouse; Parlor Press.

Web Publication Date: June 12, 2015.
Print Publication Date: November 11, 2015.

ISBN: 9781642150698  (pdf) | 9781642150704 | 9781602357730 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2015.0698

Contact Information:
Asao B. Inoue:

What Others Have Said About this Book

"Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies proposes classroom and program assessments that counter prevailing assessment practices that reproduce racial inequality. It's hard to imagine a more important topic or a scholar more prepared to take on this task." — Tom Fox, CSU Chico

"Asao Inoue suggests a method that acknowledges racism without assaulting students' sensibilities, a method that is both deeply political and deeply spiritual, acknowledging our jobs, the need for writing assessment, and the interplay of of color and whiteness. And in so doing, he marks the relations among places and people and tasks within which we—students, teachers, WPAs—are engaged so as to create an ecology of antiracist writing assessment. This book might well set us on a new path in the long quest for equality." — Victor Villanueva, Washington State University

"In this gem of a book, Inoue gracefully meshes class analysis, a focus on labor (students and teachers), theories of race and racism, a cross-section of diverse authors such that white scholars in the field are not the only ones politically consulted, practitioner research, new lenses on WPA work, classroom strategies, linguistic analysis alongside critical discourse analysis, examples of assessment at both the programmatic and classroom levels, and personal narrative. He has crafted every sentence, every paragraph, and every chapter from his years of experience to help us fully grasp what we need to do in the field. There is never a moment when the concepts are so abstract and elusive that we cannot see how the complexities of race and its articulations in the United States are always already right there in every turn that we make on our college campuses and in our classrooms." — Carmen Kynard, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY


Review by Christine Watson, Biola University, 2015.

Review by Katrina L. Miller, University of Nevada, Reno, January 12, 2016.

Asao B. Inoue's response to Katrina L. Miller,"Review of My Book: Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies", January 13, 2016.

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editors: Susan H. McLeod, University of California, Santa Barbara; Rich Rice, Texas Tech University

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It will also be available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2015 Asao B. Inoue. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 322 pages, with notes, illustrations, and bibliographies. Available in print from Parlor Press online, or at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.