Teachers told to use pink ink when they are marking because red is too hard for children to bear

Teachers told to use pink ink when they are marking because red is too hard for children to bear

Here’s your Stupid Trigger Warning story of the day. It comes to us from the UK…

From the Daily Mail:

Teachers have complained about a ‘ridiculous’ marking system which forces them to use pink ink for negative comments because it is ‘less aggressive’ than red.

The bizarre system is being implemented by some headteachers who believe pink is a softer colour which will make children feel less like failures.

Many are also making staff use up to six different coloured pens to give different types of feedback to pupils as part of a ‘triple’ or ‘deep’ marking strategy.

In one example, a school has asked pupils to respond to teachers’ comments in purple or blue, and if teachers want to give encouragement they have been told to use a ‘positive’ green pen.

It is thought the system was inspired by Marking Matters, a guide from Ofsted, the schools regulator, issued in 2011 but withdrawn last year.

At the conference of the NASUWT teaching union in Birmingham at the weekend, teachers voted to escalate industrial action over the pressures of the marking system.

Some of this is political correctness, but what needs to be understood is it’s also careerism. The education industry has developed into such a massive bureaucracy in which such massive sums of money are spent outside the classroom that the people in it have to work very hard to justify their continued employment. That tail has to wag the dog some sort of way and making stupid rules about the color of ink to use in grading papers under the guise of the advancement of the interest of children, when none of those things require too much work, is part of that careerism.

Were the industry subject to market forces in places like the UK and US, this kind of thing wouldn’t survive; competitors would rapidly pilfer customers from over-bureaucratized and silly market players quibbling over pink ink vs red, and the quibblers would soon find themselves out of a job for having wasted the customers’ money on such stupid pursuits. But since it’s a bureaucratic system rather than a capitalist one, there is no way to squeeze politically correct stupidity out of it.

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