I really like this idea. I have heard it before, but I haven't heard as good an explanation and justification before. He does it because he was plagued by questions like these:
How do we get kids to actually worry about the work they produce? How do we get them to work through draft after draft of a paper in search of perfection?... questions that, of course, all of us who teach writing ask. I love the idea, and I think it would work.
But I wonder about my students - adult second language learners. I would have really limit what I marked. They don't have the proficiency with the language they would need to be able to decide what was wrong every time there was an error. But surely, if we are working on a particular verb tense and I marked an X the first time I found an error of that type, they should be able to fix it. With help, at least. And then, they could be responsible for finding the other mistakes of that type before I look at it again.
My Intermediate students are writing this term, focusing on different verb tenses as a way of review. This would be a great opportunity to try this. I think I will.
Thanks to Bud for the link to the blog.