Inflated grades or inflated hype?
May 11, 2009 4:34 PM Subscribe
Is grade inflation really that serious a problem at colleges and universities? Looking to cut through the rhetoric associated with this issue.
posted by hiteleven to Education (43 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Before posting this question, I dutifully sought out an answer through Google, and I didn't realize that grade inflation had become such a political issue. I don't exactly follow radical right wing punditry, so I didn't realize that to so many from that lot Harvard = grade inflation = some sort of liberal plot or another. Well, whatever.
I know that there are statistics out there that show that, for example, Ivy League schools hand out a higher percentage of high grades than they did, say, a half-century ago. But that doesn't really tell me much. There could be a number of factors in play to explain these figures. But nobody appears to want to analyze the situation objectively.
So what I'm asking is this: has anyone been to a school where they perceived grade inflation to be a serious issue? That is, were there large swaths of students getting high grades who didn't deserve them? If so, how did this work? Could they actually skip assignments and still do well, or was it more like they just had to put in a minimum amount of effort to do the necessary work? Was it so bad that students expected high grades when they clearly had no business doing so?
I know that grades don't mean a lot to most people. But the reason I ask is that I'm in a grad school program that draws students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and I'm surprised at the sense of entitlement some people have when it comes to getting the A-level grades they need to stay in good standing. Where I came from in undergrad, the students that worked the hardest (i.e. those destined for grad school) seem to worry about their grades the most. Where I am now, nobody seems to stress about grades. It's odd.