Thursday, May 31, 2012


As the image to the left suggests, grade inflation doesn't get good press for academia.  Inside Higher Ed today points to an interesting story on grade inflation concerns at the U of Minnesota that appeared in the The Star Tribune:

A University of Minnesota chemistry professor has thrust the U into a national debate about grade inflation and the rigor of college, pushing his colleagues to stop pretending that average students are excellent and start making clear to employers which students are earning their A's.

"I would like to state my own alarm and dismay at the degree to which grade compression ... has infected some of our colleges," said Christopher Cramer, chairman of the Faculty Consultative Committee. "I think we are at serious risk, through the abandonment of our own commitment of rigorous academic standards, of having outside standards imposed upon us."

National studies and surveys suggest that college students now get more A's than any other grade even though they spend less time studying.  Cramer's solution -- to tack onto every transcript the percentage of students that also got that grade -- has split the faculty and highlighted how tricky it can be to define, much less combat, grade inflation.  Some professors caution that forced standards could backfire and punish high-achieving students. Others also argue that doling out fewer A's and more B's and C's could result in harsher student evaluations, which factor into promotion and tenure decisions...

There ARE other letters:

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