Skip to comments.Confession of an Ivy League teaching assistant: Here’s why I inflated grades
Posted on 07/07/2014 9:47:37 AM PDT by TigerClaws
he revelation that the median grade at Harvard is an A- prompted lots of discussion, especially among Ivy-league educated journalists. Some speculated high grades reflect intelligence. Others say professors just want their students to get jobs, or, selfishly, they want favorable teaching evaluations. As a teaching assistant in the economics department at Columbia, I too inflated student grades, but for none of those reasons. +
I just didnt want to deal with all the complaining.
(Excerpt) Read more at qz.com ...
Apparently in the Ivy league you pass just by showing up, actually attempting to turn in work gives you an A
He should have given them what they deserved. When these students get into the REAL WORLD, their bosses won't 'inflate' their salaries or massage their egos. The students are getting set up for failure......................
Back in the 50s, when I went to Harvard, they were still giving a “Gentleman’s C” to students in some courses for showing up and doing the basic work, but I think the inflation started back then, or certainly in the 60s.
Students at top universities are used to being at the top of their class. Always were the best and brightest,most talented, most accomplished and most praised. Then the get to Harvard or such and find out that everybody else is also brilliant and they are just one of the crowd. It takes a whole lot more to stand out.
Set up for failure?
Look at our current President.
Most of them will go to their family connected do nothing job and get well paid for acting important.
Society is being set up for failure.
Kerry's GPA at Yale was very similar to Bush's and probably for the same reason--both were heavily involved in extra-curricular activities and having fun, rather than doing the best they could in their courses. Of course the media never drew the conclusion that Kerry was dumb.
As an adjunct faculty, I did not want to deal with deans who would make a failing student redo a paper and have me grade it again (as if the first time wasn’t painful enough) for no extra pay.
At many private colleges, professors are rated by their students rather than their research. How do you imagine hat affects grades? Ask any professor about the lousy students in class who complain that their grades were “unfair.”
Case in point................
That coupled with alleged educators who have abdicated all responsibility for making judgements on how much a student has learned for a variety of reasons -- they don't want to deal with the hassle of students complaining, they don't feel they can judge others, etc.
Its part and parcel with the decline of our country. No one is held to account or judged by objective standards anymore.
I said, "Oh, that explains it. Thanks".
As I turned to go, he asked, "Aren't you going to argue? Complain? Go to the department head?"
I replied, "No. It's your class. It's your scale. Those are your rules. As long as it applies to everyone, I have nothing to complain about. Thanks again."
This actually happened to me twice, with different professors. Yet it let's me know that my degree is actually worth something, and wasn't simply handed to me because my liberal parents could foot the bill at Princeton or Harvard.
Btw, the angry girl in the picture accompanying the article should be the poster child for Liberalism in America today. Angry, self-righteous, entitled.
It's a little more complicated than that.
I was acquainted with the dean of admissions to the graduate school at a highly ranked university. His job was to sort through seven thousand applications from top students throughout the world and to say "no" to six thousand of them.
Assuming that the dean's ability to identify top students was at least somewhat related to the students' abilities, then the university would end up with the top fraction of available students.
Most of these students are going to be extremely hard-working and very intelligent students. Many will have come through high school and earned their bachelors degrees without ever having earned a grade less than an "A".
During their years at the university, some of the students will simply stop working at their courses. These students deserve to be penalized for "laying down their pencils" as one professor described it to me.
The majority, however, will continue their hard-working ways and master the material presented in their classes.
My proposal would be to abandon the letter grades in favor of the grade-points. The professors should expect performance from the average student that deserves a "4.0".
From that point, one can hope to earn a "4.1" or a "4.2" or a "4.3" as recognition for having excelled relative to the rest of the class. One should recognize that "grading on a curve" only makes sense when the performance of the population justifies having a pre-ordained percentage of students in each grade category. The actual performance of the students in a graduate-level engineering course might be such that a few stragglers deserve to be penalized, the majority deserve to be rewarded as they are used to being rewarded, and standouts should be recognized.
The university can even make the cutoff for avoiding disciplinary action a "3.5", for example.
The reality is that grades SHOULD inflate as the population becomes more and more refined by winnowing out the weaker students.
The fact that one makes it to one of these schools is the achievement and the grades don't matter!
High school students are just as bad as they are trying to get accepted into a top university. They are very worried about their GPA and of course its never their own fault. I correct them when they refer to the grade I “gave them”. I tell them they earned it and if they want to know who is at fault to “look in the mirror”.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! Today's Ivy League grads are heading for lives of "public service," where the only factor influencing their merit raises will be their membership (or lack thereof) in a politically favored group. Transgenders will get the biggest trophies.
My guess would be that grade inflation exploded with the advent of affirmative action.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.