Skip to comments.The dangers of grade inflation for young America
Posted on 06/01/2012 8:10:58 PM PDT by chessplayer
Congratulations, young America, youve reached the threshold of academic perfection. Recent studies have shown that an A is now the MOST COMMON GRADE for college students in the United States. Its nice to know that my generation is so well educated. Or perhaps not. Based upon a mountain of contradictory evidence and the environment I see all around me as an American college student, I hesitate to declare victory too soon. When you dig deeper the facts show that grade inflation is what really fuels our college students higher GPAs, and A today might be equivalent to a C forty years ago.
Despite the outward appearances of academic perfection, todays students are not on an upward trajectory toward academic success. Last year, a USA Today report showed that college students make little academic progress in their first two years of college. In fact, 45 percent of students showed no significant gains, a figure which contradicts academias goal of educating students. College Students are more likely to focus on their social lives rather than their academic record. Professors caught up with their own research are less likely to pay attention to such habits. Additionally, students spend 50 percent less time studying now than they have in past decades.
It was in the late 1960s that administrators discovered “teaching evaluations.” That’s when the average grades start to rise dramatically. Tenure-track and temporary instructors are very vulnerable to this supposed “evidence” that they aren’t teaching well—but students who expect a good grade in the course aren’t as critical when filling out the evaluations.
Student debt is @a trillion dollars... Who with their ‘A’s, ‘B’s, and ‘C’s can repay their student loans?
When I was a TA in the seventies, teaching an introductory physics lab, we had a unit on basic circuits, starting with a battery and a light bulb. I remember one kid who was very upset about it. Asking him what was the matter, he explained that he had learned all kinds of logic circuitry in high school, and had thought that he understood it, but after seeing the basics of electric circuits presented to him, he realized that he hadn’t understood it at all.
I tried to tell him that this was a good thing, not a bad thing, which I thought then and I think now, but he was just too upset. I hope he made out OK, as I would like to think he did.
cf. Flight of the Bumblebee :
Whatever its origins, the story has had remarkable staying power, and the myth persists that science says a bumblebee can't fly. Indeed, this myth has taken on a new life of its own as a piece of "urban folklore" on the Internet.
Agreed that the real education occurs after college. Problem is that far to many get out of college without the base skills to be truly educated.
Americans were far better off in one-room “Little House on the Prairie” schools than they are in $30 million high-tech public schools today. They knew far more about history, languages, mathematics, and even science than the kids do today.
There has to be something high level official or it cannot be used at all?
Where does such a fallacy come from?
This means the scientists who supposedly determined it couldn’t fly were wrong, of course. But the scientists at least were sincere about it.
It’s not respecting an audience of students or anybody else to address them with fallacies, however more colorful than a bland “historically, a third of our entrants have graduated.”
He still knew Booleshit (duck’n & runn’n)
My wife and I went back to school for our MS degree at St. Michael’s College when our plant announced it was closing.
For every class, the professor took the entire first class to go over the syllabus, with special emphasis on the grading.
I never understood (til now) why, as the syllabus was a clearly written, multi page document that spelled out everything needed regarding course requirements.
It was utterly boring to sit through.
Sorry but this is misinformed. Today’s Ivy students, particularly, STEM majors, are striving in an extremely competitive academic environment. TAs are rewarded for giving few A grades. The most common grade us, in fact, a C.
Your total contempt for parents marks you as a teacher. Walk away from your group-think...
Oh I really didn't think I needed this tag after my post but I guess I'm wrong:
Just make room for them in politics. Ask Joe the Plagiarist --
I don't know if the article touches on this subject, but this is one of the reasons why the unemployment rate among recent grads is so much higher than for their older counterparts. A recent college graduate basically has no credentials whatsoever, even if he/she graduated with top honors from a "reputable" university.
Not only that but students do half the work they did decades ago. It used to be that a college degree signified that a student was accomplished academically. They still do mean a lot from some schools but some state schools will allow kids who cannot write on a ninth grade level and who do nothing but drink to graduate. That cheapens the value of a degree for everyone. Its why a college degree is the new high school degree. I think a large part of it is that minority students tend to be less prepared and colleges do not want to seem racist by flunking a lot of minority students.
It's pretty generally acknowledged that grade inflation began during the Vietnam war, particularly at liberal schools where many professors would not give failing grades that might subject male students to the draft.
And the late '60s and early '70s saw the beginning of widespread affirmative action admissions. And since it was so vital to have diversity in admissions, it became equally vital to have diversity in graduation.
And since, all sorts of games have been and are played to justify affirmative action in college admissions, grad school and professional school admissions, and in hiring and in Congress (gerrymandering).
Standards have been lowered in most every aspect of education until fashioning the desired outcomes is more important than quality education.
Yes, and all they need is even more money and they could get an even worse result.
6’ 4” tall
Income is where I am exactly average for my profession.
The grade inflation starts in the high schools. When my oldest daughter took Algebra I, in ninth grade, 40% was a passing grade. When I asked the teacher during the back to school parent/teacher meeting, how she could consider that the class had mastered the concepts and was ready to move forward in a subject like Algebra that builds on previous lessons, the teacher told me that all the bright students had taken algebra in 8th grade, so this was the best that she could hope for from the average students and that she had to follow the curriculum and keep up to date.
Well thank you. Now I’ll have to keep my self esteem at medium or I’ll get a large ego problem.
Thank you,a very kind post.
“I have heard of courses where the professor Skewed to the Left- This is where more students failed than got As, and more Ds than Bs.”
Been there, experienced that.
Man,you’re a big guy. My tallest son (I have 3) is 6’2”.
But they are all bald. (I checked your profile)
So was my father,brother,and husband.
Bald is beautiful.
My husband used to tell little kids that the reason he was bald is that he grew so tall he grew right through his hair.