Grade inflation

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Quote from: Afar on September 14, 2002,  1:43:59 pm

In my opinon students tend to forget what the actual grading scale means. Earning a "C" means that you were average. The problem is that most students do not know the difference between average, above-average, and excellent work.

Perhaps part of the problem in having a reasonable discussion of grade inflation is that many faculty do not understand math.

1.  Most universities in the U.S. demand a C average for graduation. 
2.  Most reputable universities in the U.S. expect the great majority of the students they admit to graduate. The exceptions are those few reputable universities with open admission policies, usually under mandate from state legislatures.

Having "C" as the average grade in every class in inconsistent with these two facts.  If the average grade in every class is a C, barring bizarre grade distributions very close to half of students students will fail to achieve a C average and will therefore fail to graduate.  Depending on averages required for continuation after the first, second, and third years, it may be that far fewer than half of admitted students would have the possibility of graduating.  And this is regardless of how bright the students are or how hard they work!

Even though my own university defines "C" as "satisfactory," I still hear some of our faculty speaking of the C average as the ideal goal to which all faculty would strive if only they were more virtuous.



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