Grade Inflation

  • New Research Discovers the Favorite Grade of Young College Men: The Gentleman’s C

    Barry Lenson

    New Research Discovers the Favorite of Young College Men: The Gentleman’s C I wrote a blog post here a few days ago about Academically Adrift, a new book by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. Since that post appeared, the book has gotten an avalanche of coverage on blogs, in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor and even on the Microsoft Money site. In case you missed the story, here it is in a nutshell. The authors of the book tracked 2,300 students at 24 colleges and universities. Using standardized tests, they determined that 45% of college students showed little academic gain after two years of college. They also found that after four years of college, 36% had learned nearly nothing. Now, I don’t know exactly who thos ...

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  • Why Grade Inflation Is Rampant at American Colleges and Universities

    Barry Lenson

    Why Grade Inflation Is Rampant at American Colleges and Universities “A Quest to Explain What Grades Really Mean,” an article in The New York Times on December 25, raises some pretty thorny issues about grade inflation. (In case you don’t know, grade inflation is the practice of raising students’ grades so that everybody does pretty well in a class.) Tamar Lewin, the article’s author, asks “If everybody in the class gets an A, what does an A mean?” That’s a very good question. Yet colleges and universities don’t seem to know the answer, because they continue to inflate grades. Sure, they are dealing with the thorny problem of equalizing the grades that are given in all college courses. But doesn’t grade inflation ...

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