Grade inflation in American universities (via the NY Times) :

Interesting. Thoughts?

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4 Responses to “Hmm.”

  1. Tiffany

    “Partly because of our current ad hoc grading system, it is not surprising that
    the U.S. has to rely heavily upon foreign-born graduate students for technical fields of research and upon foreign-born employees in its technology firms,”

    Wow, that sounds almost discriminatory. Is it really that surprising that there are more talented people in the world than in the USA?

    As for grade inflation, I think there are many reasons…e.g. 1) curriculum is easier, 2) students work harder, 3) we look for more creativity in students than before (grading creativity is harder than multiple choice answers)…etc

    Although I agree with the article that there is of course an incentive for schools, especially private schools, to inflate their student’s grades. That’s why there are tests like the SAT.

  2. Tiffany #2

    I feel bad for the ‘Tiffany’ confusion that has caused one (or more) of us to number ourselves. It’s funny anyway.

    I wonder what that graph would look like for Canadian universities. My take is that, as the tuition for American universities have skyrocketed – perhaps they’re just getting ‘more bang for their buck’. The truth is I have no idea, since American universities are among the most prestigious in the world.

  3. Tiffany

    hahaha…I totally agree. Sometimes I use #2 and sometimes I don’t, it must seem a bit confusing.

    I’m wondering though, if this happens in Canada also. I remember in high school one of my teachers say that 60% (or was it 68%) used to be the cut off line to get into UBC. So if you got a high school average of 60% (or 68%), then you would definitely get into UBC. Now it’s more like…75%? For sciences I think it was almost 86%…….
    So grades are “inflated” for whatever reason starting in high school.

  4. Brett

    I’ve discussed grade inflation with a university professor in chemistry who looks at undergraduates from different universities as potential graduate students in his lab. He told me that the big research-based universities aren’t really susceptible to grade inflation, but the smaller, undergraduate-based universities are. An 85% average at somewhere like Mount Allison or Acadia University was worth a lot less to him than an 85% from UofT or UBC. This would seem, of course, to be a rather narrow example in an even narrower field of research. Still, I wonder if it’s indicative of broader trends.

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