Article title: "Why Grade Inflation Is Likely Here To Stay"Annnnnd, the erosion of America steadily continues.Sigh.I remember at the very end of my college career once foolishly suggested to a
college teacher of mine that even though I was "almost" at an A-grade he
could just go ahead and give me an "A" anyway.He
didn't.Years later I look back on my request with shame and am
very glad he didn't cave in to my idiotic request.You get what
you earn. Period.Like John Wayne said: "Life is tough.
It's tougher if you're stupid."Wake up, America, wake
up while you still can....
Here's the rub. The article was mostly about grade inflation one sees at
the college and university level. However, this level of education was last to
see it as it started at the lower levels first and is rampant. It is rampant
generally because teachers feel powerless to give students the grades they truly
deserve. They dumb down the curriculum and the standards generally for self
preservation, from being harassed at the least to terminated at the worst. Since grades mean little if anything, businesses ultimately get
frustrated about how their new hires don't seem to know what they need to
know and valuable money is often spent training or educating their employees.
But instead of trusting teachers they have put more and more political pressures
on them and this is the result. Now we have standardized tests and data-driven
policies burdening our teachers. They are not fixing the problem but making the
problem worse.Worf is generally right Let teachers teach. Trust
their evaluations of the students. Make sure your children are learning, that
is more important than the grade.
Honest grading would go a long ways to curing our education system.
When a D- is considered a good enough grade to count toward graduation and
athletic eligibility you have little incentive to put in the effort to be any
better. Students want a passing grade for showing up. I taught 10 years next
to a teacher who never gave a test and whose students rarely scored well on the
EOY State exams but never received any condemnation for poor teaching.
Accountability by students, parents, administrators and teachers is sorely
Legislators created the evaluations which teachers fear, thus causing the
@Nana Sid,You're joking?Why would people work if
pay is given to them?Why would a teenager work, and save for a car,
if dad just gives him one?
Not sure why anyone would think ending teaching tenure would benefit this
(ending grade inflation). Everyone pretty much wants to keep their job or work
at their job without being scolded or harassed by others. Teaching tenure, as
said above, is about the only thing that gives some teachers the spine or guts,
for lack of better terms, to stick to their guns and have higher standards. If
any teacher can be fired at the whim of the principal, who usually wimps out in
the face of parental pressure, how is this going to combat grade inflation?
Again, ending teacher tenure sounds great on paper, but like anything, it will
have unintended consequences which will be negative and probably worse than the
positive its proponents hope to bring.
Yet another reason to go to a knowledge based qualification system rather than a
degree based system. If corporation cared about what you knew more
than who you know they could just give you a good quiz before hiring.
@Riverton CougarGetting rid of teacher tenure encourages grade inflation
because teachers need to keep their student achievement scores high in order to
not be fired. Tenure allows them to be stricter in grading without fear of it
hurting their jobs.
Howard, this is also true at the junior high/middle school level, especially in
9th grade. Parents and students freak out if they don't get an A grade.
Teachers are perceived as too hard and some will complain to the principal. The
other disturbing trend I've noticed is whe students say "I put "so
many" hours into this assignment/projects, so how could I not get an A
grade? Parents will also say the same thing. My response is that hours spent
doesn't equate to quality. In today's world, too many people are
learning that the quantity of work should take precedence over quality work. I know a lot of people are against teacher's unions, but there
really is a need of some sort of protections for teachers to do their jobs
instead of running scared from the "customers" because that is exactly
what is happening and its not just the college level. Private schools have a
particular problem with this for obvious reasons, and charter schools are also
very susceptible to grade inflation.
I think this will especially be the case if they get rid of teacher tenure. As
more and more of a teacher's evaluations are based off of scores and grades
we will see more grade inflation and teaching to the test, which is not good for
education. I know that tenure often means a bad teacher gets to keep teaching
(although it is still possible to fire them), but the path we are heading down
is making teachers choose to either give students a good education or give
students A's and the tools to pass the test (sometimes gaining an education
and passing a test are two different things). We need to improve the tests so
that they actually measure what students need to know, removing all bias of any
sort. Education is a very very sticky thing to work with and the solutions are
extremely difficult to find and implement.
So you can't have grade inflation on standardized tests or computer
adaptive testing; seems like a better way to go then leaving it up to teachers
to write their own tests.
@worf What on earth do legislators have to do with student motivation? Student
motivation is the responsibility of students and their parents. Better grades
can lead to better educational opportunities and scholarships. However,
employers care more about what you know and what you can do.
Students are not "customers". When anyone treats them as if they are,
that is the problem.
Students are not motivated to work hard when they know they will pass anyway.
This is not the fault of bad teachers, but legislators.
Grades matter MUCH less than learning. This isn't the bid deal some make
it out to be.
This is generally also true at the high school level. Those teachers with
higher standards that grade tougher seem to always be in the principal's
office explaining themselves. After a while it's just easier to give out a
lot A's and get the principals and parents off your back...