Comments about ‘Why grade inflation is likely here to stay’

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Published: Saturday, July 5 2014 6:20 a.m. MDT

Updated: Saturday, July 5 2014 8:23 a.m. MDT

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Howard Beal
Provo, UT

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...

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Grades matter MUCH less than learning. This isn't the bid deal some make it out to be.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Students are not motivated to work hard when they know they will pass anyway. This is not the fault of bad teachers, but legislators.

Y-Ask-Y?
Provo, UT

Students are not "customers". When anyone treats them as if they are, that is the problem.

Nana Sid
West Jordan, UT

@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.

Utah Dem
Ogden, UT

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.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

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.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT

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.

Frozen Fractals
Salt Lake City, UT

@Riverton Cougar
Getting 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.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

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.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

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.

worf
Mcallen, TX

@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?

worf
Mcallen, TX

Legislators created the evaluations which teachers fear, thus causing the inflated grading.

timpClimber
Provo, UT

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 needed.

worf
Mcallen, TX

Honest grading would go a long ways to curing our education system.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

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.

A Guy With A Brain
Enid, OK

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....

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