Essay, 3 pages (650 words)

Inflation of college grades

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The paper ” Inflation of College Grades” is an outstanding example of an essay on education. Harvey Mansfield, a professor from Harvard University, heated the arguments of university grades by criticizing inflation of rampant grades at his institution. He requested the Dean of Undergraduate Education about the distribution of categories in the college. He argued that someone hinted to him that the most frequently grade awarded to students are A- while the dean made corrections and said it is the median grade which is indeed A- and also argued that the most frequently awarded degree in Harvard University is A. This is not just a crisis in Harvard University but a problem in several colleges and universities as shown in a recent study of about 200 Institutions of higher learning (Choice Reviews Online, 2006). Some lecturers argued that it was important to inflate the grades as it helped to motivate the students and help them to get better competitive jobs in the market. While this may be important at individual professors level, at the national level will lead to severe costs in the society and must, therefore, be controlled by the universities. Under-inflation which is regular, there can be free price limits. Most grades are capped at A or A+, inflation of grades will result in greater students’ concentration at the top of the distribution. Grade concentration will reduce the value as student abilities indication. A student who outstands truly will have an A grade while an average student will be awarded a B+. When both students receive As under inflated circumstances, it will pose a challenge to employers and other graduate schools to differentiate them. This will also have a negative effect on students because of the leniency, and consequently, it will reduce the students’ efforts.  Alicia Shepherd notes that it was the end of the first semester at the journalism school at American University. The students had already left for their holidays, and she was computing the student’s grades and shortly after releasing them on the portal, a student emailed her requesting to know why he received a B grade rather than an A grade (Choice Reviews Online, 2006). The student argued that it was going to lower his GPA and she was surprised how a student in an American university can boldly challenge a professor on grades. She says that the student tracked down her number and convinced her on why she should change the category to an A- because it meant a lot to him and she had to hear him out. It never stopped there because almost all the students who had been awarded a B+ grade complained and insisted that the papers had to be remarked or the categories rose to at least A-. Professor Bill Coplin argues the two alphas monkeys have dominated the university grading. He claims that grade inflation should be scrapped because it is evil even though it may have significant benefits to undergraduates. He argues that modern students are better at writing, suitable for processing information and very knowledgeable than those of more than ten years ago. Distributing the students on a standard curve will motivate them to learn more. He argues in-depth on why inflation of grades is important. Universities policies have led to increased GPAs during the semester’s results. Graduates who are successful refer to his freshman as ‘ boot camp’ because they are very sure of getting an A grade (Magun-Jackson, 2012). He makes them submit assignments of five papers at two weeks intervals, and this enables them to keep in check the academic trends. Those who fail have a chance to redeem themselves because most universities prefer late drops which makes the students more flexible in expressing their interests and exploring the capabilities they have. Most employers according to him prefer ‘ soft skills’ which receives less attention from colleges that use a standard distribution curve for example, oral and written communications (Audley-Piotrowski, 2012). All the three authors support their arguments with facts and indeed there is inflation of grades in colleges and universities to try and raise the ranking of their institutions.

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