Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Grade inflation 

Walter Williams writes about the Benedict College situation I discussed in August.
Can you think of a more effective way to discredit and cast doubt on the degrees of all students who graduate from Benedict? How would you like people to be certified in any activity that way � your doctor, your tax accountant, your mechanic or anybody upon whom you depend for reliable proficient service? The median SAT score of entering Benedict students is 803. But whatever handicaps they may have are disguised and exacerbated by the school's SEE policy.
That rasies a very good point, which could lead to Benedict attracting students with lower and lower SAT scores. But again, if there's a market for that kind of student wanting a college education, there's certainly no reason Benedict can't be in that business. Just don't pretend to be something you're not, even to your faculty.

There's a new site devoted to understanding the problem of grade inflation and suggesting use of numerical measures that cannot be inflated, like comparison to a peer group. But would that work at a place like Benedict?

The site also has this analogy:
Grade inflation is somewhat analogous to monetary inflation. The higher course grades go, the less they are worth. Society does adjust to periodic bouts of monetary inflation which simply continue without a forseeable upper limit. However, the GPA does have an upper limit, and that is 4.0.
But at some schools, an A+ is worth more than 4.0.