Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chart of the Day

From Inside Higher Ed:
Two critics of grade inflation have published a new analysis finding that the most common grade at four-year colleges and universities is the A (43 percent of all grades) -- and that Ds and Fs are few and far between.

Further, by comparing historical data to contemporary figures, the authors charge that there has been an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988 in the percentage of As awarded in higher education.

source: NOfP chart via Inside Higher Ed

Rojstaczer and Healy write that the abundance of As is a real problem:
"When A is ordinary, college grades cross a significant threshold. Over a period of roughly 50 years, with a slight reversal from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, America’s institutions of higher learning gradually created a fiction that excellence was common and that failure was virtually nonexistent," they write. "The evolution of grading has made it difficult to distinguish between excellent and good performance. At the other end of the spectrum, some students who were once removed from school for substandard performance have, since the Vietnam era, been carried along. America’s colleges and universities have likely been practicing some degree of social promotion for over 40 years."
It happens in high school too. As for everyone!

(via TaxProf Blog, Grade Inflation, USA Today)


Warren said...

Very interesting article: THE CASE AGAINST THE COLLEGE DEGREE.

It introduces the idea of Knowledge Transcripts.

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

I am CERTAIN that those participating believe the "A"s are well and truly earned.

After all, it's been documented that the average IQ has been increasing about 3 percentage points per decade for a long time (= the Flynn Effect).

So Garrison Keillor is right: "all the children are above average"!

Warren said...

Grade inflation dovetails nicely with the cognitive bias of Illusory Superiority.

Warren said...

Republican States Have The Best Public Schools In The Country, By A Long Shot

Read more:

Warren said...

See the article "The Higher Education Bubble" for a good chart comparing College Tuition vs. U.S. Home Prices vs. All Items, 1978 to 2011.