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.It happens in high school too. As for everyone!
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."
(via TaxProf Blog, Grade Inflation, USA Today)