More Grade Inflation Nonsense
In a move students protested last year, Princeton became the first elite college to cap the number of A’s that can be awarded.
Previously, there was no official limit to the number of A’s handed out, and nearly half the grades in an average Princeton class have been A-pluses, A’s or A-minuses. Now, each department can give A’s to no more than 35 percent of its students each semester.
As a professor at a major research university, I can hardly express how angry I get at the whining over grade inflation. Why? Because the people doing all the griping are administrators — usually lawyers with zero classroom experience — who simply look at your grade distribution and decide that something is amiss.
This is my situation exactly: my boss is a law-school graduate who never practiced but instead became a college administrator. He’s never taught a single course, but has the audacity to judge my performance not based upon my syllabi, course materials, or student evaluations, but almost entirely upon my grade distribution. This is a totally bogus criteria, established by those who have no intellectual manner in which to judge student performance. It’s a sham.
The fact of the matter is that students at Ivy League schools should be getting a disproportionate number of As — otherwise, why were they admitted? I myself have never had much problem in this regard, as there are always those students who slack off or otherwise fail to perform. But I have always given each student the grade they deserve, and no administrator should be allowed to direct me to do otherwise.