Grade inflation rising on US campuses

July 15, 2011

An article published Wednesday in the journal Teachers College Record, called “Where A is Ordinary,” observes that 43% of all grades given at 135 four-year colleges and universities in the US are A’s -- an increase of 28% since 1960. According to the study, private colleges tend to be more generous with grades than public institutions with similar admission standards, and A’s are rarer in some less-selective institutions and southern institutions. The researchers argue that this abundance of A’s is a problem, as it may discourage ambition, and at the same time forces grad school admission offices to rely more on standardized tests. “Over a period of roughly 50 years… America’s institutions of higher learning gradually created a fiction that excellence was common and that failure was virtually nonexistent.”  InsideHigherEd  |  Chronicle of Higher Ed