An excellent, hard-hitting, and concise article by Walter E. Williams which argues that grade inflation at colleges and universities is part of a broader scheme of academic dishonesty. The opening:
College education is a costly proposition with tuition, room and board at some colleges topping $50,000 a year. Is it worth it? Increasing evidence suggests that it’s not. Since the 1960s, academic achievement scores have plummeted, but student college grade point averages (GPA) have skyrocketed.
Williams writes that a few years ago 91% of Harvard students graduated “with honors,” 80 percent of the grades given at the University of Illinois are A’s and B’s, and only 6% of the grades assigned to undergraduates at Stanford were as low as a C. Williams observes:
In the 1930s, the average GPA at American colleges and universities was 2.35, about a C plus; today the national average GPA is 3.2, more than a B……Today’s college students are generally dumber than their predecessors. An article in the Wall Street Journal (1/30/97) reported that a “bachelor of Arts degree in 1997 may not be the equal of a graduation certificate from an academic high school in 1947.”
Read the whole thing, as Williams goes on to make the connection between grade inflation and academic dishonesty (a problem we professors normally associate only with students).
HT: Kit Joos