David Brooks of the NY Times is a fair-minded journalist:
Every year researchers at U.C.L.A. do a survey of incoming college freshmen. These surveys, conducted over four decades now, show how the life cycle has changed over the past couple generations.
This first thing you see from this and similar data sets is that high school has gotten a bit easier. In 1966, only about 19 percent of high school students graduated with an A or A- average. By 2013, 53 percent of students graduated with that average.
The grades are higher even though, for many, the workload is lighter. As late as 1987, nearly half of high school students reported doing at least six hours of homework a week. By 2006, less than a third of all students reported doing that much work. In 1966, 48 percent of students said they sometimes showed up late to class. By 2006, more than 60 percent of students said they sometimes showed up late.
Read the whole thing.
With grades being less meaningful, parents need to play a greater role in helping teens accurately discover and assess their talents and abilities.