Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Grade Inflation? Some data


Pelsmin said...

I've been thinking about this, reviewing the studies, and I think I've nailed the cause of grade inflation. It's simple, if you just apply basic principles.

The grade inflation was due to the unrestricted printing of grades, and the expectations that this would continue. As more students began attending college, schools starting issuing grades with no thought about the effect this would have. It was inevitable that this would lead to inflation, with people having to use wheelbarrows to pick of even one semesters' worth of grades from the registrar.

I credit this breakthrough to all I learnt from Prof. Munger. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

An interesting thing here--grade inflation really seems to occur when college students were REALLY affected by the Vietnam draft--e.g. not quite 1960s but in 1960-1970ish

The second round of grade inflation is a function of two things, likely--Duke really did get better undergraduates in the 1980s (not controversial). Duke also admitted more minorities in the 1980s--and they really couldn't fail them (controversial). Duke also increased the Micky Mouse humanities nonsense in the 1980s (white elites) (controversial).

Thomas W said...

I wonder what the requirements for passing a class were back in the 1930s (with GPAs averaging 2.2-2.3).

Today, a C or better is required to pass a class at many schools. B or better in graduate school. Was this the case in the 30s or could one go on to the next class with a D? I assume most of those with a 2.3 GPA had a lot of Cs, some As or Bs, and some Ds.

If a C is required to go on to the next class, there is a lot of incentive not to give a D (let alone an F). In graduate schools C obviously cannot mean "average" if a B is required to pass the course.

I also remember the grading scale when I was in school where below 70% was an F (with 92%+ an A). Today many/most schools have gone to 90%+ for an A and below 60% for an F. So some of the inflation may just be the revised scoring system.