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(Some Guy)   The most common grade at American universities is now an A. It's good to know that all our university students are above average   (gradeinflation.com) divider line 190
    More: Unlikely, American Universities, Appalachian State, Americans, normal schools, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois, California State University, Florida Atlantic University  
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6895 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 May 2012 at 4:37 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-28 05:17:06 PM

SoCalSurfer: It's easy to get an a when you major in theater


You haven't seen me try to dance or sing, have you
 
2012-05-28 05:19:49 PM

Virulency: or are you testing who is better than who, as this test would also distinguish who really knew it and understood it not just able to regurgitate it?


The whole purpose of education is to teach people to think critically within a given academic construct. That is the impetus of progress. Once they've got the literacy, mathematic methods and the ability to see the world in a broad scope parts down, there is a long and mind catalogue of books available to the hungry mind to show us where we've been and where it's gotten us. The rest is vanity, harrumphing, GPA pissing matches and a sh*t stack of money flowing in one direction. I'd be astounded in this climate if ANYbody manages to get a return on their degree before they reach 35 without having to abandon most of what they were told was important in the process of earning it.
 
2012-05-28 05:21:09 PM
Every semester a few of my students fail. Why? Because they don't come to class and/or don't meet the minimum requirements for assignments. They are then shocked to hear me tell them to not come back for the rest of the semester.
 
2012-05-28 05:21:13 PM

HotWingAgenda: Goddammit so much. I went to a small public college where the average undergrad GPA was under a 2.8, and that average had been more or less the same since 1975. Not because the students were morons, but because there was almost never any grading on the curve, and the classes, even electives, were all viciously hard. The one time I made the Dean's List, I got a personal letter in the mail from a state congressman about it.

Every time I interview for a new job, I have to explain that my 3.0 GPA would have been much higher at any other school.


What do you do that people ask for your GPA?
 
2012-05-28 05:21:23 PM
Oh, you mean schools aren't about education, and are actually about paying for a piece of paper that guarantees you a slightly better job than the people who don't have the same piece of paper, despite the fact that a great many people who skip college are actually smarter than a lot of the dumb-ass fratboys and sorority girls who are floated through the diploma-mill university of their choice?

Colleges don't give a shiat about education. All they care about is their profit, and all the students and their parents care about is getting that piece of paper they paid for.

And employers don't look at things like talent, skill, integrity or intelligence. All they want is to see that you paid into the system, showed up and proved you're a willing cog in the system, and have that piece of paper that cost you (or your parents, or someone else) several years' salary.

The whole system is a profit-motivated scam. The banks get rich. The schools get rich. The textbook publishers get rich. The students get no more education than they would get if they were dedicated readers who hung out in a public library every day. The employers get a worker drone that won't think too hard.

/Aced all my exams.
//I'm smart, and the tests were stupid.
///And they ultimately don't matter in the grand scheme of things.
 
2012-05-28 05:21:25 PM

YouWinAgainGravity: Benevolent Misanthrope: When I was teaching, I wasn't allowed to give students anything below a C - and a C was rare. I got called in a number of times for failing someone on an assignment. Universities are a business. They can't afford to have students quit or flunk out.

Was it one of those for-profit ones that advertises on tv? I know for sure that all the major universities in Virginia have no problem failing students out if they can't do the work.


I teach at a for-profit school.....it's rare for me to give a student a "B". I think they hate me.
 
2012-05-28 05:22:55 PM

unyon: Benevolent Misanthrope: When I was teaching, I wasn't allowed to give students anything below a C - and a C was rare. I got called in a number of times for failing someone on an assignment. Universities are a business. They can't afford to have students quit or flunk out.

When I was an engineering student in the paleolithic period, a C was cause celebre. I don't know anyone that got above a B on a test.


You did not have any Asians in your classes? They tend to wreck the grade curve.
 
2012-05-28 05:23:40 PM
I just lost my job as a teacher in a public high school because the principal received complaints from two parents. Those kids were getting the C's they deserved and now I'm out of a job.

They "let me" resign and told me they couldn't find anything wrong with my teaching, I just wasn't a good fit for the community.
 
2012-05-28 05:24:28 PM
Really I believe everyone should get A's. Because it's the job of the education system to teach, and the job of students to learn - they should both continue through the process until the student gets a 93% or better on everything.
 
2012-05-28 05:24:31 PM

rohar: WhippingBoy: At my last employee review, my manager asked if I had any concerns. I told him I was concerned that I would be replaced by someone younger & cheaper (e.g. fresh out of college).
His eyes got wide with surprise, and then he burst out laughing.

Crap, one of my subordinates is on fark. The investigation begins...


Oooooo
 
2012-05-28 05:26:12 PM

ZeroCorpse: Oh, you mean schools aren't about education, and are actually about paying for a piece of paper that guarantees you a slightly better job than the people who don't have the same piece of paper, despite the fact that a great many people who skip college are actually smarter than a lot of the dumb-ass fratboys and sorority girls who are floated through the diploma-mill university of their choice?

Colleges don't give a shiat about education. All they care about is their profit, and all the students and their parents care about is getting that piece of paper they paid for.

And employers don't look at things like talent, skill, integrity or intelligence. All they want is to see that you paid into the system, showed up and proved you're a willing cog in the system, and have that piece of paper that cost you (or your parents, or someone else) several years' salary.

The whole system is a profit-motivated scam. The banks get rich. The schools get rich. The textbook publishers get rich. The students get no more education than they would get if they were dedicated readers who hung out in a public library every day. The employers get a worker drone that won't think too hard.

/Aced all my exams.
//I'm smart, and the tests were stupid.
///And they ultimately don't matter in the grand scheme of things.


Show us on the doll where the university touched you
 
2012-05-28 05:26:17 PM

historycat: I just lost my job as a teacher in a public high school because the principal received complaints from two parents. Those kids were getting the C's they deserved and now I'm out of a job.

They "let me" resign and told me they couldn't find anything wrong with my teaching, I just wasn't a good fit for the community.


Good for you, bastards will prob wind up in some sort of position of power however.

God help us all
 
2012-05-28 05:26:19 PM
So what? Grades are the laziest aspect of teaching. The college wants the student's performance boiled down to a single letter; I can't imagine a less meaningful form of evaluation. What does it matter A, B, L, Delta?

/real teachers (who aren't overloaded by teaching mills) provide students with actual evaluations, e.g., you did well here, you sucked at that, need to improve on that, etc.
 
2012-05-28 05:26:23 PM

historycat: I just lost my job as a teacher in a public high school because the principal received complaints from two parents. Those kids were getting the C's they deserved and now I'm out of a job.

They "let me" resign and told me they couldn't find anything wrong with my teaching, I just wasn't a good fit for the community.


www.morethings.com

What the denizens of a given community might look like.
 
2012-05-28 05:26:54 PM

MugzyBrown: I've never heard about anybody asking about a GPA on a job interview


If you go to law school, it's virtually all prospective employers care about. Unless you've been practicing 15 years and have a portable book of business, that is.
 
2012-05-28 05:30:13 PM
How hard is it to get an A in "white men have/do/will ruin the country"?
 
2012-05-28 05:31:29 PM
Was let go from my first university position because I did the unthinkable, I failed a basketball player.
 
2012-05-28 05:32:48 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: And all the women are strong, and all the men are good-looking


leaving satisfied
 
2012-05-28 05:33:36 PM

Lunchlady: At my school you could get any grade you earned, but I don't think you could get your degree with a GPA lower than 1.7.

Does this study include University of Phoenix and ITT?


Yep, had the same thing for my undergrad.

I miss the time when it was more about making sure the students learned compared to making sure the check cleared.

/BTW: this was in 2004, don't recognize the politics at my alma mater any more... they've gone full derp.
 
2012-05-28 05:35:46 PM

imprimere: How hard is it to get an A in "white men have/do/will ruin the country"?


If the student is a white man? And the teacher has assigned himself the role of oppressed brown man? The student is lucky to get a C.
 
2012-05-28 05:37:11 PM
Is this the thread where I mention I'm some sort of Mr. Holland's Opus who isn't afraid to give a bad student a D, even if he's the quarterback of the football who is also a vicious bully?
 
2012-05-28 05:38:14 PM
So I teach in a faculty where we have strict guidelines about what percentage of Ds and Fs to give out. I once didn't give any Fs in a 30 person class and got chewed out pretty badly for it.

Economics class too. Liberal arts I guess?

Should I post the guideline?
 
2012-05-28 05:39:26 PM
B, B-, A-, W,W, and one of my lazy ass-professors hasn't turned in the grade yet, but I'm thinking it's probably a C.
 
2012-05-28 05:41:13 PM

YouWinAgainGravity: ZeroCorpse: Oh, you mean schools aren't about education, and are actually about paying for a piece of paper that guarantees you a slightly better job than the people who don't have the same piece of paper, despite the fact that a great many people who skip college are actually smarter than a lot of the dumb-ass fratboys and sorority girls who are floated through the diploma-mill university of their choice?

Colleges don't give a shiat about education. All they care about is their profit, and all the students and their parents care about is getting that piece of paper they paid for.

And employers don't look at things like talent, skill, integrity or intelligence. All they want is to see that you paid into the system, showed up and proved you're a willing cog in the system, and have that piece of paper that cost you (or your parents, or someone else) several years' salary.

The whole system is a profit-motivated scam. The banks get rich. The schools get rich. The textbook publishers get rich. The students get no more education than they would get if they were dedicated readers who hung out in a public library every day. The employers get a worker drone that won't think too hard.

/Aced all my exams.
//I'm smart, and the tests were stupid.
///And they ultimately don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Show us on the doll where the university touched you


Funny, because I've always said when you buy textbooks your payment options should be: cash, credit, check or bend over and unclench
 
2012-05-28 05:44:50 PM
I've been a professor for seventeen years (humanities faculty at a small, liberal arts college). I've taught ca. 85 students a semester that entire time, mostly in Gen Ed courses. In seventeen years, my average grade has risen about four points, from a C to a C+/B-. There alaways a handful of A's and a handful if D's/F's, with a hump in the C+/B- range. Of course, I assign only papers and essay exams, no quizzes or multiple choice.

/get off my lawn
//article researcher sounds fat...
 
2012-05-28 05:47:00 PM
tl;dr: relax, it's not what it looks like.

I get how this kind of thing makes people stabby. It sounds like a huge problem and it's easy to chalk it up to, among other things,

• general moral decay
• how kids these days are for shiat (not like in my day)
• how teachers these days are for shiat (not like the ones I had in my day)
• how education has gone to hell since
----Obama
----NCLB
----they took God out of the schools
----they let those hippies dodge the draft by signing up for grad school
----they took the hickory switch away from the schoolmarm
----busing
----etc.

However, one of the things you learn at a good school (even one with inflated grades) is how to think critically about evidence. Are GPAs going up? Absolutely. But what does that mean? What conclusions can you safely draw from that data point?

For example, can you conclude that bad students are now camouflaged among good students because of grade inflation? Of course not. There are still class ranks, explicit and by comparison; they're just more compressed in terms of the GPA range they cover. So what if a 50th-percentile student used to have a 2.4 and now has a 3.3? Anyone who's reading those transcripts knows what those numbers mean in today's context. You used to be able to ride the trolley for a nickel, and now it costs two bucks. But I don't freak out every time I open my wallet, because I understand about inflation. Likewise I don't think that 99% of students are above average just because 99% of them have GPAs north of 2.0.

What's more, there's no reason to assume that inflation will continue indefinitely, any more than a linear progression of 100m record times means that someone will eventually run that distance faster than the speed of light, or that Apple's growth rate means that some day the entire planet will do nothing but make and consume iPads. Both universities and the entities that demand university transcripts will reach a point, probably soon, where there's no way for grades to inflate further while still making meaningful distinctions between students. When that happens, inflation will plateau and probably recede a bit. Or maybe schools will just adopt a different arbitrary standard with everyone grouped neatly in the middle, and then that can inflate for a century or so.

You also can't conclude that students or teachers think a C grade means "average" anymore. (If you really think this, you're too old to be on the internets, grandpa.) C means "I'm not trying to expel you, but fark off." D means "I'm going to force you to retake this class if it's in any way part of your degree program." F means "you forgot to drop the class, moron." That's what used to be D, D, and F, respectively. So what if the symbols used to convey those messages have changed?

Everyone since the dawn of time has thought that the generation coming after them were a bunch of pampered little idiots. If you have a problem with the content or quality of education nowadays vs. when back-when-men-were-men, okay, but in that case what number gets slapped on it is completely beside the point. And if you can't understand that, well, I award you a C in critical thinking.
 
2012-05-28 05:48:13 PM

Msol: So I teach in a faculty where we have strict guidelines about what percentage of Ds and Fs to give out. I once didn't give any Fs in a 30 person class and got chewed out pretty badly for it.

Economics class too. Liberal arts I guess?

Should I post the guideline?


Pretty ridiculous. I'm not big on lawyers but that is worthy of a "class" action lawsuit against the university. Potentially forces teachers to create moving goal posts.
 
2012-05-28 05:49:31 PM
Then we wonder why our graduates' greatest accomplishment is to run off to other countries with huge piles of money that were invested in them, without producing anything of value.

/geniuses are really no smarter than anyone else, they just get lucky when they stick numbers together
//any moron will tell you that
 
2012-05-28 05:49:57 PM

semiotix: tl;dr: relax, it's not what it looks like.

I get how this kind of thing makes people stabby. It sounds like a huge problem and it's easy to chalk it up to, among other things,

• general moral decay
• how kids these days are for shiat (not like in my day)
• how teachers these days are for shiat (not like the ones I had in my day)
• how education has gone to hell since
----Obama
----NCLB
----they took God out of the schools
----they let those hippies dodge the draft by signing up for grad school
----they took the hickory switch away from the schoolmarm
----busing
----etc.

However, one of the things you learn at a good school (even one with inflated grades) is how to think critically about evidence. Are GPAs going up? Absolutely. But what does that mean? What conclusions can you safely draw from that data point?

For example, can you conclude that bad students are now camouflaged among good students because of grade inflation? Of course not. There are still class ranks, explicit and by comparison; they're just more compressed in terms of the GPA range they cover. So what if a 50th-percentile student used to have a 2.4 and now has a 3.3? Anyone who's reading those transcripts knows what those numbers mean in today's context. You used to be able to ride the trolley for a nickel, and now it costs two bucks. But I don't freak out every time I open my wallet, because I understand about inflation. Likewise I don't think that 99% of students are above average just because 99% of them have GPAs north of 2.0.

What's more, there's no reason to assume that inflation will continue indefinitely, any more than a linear progression of 100m record times means that someone will eventually run that distance faster than the speed of light, or that Apple's growth rate means that some day the entire planet will do nothing but make and consume iPads. Both universities and the entities that demand university transcripts will reach a point, probably soon, where there's no way for grades t ...


THIS
 
2012-05-28 05:53:19 PM
so the new GPA's require more thinking?
 
2012-05-28 05:53:43 PM
I recently taught 2 units of Freshman Comp 2, just because I was desperate and needed the money... and because that's kinda what my degree trained me for (even if I have no desire to teach).

My students turned in crappy work for the first assignment (both classes), and I graded them accordingly. The assignment wasn't worth much, because I wanted them to see how I graded. After that, most greatly improved the quality of their work and managed to get good grades as a result. A few struggled but even the struggling ones came to me and asked me what they needed to do to earn better grades. Everyone asked me for extra credit, but when I wouldn't give it across the board, they did their work.

I ended up doing something like 30% As, 40% Bs, and 30% Cs. No one failed. A few people dropped out before they could fail, however.

But no one deserved to fail. They all did quality work.
 
2012-05-28 05:55:41 PM

HotWingAgenda: MugzyBrown: I've never heard about anybody asking about a GPA on a job interview

They do for more technical professional disciplines, and with positions in government. At least, when you're less than 5 years out of college.


I've worked in several technical professional disciplines, and I've never heard of a company asking for an applicant's grades after their first job. It's generally assumed that grades are irrelevant once you have work experience. (The federal government is an exception; they ask everyone about grades no matter how long they've been out of school.)
 
2012-05-28 05:56:37 PM

semiotix: Everyone since the dawn of time has thought that the generation coming after them were a bunch of pampered little idiots.


And sometimes they are right. Many great civilizations have collapsed, you know, and it's always due to the new generations thinking they're entitled to the benefits of the civilization without having to do any of the work or make any of the sacrifices necessary to maintain it.
 
2012-05-28 05:59:10 PM

mynameist: If they aren't holding true to the C being average and A actually being exceptional, then they should just do pass/fail.


I agree with the shift towards pass/fail, but because grades are not proper identification of the exceptional, the average, and so on but people still assume grades are. A person receives all "A"s, another receives all "B"s, and another receives all "C"s; what do you know about each? I can guess the "A" person has better writing skills (yet is not likely in a program where writing skills are taught and therefore should not be advantageous in assessment), more time to study and complete assignments, and greater rote memory than either the "B" or the "C" person, and the "B" person has a similar comparison to the "C" person.

Who learned more? Who retained more? Who could place this knowledge into practice? Who has the abilities for continued development? Our academic system is fashioned by folks with great academic abilities, and thus our academic system rewards other folks with great academic abilities, but those academic abilities mean little outside of academics (a valuable but small realm).

The shift towards grade inflation is more true to what grades represent in the system.
 
2012-05-28 05:59:33 PM
img337.imageshack.us
 
2012-05-28 06:00:13 PM
At my college, it depended on the class. In one class, you either got an A, B C, D or F. No minuses or pluses.

Some schools go
A to A+ = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.5
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.5
C = 2.0
C- and below was failing.

I had one professor for some ethinic studies class literally say "I don't give A's"
 
2012-05-28 06:00:38 PM

Tatterdemalian: and it's always due to the new generations thinking they're entitled to the benefits of the civilization without having to do any of the work or make any of the sacrifices necessary to maintain it.


Or plagues... or invasions.
 
2012-05-28 06:01:43 PM

Tatterdemalian: And sometimes they are right. Many great civilizations have collapsed, you know, and it's always due to the new generations thinking they're entitled to the benefits of the civilization without having to do any of the work or make any of the sacrifices necessary to maintain it.


The bit in bold caused me to have a genuine belly laugh. I appreciate a good laugh.
 
2012-05-28 06:02:28 PM

Tatterdemalian: Then we wonder why our graduates' greatest accomplishment is to run off to other countries with huge piles of money that were invested in them, without producing anything of value.


So, hedge fund managers?
 
2012-05-28 06:03:58 PM

Guidette Frankentits: I had one professor for some ethinic studies class literally say "I don't give A's"


Should ask, "Do you actually teach?" Biggest prick professors I have ever encountered had no ability to teach, inspire learning, etc., just knew some specific branch of material without skills applicable to the real world and were willing to deal with the poor lighting of the classroom (this is not to say all professors are this by any stretch, just the pricks in my experience).
 
2012-05-28 06:04:19 PM

HotWingAgenda: imprimere: How hard is it to get an A in "white men have/do/will ruin the country"?

If the student is a white man? And the teacher has assigned himself the role of oppressed brown man? The student is lucky to get a C.


Well, in that case the student should automatically hate himself and insist that he doesn't deserve an A. (If done with the correct amount of self-loathing, he should then win the instructor over for an A.)
 
2012-05-28 06:07:26 PM
The B.S. of today is the H.S of yesterday. But barely, if grammar, spelling, literature and math skills are useful as indicators.

Old.
 
2012-05-28 06:08:34 PM

MugzyBrown:
I've never heard about anybody asking about a GPA on a job interview


There are many engineering (and science) institutions in the US that have strict GPA requirements: National labs, FFRDCs, university affiliated labs are common examples. Sandia National Labs won't even consider your application if any of your GPAs are under 3.2. And even with a 3.2 you have to be a phenomenal candidate. They won't post an "official" cutoff though.

When I was a PhD student I received several recruiting calls from another national lab (Idaho). The recruiter wasn't even aware that there was a strict GPA policy in place--probably because it isn't "official." And my undergraduate GPA is sub 3.0 from GaTech from well over a decade ago. So she couldn't even set up a phone interview. After checking, even she thought it was a stupid practice.

Same problem with Johns Hopkins APL. They called me in for an interview in 2009. The hiring manager was blunt in saying that if they had seen my BS GPA before I had flown across the country to meet with them, they would not have scheduled the interview. Didn't matter that my graduate work was top quality and that I am a good engineer. They want the best. And they get enough applicants that they can wait for the best, even if they are only weighing paper qualifications in the end.

I suspect Lincoln Labs, GTRI, Batelle, SWRI, JPL and similar institutions are just as picky-- at least with outsiders.

So with regards to your comment: You are correct. You rarely get asked about GPA at interviews. But now computerized application processes can round-file low GPA candidates immediately after requiring that you provide the numbers to apply. So you never have the opportunity to defend your performance in person. At best your application is sorted to the bottom of the stack unless you are uniquely qualified.

Many will claim (correctly) that GPA does not have as much impact on capability after working for several years. But be warned: If you have a low GPA, it can absolutely haunt you even decades into your career.
 
2012-05-28 06:09:28 PM
Once upon a time, universities were about learning and learning to think, and not P&L sheets and cultural indoctrination. Once something becomes primarily about money, the thing it is purported to be about is now the thing it used to be about. Adjust your bullsh*t filters accordingly, or erstwhile student.
 
2012-05-28 06:09:43 PM

tommydee: dericwater: Gave a student an A, but she couldn't integrate e^(-x)dx in the exam. :sigh:

So if she got an A, what did she 'integrate'?


Diverse things.
 
2012-05-28 06:10:10 PM
"Unlikely" tag is from a subby who obviously hasn't set foot in an American university in ten years.
 
2012-05-28 06:11:09 PM
oh erstwhile student. (Never took typing.)
 
2012-05-28 06:12:54 PM

crabsno termites: tommydee: dericwater: Gave a student an A, but she couldn't integrate e^(-x)dx in the exam. :sigh:

So if she got an A, what did she 'integrate'?

Diverse things.


meanwhile i integrated and got an F. albeit i didn't get the right answer
 
2012-05-28 06:14:19 PM
One other thing worth mentioning. Back in the day, when you went to college because it was your birthright, they had what was known as the "gentleman's C." (Sometimes that C was actually a D.) Your professors would peg you as a drooling moron your first semester, and make sure that you came through Princeton in four years, on schedule, with a 1.8 (or whatever the bare minimum was).

This was win-win: you got what you expected (four years to booze it up with your fellow sons of privilege, before someone found you a harmless white collar job), the college got paid, and the smart folks got a GPA that meant something in and of itself, rather than merely by comparison. Overall GPA was kept low as a result, because your bare-minimum offset the tiny fraction of 4.0s for all four years.

Nowadays, with many people going to college who don't have an especially good reason to, a lot of them are crashing and burning in their first semesters. After you've wasted thousands of dollars on a 1.2 or a 0.8, you give up. (It used to be pretty uncommon to be an adult with "some college" but no degree; not anymore.) What's left are people who managed to get at least Bs and Cs. They stick around and keep earning their 2.9s and 3.6s, but you're not there to balance them out. Overall GPA goes up.
 
2012-05-28 06:16:56 PM

semiotix: One other thing worth mentioning. Back in the day, when you went to college because it was your birthright, they had what was known as the "gentleman's C."

Now called a "Bush C"

 
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