20 July 2011

A graphic depiction of "grade inflation"

From an article in the New York Times based on data compiled by Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy.
The researchers collected historical data on letter grades awarded by more than 200 four-year colleges and universities. Their analysis (published in the Teachers College Record) confirm that the share of A grades awarded has skyrocketed over the years...

Most recently, about 43 percent of all letter grades given were A’s, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. The distribution of B’s has stayed relatively constant; the growing share of A’s instead comes at the expense of a shrinking share of C’s, D’s and F’s. In fact, only about 10 percent of grades awarded are D’s and F’s...
More at the link. Via The Dish.


  1. I had a English professor in college who tried to single-handedly fix this grade inflation problem...

    And he outrightly said so. So the class got mostly D's and maybe a quarter made it to C's.

    Not sure how he thought he was going to help.

  2. Hmmm wonder if there is any correlation between this and when employers starting asking for transcripts and GPAs on applications. As if high grades and honors directly correlated to knowledge

  3. Makes me wonder what my GPA would have looked like if I took a few years off to "find myself"...

  4. Nice post , I think that you deserve an A

  5. I think this grade inflation must be partly caused by the drastically higher cost of higher education. Nobody can fool around with their classes if they're spending tens of thousands of dollars on them.

    The increasing prevalence of obtaining a college degree could also motivate students to get higher grades in order to have a fighting chance of actually getting a job once they graduate.

  6. I had a sociology professor back in the 90s who stuck by bell curves in his grading. It also didn't help that his class was a complete waste of time. Out of 200+ credit hours, his class was the biggest waste of money yet.

    On to today, I took some classes at a Wisconsin tech college last winter, and have to agree with the grade inflation over the decades. I'd give my teachers an average C-minus grade, but any students who bothered to show up and do their work got a solid 4.0. Grading was done on work performance, and if you could simply manage to distract yourself from the teacher complaining about the governor long enough to do the required assignments, you were guaranteed an A.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...