My! How smart those Americans are getting

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

A while back, The Economist recently had a brief piece (and nice graph) on grade inflation in the Ivy league, reporting that the median grade at Harvard is now A–, with A as the mode.  But hang on, the Economist said, citing data, in 1950 Harvard's mean (sic) grade was a C.  Of course, given who goes (and teaches) there, this might be expected, as the Economist noted in its characteristically measured fashion:

"The students may be much cleverer than before: the Ivies are no longer gentlemen’s clubs for rich knuckleheads."

However, it concluded its piece:

Universities pump up grades because many students like it.  Administrators claim that tough grading leads to rivalry and stress for students.  But if that is true, why have grades at all?  Brilliant students complain that, thanks to grade inflation, little distinguishes them from their so-so classmates.  Employers agree.  When so many students get As, it is hard to figure out who is clever and who is not.

This pumping-up couldn't happen here, could it?  Before you say: "Of course not!", read this.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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