Essay about The Grade Inflation Epidemic

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The Grade Inflation Epidemic It's June, and another graduating class is hoping, among other things, to achieve high grades. Of course, "high" is a subjective target. Originally a "C" meant average; today however, the expectations and pressures to give and receive "A's" and "B's" takes its toll on teachers and students alike. This nullifies the value of the traditional grading scale and creates a host of entirely new problems. The widespread occurrence of grade inflation seriously affects the credibility of secondary and post-secondary education in America. The definition of an acceptable grade has changed significantly over the years. Grade inflation seemed to begin in earnest in the late 1960s after the…show more content…
Gary Coe, principal and athletic director of Mary Walker High School in Springdale, agrees. He says that he has definitely seen a rise in the average grades. Some students are maintaining much higher grades with the same work that would have earned much less even five years ago. He further notes many recent valedictorians of his small school have received well below the average on their SAT scores. Coe attributes his top student's higher grades and low test scores to qualities possessed in a student such as: willingness to work and good attitude which aren't always apparent at test time. He believes that even some of the best students take classes now just to get a grade and not to maximize their learning. Interestingly, Coe doesn't feel parents put any particular pressure on the teachers to bestow high grades on their children. Teachers, on the other hand, have a startlingly different perspective. Kevin Jacka, the high school's school-to-work coordinator, head football coach, and PE instructor for the past ten years, says he sees now that the "C" grade is not acceptable to most people, and it no longer represents the average student. The school's policy to make "D" a failing grade has limited the range of marks to three. He states that he feels the pressure of parents and their children to give "A's" and "B's", even when students do "F" work. Incentives such as weekly sports grade checks, have

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