Grade Inflation - Essay

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Katie Daniel
Professor Skidmore
English 122
19 June 2012
Grade Inflation
Grade inflation is a topic that at first glance seems somewhat clear but becomes more and more confusing the longer you think about it. Grade inflation is when you see an upward trend in ones grades without a rise in achievement. For example, if a student signs up for a class with a specific teacher it is most likely because they know they can pass and not put a lot of effort into succeeding. In return the student also provides more favorable course evaluations to those instructors. This impact is equally severe on teachers. The teachers who were more stringent on grading had lower course enrollment, lower class evaluations and were less likely to receive a raise or promotion. “Grade inflation got started…in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. The grades that faculty members now give…deserve to be a scandal.” (Alfie Kohn pg1)

Inflated grades fail to define who are the truly superior and who are merely above average students. However, it does allow the students who struggle in school to stick out like a sore thumb. I noticed this while I was in grade school. The strong students had A’s, the average students had B’s and all of the weak ones received C’s, D’s or F’s. “In a country that believes in equal access to education as well as equity, meeting the needs of academically gifted and talented students needs to become a higher priority in America.” (Watkins & McCaw chpt 4 pg38 par ?) This brings up the issue of the No Child Left Behind Act. This Act was proposed by George W Bush after he took office; the bill was passed in 2001 in the US Congress. The NCLB Act is a reauthorization of the government’s flagship in aid programs for disadvantaged students. The Act requires states to develop testing on basic skills.

Currently President Obama is planning on revising this Act by focusing on federal enforcement on the lower performing schools by converting them to charter schools,...
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