If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It
Not just “Americans”, but “consumers” – the concept of consumerism has rapidly increased over the past decades in America, and has nearly pervaded all areas of life from the professional workplace, to the personal home, all the way to your child’s classrooms. Even colleges and universities play the role of a corporation by using elaborate techniques and strategies to attract students near and far. The “more more more” mentality does not exclude the educational environment. Brent Staples argues that this consumerism has affected the higher education system because colleges are now handing out A’s due to competition and student demand. In his “Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s,” Staples urges for an adjustment in the grading system of higher education institutions because of this. However, Staples fails to establish compelling reasons that call for the flawed solution.
Staples provides various reasons why colleges “shower students with A’s” (215) in order to create a warrant for his solution. However, his credibility is questioned because he provides various claims that lack hard evidence. Statements that grade inflation is prevalent in all levels of higher education institutions, departments issuing good grades to keep their courses, and administrators pushing professors to inflate grades (215-216) are all presented without any form of evidence. Students are left wondering if this fraud is actually occurring at their colleges and parents question if their child’s professors are committing this counterfeit. It is here, quite early on in his essay where these claims are made, that Staples fails to create a firm foundation to build his argument and solution upon. Staples’ claims do ring with value on a basic emotional and logical value, but they lack credibility. He appeals on the emotional level by presenting the example of part-time teachers and saying...
Cited: Staples, Brent. "Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s.” The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. New York: W.W. Norton &, 2012. Print.
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