Grade Inflation

GRADE INFLATION….This advice comes too late for the school year just ended, but Mark Thoma has been studying grade inflation and explains what he found:

I broke down grade inflation by instructor rank and found it is much higher among assistant professors, adjuncts, TAs, instructors, etc. than for associate or full professors. These are instructors who are usually hired year-to-year or need to demonstrate teaching effectiveness for the job market, so they have an incentive to inflate evaluations as much as possible, and high grades are one means of manipulating student course evaluations.

And check it out: he has cool charts and everything! Thoma’s results show that full professors are tougher graders than assistant professors, who in turn are tougher graders than adjuncts. Public schools are tougher graders than private schools. Plan your classes accordingly.

(Coincidentally, this explains the conversation I had with my friend Professor Marc last night. He told me the GPA in his summer class was 2.4 so far, and I was surprised. But Prof M is a full professor at a state university, so he’s right in the groove for his own niche in the educational ecosystem.)

This is all via Alex Tabarrok, who also passes along the results of a different study that suggests grade inflation isn’t such a bad thing. Vive la R?volution!

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