Friday, September 19, 2014

Grade Inflation

Economist Justin Wolfers tweeted out this chart yesterday regarding grade inflation at Ivy League colleges.  What a wonderful world in which everyone is exceptional!


Marc Scrivener said...

It seems the normal distribution curve doesn't apply to these colleges. Speaking to a professor friend of mine, the reality is that professors who get poor reviews don't remain employed. Students who get bad grades give poor reviews.

Michael Roberto said...

Yes, but the tenured faculty should be immune to grade inflation pressure. They should be holding the line, because they will not lose their jobs if they get bad reviews. By the way, I don't think that bad reviews are mainly because of tough grading. My experience is that some of the highest reviews go the most challenging professors. If you can teach well, you will get good reviews, regardless of grading... as long as you are fair.

Marc Scrivener said...

Thanks for the reply Dr Roberto. I may have used the title "Professor" too loosely. I imagine it varies from campus to campus, but do you see many of the tenured faculty actually teaching (vs writing grants, working to get published, doing research)? Have colleges been relying more on itinerant/non-tenure-track staff (short term, 2-3 years) to do actual instructional delivery, as a cost saving measure? Anecdotally, that's what I hear in my neck of the woods (I certainly have no data), e.g. recently, I was approached for a firefighter job from a fellow with a PhD (Italian Lit). He's a UConn grad, and can't find work that will pay a living wage, with a tenure track. Admittedly, he's not willing to travel beyond the tri-state area for work, and his specialty severely limits his options.