January 13, 1998 |
Teacher Laura Garrett said she was wronged. She said she was devastated when the failing grades she gave most of her students were changed by her boss, principal E. Mamie Bryan. "I hear of no one's grades being changed because they're too high. I do hear of a lot of teachers' grades being changed because they're too low. There's something wrong," Garrett, who teaches at Barratt Middle School, told the school board in November. Her emotional testimony led the board and School Superintendent David Hornbeck to call for an investigation into the grade-fixing allegations.
August 31, 1997 |
Nancy Monnich, the director of admissions at Bryn Mawr, put her answer delicately when asked whether she sees evidence of high school grade inflation in the admissions pool to her prestigious school. "At a small school like Bryn Mawr, we have the opportunity to evaluate an application in an interesting way so we can distinguish the A student from the 'other' A student," she said. The "other" A student? That's the one, say principals, teachers, college admissions officers and the College Board, whose A's don't necessarily reflect high academic achievement.
April 28, 2004 |
Princeton University's faculty is taking a stand against grade inflation. In a 156-84 vote at Nassau Hall, professors at the Ivy League institution adopted a common grading standard Monday night after a presentation and debate that lasted 90 minutes. Nancy Malkiel, dean of the college, said the action put Princeton at the forefront of "tackling what has seemed an intractable national problem. " Under the guidelines drawn up by the Faculty Committee on Examinations and Standing, departments and programs are expected to award less than 35 percent A's for undergraduate courses and less than 55 percent A's for junior and senior independent work.
December 5, 1994 |
When administrators at Bryn Mawr College looked over the grades of the Class of 1994, they found some troubling news: The number of summa cum laude graduates had quadrupled from the previous year. Many colleges would love to have that kind of trouble. But at Bryn Mawr, the reaction was quite the opposite. There was enough concern to summon a faculty committee to study how summa cum laude, or highest distinction, is awarded. The committee's work, in turn, raised a question that has been popping up regularly on campuses across the country: Are students getting better grades for less work?
October 20, 1998 |
People who graduated 20 to 30 years ago are outraged that college degrees now seem to be devalued because so many students receive high grades. We recall our college years nostalgically as a golden age when an "A" was really an "A. " Many causes have been suggested: The Vietnam War. Some say college faculties awarded high grades to help men evade the draft. But too few college students were drafted for this idea to be credible. Lazy professors. But college teachers are much harder-working than folklore admits.
April 24, 2012 |
WHAT DO Jodie Foster, Hillary Clinton, Dr. Seuss and Cindy Crawford all have in common? They were all sole valedictorians at their high schools. Of course, as we head to another graduation season, the sole valedictorian is becoming a relic of a bygone era. It's dying because the self-esteem-at-all-costs movement, grade inflation, meddlesome parents and — yes — lawyers have turned what used to be a good four years of healthy academic competition into some kind of academic Hunger Games that must be stopped.
October 23, 2001 |
Boy, 11, convicted of sister's murder A judge in Cincinnati convicted an 11-year-old boy yesterday of murdering his 8-year-old sister, who also had been raped before she died in their basement apartment two months ago. The boy could be imprisoned until he reaches age 21. Their 9-year-old sister said the boy and his 13-year-old cousin repeatedly struck and kicked the girl until she became unconscious. The 13-year-old boy - whose competency to stand trial on murder and rape charges is being adjudicated - had been left in charge of the younger children while their mother was at work in a hospital.
September 20, 2005 |
Princeton University bigwigs are lauding the fact that fewer of their students got "A's" last year. To them, the falling grades don't mean that the students are less capable or lazier, but that a year-old policy designed to hold grade inflation in check is working. In the 2003-04 school year, 46 percent of grades given to undergraduates were "A-plus," "A" or "A-minus. " Princeton wants to bring that down to 35 percent. It got about halfway there last year, when 41 percent of grades were in the "A" range.
February 14, 1998
Even the sanctified Ivy League is getting to seem a lot like Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above-average. A new faculty report from Princeton University laments that only 10 percent of undergraduate grades between 1992 and 1997 were C's (average) or D's (below average). Most of the rest of Old Nassau's young scholars apparently did good or great work. Maybe so. Or maybe it's that the job-fueled grade fever of students (and their parents) is distorting evaluations more each year.
January 25, 2005
Police horses should get pensions for service Re: "Police horse takes on Broadway, bit of fame: Jack Frost was dumped by Phila., but now he has a new gig in N.Y.," Jan. 16. An enjoyable article, alas also bittersweet. Philadelphia's loss is New York's gain. Isn't it a shame that a metropolitan city such as Philadelphia cannot seem to hang on to the better things, such as the mounted police and also a full-time classical music radio station? An acquaintance who was very familiar with the Philadelphia mounted police and Jack Frost told me that in the past in some cases, when the horses could not pull full duty anymore, they were put to death, unless generous people could be found who would adopt them for the rest of their lives (and while they could stand on their own four feet)