This phenomenon is not just a problem for colleges, but for high schools too. As national requirements create stringent penalties for underperforming schools, teachers are instructed to give fewer failing grades to their students in an effort to avoid such penalties. Teachers who give low grades (STEM or not) are often told they will lose their jobs.


4 thoughts on “Grade Inflation — a Growing Problem

  1. It’s ridiculous, but true. I was told to “watch [my] failure rate” this last grading period. What am I supposed to do when 70% of the kids won’t turn in the assignments because they haven’t had to do so until I took over the class?

    • Elizabeth, when I first had a fellow teacher explain to me that a “Good Grade Fairy” really does exist, I felt so duped.

      The problem, I think, are stringent national standards that cause administrators to make these demands of grade inflation because that is easier than actually forcing students to be held responsible. Too many administrators want their lives to be easy and paper-work free while not having experience teaching core subjects.

      I feel your pain on this matter, Elizabeth. My failure rate is high, but it accurately reflects the work kids refused to do, the lessons students refused to learn. My class is easy enough to pass if they will turn the work in.

      I think our representatives MUST be made aware of the unofficial practices and policies school administrators employ to meet their mandates.

      • Agreed. It is ridiculous to limit the number of failures if the students aren’t doing the work. It’s one thing if the teacher isn’t teaching the material, or grading properly, or if the students are at least TRYING, but when the students won’t do the work, they shouldn’t be passed on anyhow.

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