It is common knowledge that grade inflation exists and that there are so many reasons as to why this happens. It is not only students who stand to ‘benefit’, but professors too. Students want to get higher grades in order to be competent in the job market. Professors on their part feel the pressure to give higher grades for fear of losing their jobs due to poor student evaluations. Such are the reasons why grade inflation continues in institutions of higher learning. One thing that these professors, institutions and students fail to understand is the fact that these students will fail to perform as expected out there once they get into the job market. It is no wonder that even after performing very well in academics, many students prove incompetent on the job. This fact only contributes to the belief that the practice of inflating grades exists.
According to Brent Staples, in his article Editorial Observer; Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s, he argues that, “colleges have simply issued more and more A's, stoking grade inflation and devaluing degrees.” Due to this, universities and even community colleges strive to make their institutions look good and be on the same level with competing institutions, therefore, releasing half baked students out into a very competitive world. Apparently, these institutions give no care about the quality of the grades. All the concern of these institutions rest on making a name for themselves and not the quality of the students they give the competitive job market. The sad story is that it is these students who will stand to lose because there are chances that they may end up losing the trust of their employers. Eventually, they may not be able to grow within their organizations or even lose their jobs.
Michael Moreau, on the other hand, through his article Grade Inflation: Is It Happening Here? talks of how poor student grammar is yet the same students score very high grades. It is for a fact that a student who uses very poor grammar in expressing themselves when it comes to their examinations may not score highly, but the astonishing fact is that the same students score As and Bs in their overall grades (Moreau 2). At this point one wonders whether the grades are genuine, or they are inflated. There are alarming reports that student grades are inflated, and these allegations cannot be doubted considering the performance indices in professional performance of many of these students. The last decade has seen a majority of graduates criticized for non performance and such details are a “tell it all” pointer to what exactly is happening in our colleges. It is not surprising at all that this trend will go on for a very long time just for these colleges and universities to maintain the fake standards they have set.
The questions that are raised because grades are getting better is whether it the students or the lecturers who are getting better. Instead, the assumption is that neither of them is as good as they ought to be. Diplomas and degrees are becoming ornamental by the day (Moreau3). Every other person who goes to university or college comes out with very good credentials and the completion to get employment has gone a notch higher. But this does not mean that these graduates are as competent as their credentials my make one to believe. The elite colleges and universities have not been left behind as their graduates have proven to be worse than those from community colleges. Wherever this education system is headed remains a question no one is willing to answer. Some people even think that this has become a national problem yet no one knows whether these institutions are feeling the heat about the questioning of the degrees they give out.
Some students juggle between college and work and, therefore, fail to attend most of their classes. Professors then go on to give students ‘A’ grades just to fill in poorly attended courses that might end up being cancelled (Staples 3). These are the same students who might end up giving a professor a negative evaluation if he or she fails to give them the grades they want. The two, professors and students connive to lie to the institution and the world that they are doing a good job when they are not. It is a give and take relationship that both seem not to understand is having a negative impact on not only the students, institutions and professors, but the world that expects these graduates to give a similar impression in the job market. Everyone out there fails to understand who is fooling who when this arrangement exists.
What makes matters worse is that students can appeal their grades, and they get a rise in them. Unlike some time back when students would live with the grades they scored for the rest of their lives, today students can challenge the grades they score and upon review, the grades go up. The grades are then given ‘cosmetic surgery’ to the liking of the students. It does no good to the grades because if it was a poor grade it ought to remain so. If the students have a problem with that then they can go on to redo the course. Such is an indicator that the students get what they demand and not what they deserve. It does not do the institution or the student any better. Giving in to the demands of students is one huge mistake these institutions do as this does not benefit anyone. Instead, such revisions will bring more harm than good because students will never work hard to pass their exams. They will do an exam like they want while knowing very well that, in case of any eventuality, they can always appeal and get a rise in grades.
Even with the pressures that students face in their lives about their studies in college, it is imperative that they do their best and get good grades. Professors, on the other hand, ought to be honest with their work regardless of the measures that may be meted on them if they fail to comply with the pressures of their employers, colleagues and students themselves. It pays to be honest and if inflating grades is anything to go by; this is dishonest and stands to benefit no one. It has become common knowledge that inflation of grades happens every day in almost all institutions of higher learning. It may seem good or beneficial, but it is not because of the conscience that one carries all their lives concerning the lies they use to satisfy the world. In fact, making students believe that they have earned an A when they deserve a C is sad and does not help them in any way. It is for this reason that we are losing educational value.
Moreau, Michael. Grade Inflation: Is It Happening Here? Chaparral. Web. Retrieved on 9th April 2014.
Staples, Brent. Editorial Observer; Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s. The New York Times. Web. March, 8th 1998. Retrieved on 9th April 2014