Is grade inflation penalized some students over others?
by Pascale.Bastien on February 4, 2014 - 5:33pm
The article explores the case of a Concordia student who has sued the University for unfair grading. This student end up a course with an A- but the mark on his final record was a B+. The reason for that was because of the grade inflation. The teacher argues that the grade policy of the department allows no more than 25% of any class to gets an A. This is where things got more complicated. The student said that rather than using the bell curve to distribute the grades (bell curve: statistical concept), the teacher simply removed a few A’s. After trying in many ways to spoke with the University directors to fix things, he decided to go further and sue them in court since they refuse to show the mark inflation measure the teacher used.
Values & moral claims
Fairness: University is asking for grades inflation in order to maintain a fair distribution of the grades between the different courses and making methods.
Everybody’s interests should have equal consideration: The point of grades inflation
Non-conformity: The student argues that with the grade inflation, the final mark he has is not representative anymore of the success he had in this course.
Everybody’s interests should have equal consideration: He also thinks he has been unfairly graded and penalized compared to some others students since the teacher would not have used the appropriate mark inflation method.
In my opinion and from what I have seen, every teachers mark students’ work differently. They all have different opinions or point of views about what makes an assignment good. At some point, we must establish norms or policies to balance those inequalities. This is why Concordia University set a policy that stipulates no more than 25% of a class can get an A. Teachers are supposed to used a technic called the bell curve to adjust the grades if necessary. The teacher also must use this technic if he wants to be fair for all students rather than penalizing only a few of them. Only eliminating A’s to respect the policy would go against the moral claims that said; everybody’s interests should have equal consideration. There are no students that deserve to be favour more than another. In this case the student concerned claims that the policy was biased. We cannot know which measure has been used for the mark inflation since the University keeps hiding it. I think we must have grade policies in our schools to have a to avoid inequalities, but the mark inflation measure should be use the same way for everyone and it should not be hidden. Norms should be established to be sure it is used properly. Furthermore, it should not be hidden to a student that want to make sure he as been fairly graded because s student have the right to be informed.
Do you think grade inflation or necessary in our schools? And do you think that currently, it is used properly and fairly?
Seidman, Karen. "Concordia Student Sues University Over Grade
Policy; Cheated Out of 'a'; Hidden Mark Inflation Measure 'Simply Unfair'." National Post(2012):A.6. ProQuest. Web. 3 Feb. 2014.