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
VS
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?

Bibliography

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.

Comments

Usually when you think about an argument, you really have to thing both sides of the spectrum. For almost every law or policies, there is a reasoning behind. Now that we got that out of the way, I still do not understand where this policy is coming from. I strongly disagree with grade inflation. Not because they deserve it or not, even though that really is up to the teacher's discretion, but it highly discourages students and lead them elsewhere and ruin their chances of earning opportunities. This really concerns me in the near future since a lot of schools are competing to see who can have the best students and whatnot. Either way, the school systems are messed since the government have no control over, as far as America is concerned. I believe Canada is not that way.

Article one in the Universal declaration of human rights states that everyone is born free and should be treated in the same way, given this fact I am in agreement that to lower the marks of a select few is unjust. Any marks should be marked on how the teacher sees fit regardless of how many As there are. I believe that other methods should be used to ensure just and un-biased grades such as complete confidentiality as to whose assignment the teacher is graded.