Fighting grade inflation

New grade reporting method better for students and teachers.

It’s been a few weeks since grades have been reported, and as GPAs are either cut down or propped up by last semester’s classes, school officials are engaging in publicly controversial discussions about grade inflation.  Christopher Cramer, a University of Minnesota chemistry professor and chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee voiced his concerns in a Minnesota Daily article last month:  “transcripts are ‘pretty much useless for graduate school admissions. [Grades] don’t give you much insight into student performance. If an average GPA is 3.5, everybody seems to be doing pretty well.”

Cramer proposes a method of having checks on the number of certain letter grades given for each class — a method consisting of having letter grade percentages placed on student’s transcript next to their received grade. 

This solution would alleviate pressure that some faculty feel to give out a larger percentage of A’s and B’s in their classes.

Cramer’s suggestion would be beneficial for students as well.  High-achieving students could rest easy with a hard-earned B, knowing that others will understand their B was perhaps the highest grade given in that particular class.  This proposal would discourage students from becoming lackadaisical about their studying, as graduate programs may not look favorably on someone who consistently got C’s in classes full of A’s and B’s.  

This proposal might also shed light on credit and work load inequalities.  By making average grades in the class more accessible to students, they may have a better idea of which classes they can schedule together each semester of their college career.