03 September 2008

Transparency and Grade Creep/Inflation

The Chronicle recently highlighted Princeton University's famous address of grade inflation and I followed up with a web search. A friend who has taught at PU recently told me about the institution's initiative and not in wholly positive terms. Regardless of how quickly or slowly the goals are met, the level of transparency is admirable. (See link below for the actual results.)

The strategy aims at departmental numbers, not individual course grades. This is how the policy is summarized on the website:

A’s (A+, A, A-) shall account for less than 35 percent of the grades given in undergraduate courses and less than 55 percent of the grades given in junior and senior independent work. The standard by which the grading record of a department or program is evaluated is the percentage of A’s given over the previous three years.

Results for the first 3 years of the initiative appear in Word.docs at the web site of the Dean of the College (http://www.princeton.edu/odoc/faculty/grading/results/).

© 2008 Mary Bold, PhD, CFLE. The content of this blog or related web sites created by Mary Bold (www.marybold.com, www.boldproductions.com, College Intern Blog) is not under any circumstances to be regarded as legal or professional advice. Bold is the co-author of Reflections: Preparing for your Practicum or Internship, geared to college interns in the child, education, and family fields. She is a consultant and speaker on assessment, distance learning, and technology.

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