Grade inflation is the act of categorizing students based on their academic achievements. Students in many learning institutions are awarded grades according to for a particular level or upon achieving a specific target. In most instances, grade inflation regarding highest academic excellence termed as ''A'', fair academic excellence termed as ''B'' and other grades which are awarded in many learning institutions. Grading inflation is common; occurring in both private and public schools at the elementary level as well as in the League Universities. Classifying inflation has both positive effects on the students and also the learning institution at large as well as adverse results. However, recent research conducted carried out in schools and Universities have clearly shown that grading inflation has more of the negative consequences as compared to the positive impacts. This essay will consider more on the adverse effects that come as a result of grading inflation to the students, teachers and the learning institutions at large.
To start with, grading inflation within elementary as well as in high schools have led to improper placements of students. It is considered that students who have excelled the best academically are placed in difficult and mathematics classes or courses while those who are viewed to have performed poorly are placed in non-mathematical or science courses such as technical courses (Seldomridge et al., page 179). A large number of students who are placed in science and mathematics courses in Universities for example; get turned off where they even develop long-lasting hangups towards the causes. On the contrary, if such students were placed in their appropriate level or what the student desired to do from the start in spite of the grade him or her gets, they would have stumbled less and also learn more as they are put in a field which they have a great interest. It is one of the drawbacks of grading inflation in both universities and high schools.
Additionally, almost every parent has the monotonous belief that their children will become university graduates hence ends up giving a lot of pressure on their children to work very hard on academic fields but forget other fields such as technical areas which are also of much importance to the students. Moreover, marks are viewed as tickets to achieve unrealistic goals in life. These lead to the teachers as well as the parents to try as much to ''print'' as much of the tickets that will enable a large number of students to achieve their life goals. Researches have eventually shown that most students struggle in their high school level to be placed in science or mathematics courses which are viewed as ''giant'' courses but forget technical courses which are also necessary for the growth of the society. As a result, there are small professional training institutions as compared to institutions offering science, human resource or mathematical courses (Bachan and Ray page 1587). It leaves a few people left to work in technical industries such as plastic industries as such jobs are regarded as for those people who did not excel well in education. Hence it clearly shows another negative impact of grading inflation.
Furthermore, grading inflation has led to schools competing with each other to produce more marks hence attract many customers to study in their institutions. Such schools use marks to market themselves in the field rather than market themselves based on the quality of education being offered to their students. Additionally, best schools always select the best students regarding academic excellence while those schools or universities which are seen as reasonably excellent or inferior are left to deal with below average students. The ''best'' schools are always expected to produce the best grade as compared to the '''fair'' or ''poor'' schools hence even when marking the scripts; a lot of bias is likely to occur. These criteria have led to the creation of social classes in the country which should not be the case as every student might be gifted in other ways rather than academics. It is another drawback that has resulted as a result of grading inflation.
Also, it is clear that professors in many higher learning institutions face a lot of pressure while awarding inflated grades despite the high cost of inflation. Many professors fear that when they grant their students, low grades harms evaluation score of the student. They view that assigning low grades to students puts the students to a more disadvantage relative to their peers despite the students deserving the low grades. Mansfield says that in most instances, he usually awards two types of grades. He said that one of the grades which he grants to students is what he feels that the student truly deserves while the second an official grade which is inflated in the transcripts of students. It is ironical in that what is presented officially on the transcripts of various students might be different from the correct grade which the student deserves. As a result, the working field can be full of officially qualified personnel as it is speculated in the transcripts but unqualified staff regarding possible qualification in a particular area of work such as in medicine. Also, professors have claimed that they award ''good'' grades to students although they might not have qualified for them to avoid arguments with the students who might be demanding explanation due to poor grades hence saving time that would be used in such discussions (Butcher et al., page 189).
Research which was carried out by Princeton in the year 2004 clearly shown that on average; not more thirty-five percent of the A grades awarded should be is this level. It indicates that professors for example in some cases are biased while awarding grades to their students. When students are awarded or graded wrongly, it becomes tough to sort the best students, the fair students and those who failed in their respective fields. In such cases, unqualified personnel might bring a lot of drawbacks in the job industries as they have little or no skills on the job hence the low output is realized. It is another demerit of grade inflation as grading can be done in a biased manner thus unqualified personnel such as doctors are in the work field which can lead to significant problems in the country and sector involved.
In conclusion, it is clear that grading has more negative effects as compared to positive outcomes. Hence, there is a need for coming up with another method of categorizing students in academic fields. It may include grading students depending on how they can apply the knowledge learned in class to the primary domain or the manner in which students applies their practical skills. Additionally, students despite the grade they obtain should be allowed to specialize in the fields of their interest hence avoiding cases of course dropouts as students are usually motivated in the field they are interested in. Moreover, colleges, as well as universities, should take serious precautions towards reining in grade inflation. Such higher institutions of higher learning should always control the grades which professors award the students hence controlling cases of bias while grading. By doing so, unqualified personnel is reduced in the working fields. Additionally, students regardless of the grade they obtained should be encouraged to also specialize in other technical fields such as plastic industries which are too crucial to society.
Bachan, Ray. "Grade inflation in UK higher education." Studies in Higher Education 42.8 (2017): 1580-1600.
Butcher, Kristin F., Patrick J. McEwan, and Akila Weerapana. "The effects of an anti-grade-inflation policy at Wellesley College." Journal of Economic Perspectives 28.3 (2014): 189-204.
Grade Inflation, Higher and Higher." Survey Finds Grade Inflation Continues to
Grade Inflation, Higher and Higher." Survey Finds Grade Inflation Continues to Rise at Four-Year Colleges, but Not at Community College, www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/29/survey-finds-grade-inflation-continues-rise-four-year-colleges-not-community-college.
Rise at Four-Year Colleges, but Not at Community College,
Seldomridge, Lisa A., and Catherine M. Walsh. "Waging the war on clinical grade inflation: the ongoing quest." Nurse educator 43.4 (2018): 178-182.
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