Curbing Grade Inflation

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 15 August 2016

Curbing Grade Inflation

Grade inflation takes place when students are given a higher grade than what they actually deserved in order to address the declining expectations and diminishing educational standards. The phenomenon of grade inflation is observable in the current trends in grading, which is mostly given by private colleges and universities. Grade inflation suggests that the terminology used in grading no longer reflects the reality, especially when it comes to the performance of students. As a result, the efforts of students who actually work hard and have exceptional capabilities are being undermined.

In addition, grade inflation also affects the proper assessment of students, as it does not reflect the real grades that they deserve. Being the case, Princeton University decided to implement a policy that will limit professors in giving the grade of A among students per department. However, the aforementioned policy is questioned regarding its effectiveness and also the way by which it can contribute to the greater good for the greater number of people. Grade inflation should be stopped because of the disadvantageous effects that it has among students and the educational institutions and also in the society as a whole.

The utilitarian principle gives utmost emphasis for the greater good of the most number of people. Grade inflation does not merely affect one individual or student but rather its ill effects are reflected upon the whole educational institution and the society. In terms of the educational institution, since grade inflation is used in order to give students higher grade than what they deserve, the real problem of diminishing educational standards of different colleges and universities is not properly addressed. Grade inflation gives a false facade that students are doing well, which reflect that the educational standards are also efficient.

Due to this, the problems within the educational institutions is not properly identified and solved. In the same manner, the society as a whole is also affected by grade inflation. The primary reason as to why education is given importance in almost any state is because of the reason that educated individuals become more productive citizens in the society. Quality education allows them to properly hone their skills and capabilities, which will enable them to find good jobs and contribute substantially to the society.

Rule utilitarianism asserts that the creation and implementation of rules bring about the greater good for the most number of people. As such, grade inflation should be stopped because it adversely affects numerous people and this societal problem can be addressed through the implementation of rules. However, the policy implemented by Princeton University in order to deal with the problem of grade inflation is not the proper way in order to address the problem. Based on the rule utilitarianism, it is better to have a rule than no rule at all because its presence will bring about a greater good rather than the absence of it.

In application with the policy of Princeton University, their way of solving grade inflation does not benefit the majority of the students because only a minimal number of students have the possibility to be given a grade of A. As a result, many students will have to compete with the minimum number of times that the professor can given a grade of A. Due to this, there are chances that excellent students have to settle for a lower grade because professors have to limit giving students an excellent grade.

In addition to this, added pressure is given for students in order to get excellent grades, which is not necessarily advantageous for their educational learning. Moreover, since many Ivy League universities have not yet applied the same grading policy as Princeton University, there will be instances wherein students coming from Princeton University will have a lower GPA as compared from students from other schools. The low GPA of students from Princeton University can adversely affect their chances of getting competitive jobs and also lessen their chances in being accepted in graduate school.

The grading policy of Princeton University is only advantageous for those students who will get an excellent grade, which is minority of the student population because giving a grade of A is only limited. Furthermore, rule utilitarianism also points out that there is no sense in keeping a rule if a better rule will bring about greater good. In the case of the grading policy of Princeton University, there are better policies that can be applied, which can address grade inflation without undermining the good of the majority of the students.

One possible way is by enhancing assessment tools that measures the ability of students through objective means, which will assure or even lessen the subjectivity of professors. The grading policy of Princeton University is not a good rule based on the standard of rule utilitarianism because it does not promote greater good. Majority of the students are adversely affected by this policy. It is not wrong to give value to the hard work and excellent skills of minority students but it should not be at the expense of the majority because doing so no longer promote greater good for the greater number of people.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 15 August 2016

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