Home > Academia, Inflation, Intellectuals > Hey let’s inflate some grades to make our dumb students look better!

Hey let’s inflate some grades to make our dumb students look better!

Yeah that’s the ticket! Hey at least it’s in Law, not like they are competent anyway. We have a lawyer in the White House!

One day next month every student at Loyola Law School Los Angeles will awake to a higher grade point average.

But it’s not because they are all working harder.

The school is retroactively inflating its grades, tacking on 0.333 to every grade recorded in the last few years. The goal is to make its students look more attractive in a competitive job market.

Grade inflation, just like monetary inflation, robs would be employers of competent people. Employers respond by raising their own barriers of entry; instead of just a B.S./B.A. they will require that plus 3 years work experience. Employers that already require degree plus experience, will just start requiring Masters. If grade inflation gets worse they’ll start requiring PHds for entry level jobs.

You know who are the worse culprits? The elite Ivy League schools.

Harvard and Stanford, two of the top-ranked law schools, recently eliminated traditional grading altogether. Like Yale and the University of California, Berkeley, they now use a modified pass/fail system, reducing the pressure that law schools are notorious for. This new grading system also makes it harder for employers to distinguish the wheat from the chaff, which means more students can get a shot at a competitive interview.

Do you still think Harvard graduates are any better than your local state college? Remember this graph!

Grade Inflation by SchoolAnother thing to worry about is how lax grading shifts resources (in this case students) away from more productive majors, in favor of the more lax majors. Everyone who has been to college knows why the football players all major in Communications and English (at my school, probably different for some schools). They do it because it’s an easy A. Now take a student who might be contemplating majoring in Law or Chemical Engineering, that wants to go past a bachelors. Which are they going to pick? Engineering and risk getting Bs and Cs? Or Law, knowing that once they are in Law school, they are going to get As and Bs. Which major do you think is needed more?

The ones that are trying to tell everyone that grade inflation isn’t a problem are who? School administration, professors, and Alumni. Don’t you think they have a huge financial motive to say, “Nothing to see here, move along.”

UPDATE: Forgot to link to the damn article, sorry bout that!

  1. yttik
    June 23, 2010 at 18:49

    Grade inflation is a real problem. However, too much education and no common sense is an even bigger problem. Right now we have a Nobel prize winner in the white house and another one, a brilliant physicist as Sec of Energy. Not only can’t he plug the damn hole or coordinate some leadership, he’s on record as having said that BP was going to save the world.


    So..grade inflation is a problem, but underlying it is this ridiculous idea that a piece of paper makes you smart, that an ivy league education makes you special. We’ve come to rely too much on credentials, not enough on whether or not people can do a job. You can’t fake your abilities but you sure can fake your way through an education. The fact that schools are now helping people fake their way through is only a symptom of us putting way too much value on a piece of paper.

  2. June 25, 2010 at 05:06

    You hit on the expert fallacy. The experts are not experts. In fact they know very very little. Yet they think it entitles them to opine on everything, usually to the public’s detriment. See Krugman for an example.

  3. Seth
    June 30, 2010 at 22:28

    That should do wonders for Layola’s credibility. I can imagine that will inspire interesting interview chit-chat.

    • July 1, 2010 at 09:19

      Part of the problem with grade inflation is that not a lot of people know about it. Just like monetary inflation, it only works if people don’t know it’s happening. It would be kinda awesome if someone were to get into the school that they wanted to, and then interviews with Loyola and said, “Hey so I hear you give easy grades.” That would be an interesting interview.

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