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Through the years I've listened to colleagues and read commentators who
become operatic about grade inflation and evangelistic about "reestablishing
standards."  But my half-century experience with college students would seem
to parallel Clifford Adelman's findings:  today's students are different from
earlier learners but no worse; they are just as bad.  Here's an excerpt from
"Dangerous Myths of Grade Inflation," Chronicle Review, 11/8/02.

"To get a more accurate picture of whether grades have changed over the
years, one needs to look at official student transcripts. Clifford Adelman, a
senior research analyst with the U.S. Department of Education, did just that,
reviewing transcripts from more than 3,000 institutions and reporting his
results in 1995. His finding: "Contrary to the widespread lamentations,
grades actually declined slightly in the last two decades." Moreover, a
report released just this year by the National Center for Education
Statistics revealed that fully 33.5 percent of American undergraduates had a
grade-point average of C or below in 1999-2000, a number that ought to quiet
"all the furor over grade inflation," according to a spokesperson for the
Association of American Colleges and Universities. (A review of other
research suggests a comparable lack of support for claims of grade inflation
at the high-school level.)"

Regards,

Gene Kerstiens
Andragogy Associates
3434 W. 227 Place
Torrance, CA 90505-2632
(310) 326-5819
www.sbi4windows.com