Grade inflation

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Grade inflation

  1. 1. ICCTE Conference Catherine WassonGraduate Teacher Education Belhaven University Thursday – May 24, 2012
  2. 2. Aristotle
  3. 3.  CURRENT PERFORMANCE Exam & Portfolio CONGRUENCE Exitexpectations Course outcomes CONCERNS Intervention/Remediation Program redesign
  4. 4. What is the relationship between performance on program exit requirements (exam & portfolio) and program grade point average?
  5. 5. Program Effectiveness  Teacher education programs inadequately prepare graduates to meet the realities of today’s standards-based, accountability-driven classrooms . . . . Levine, 2006  Educating the highly skilled, creative thinkers who can compete in the global economy requires a change in the way teachers are trained. Tucker, 2011
  6. 6. CCSS implementation  To improve teacher quality, policymakers . . . must consider whether teacher education programs are aligned to these (CCSS) standards. Perry, 2011, p. 2  The Common Core State Standards should influence every part of every teacher preparation program . . . . SMTI/TLC, 2011, p. 3
  7. 7. are currentgrading practicesserving God,serving others,or serving self?
  8. 8. 2007-09 n = 114 r = .340 2010-11 n =81 r = .414
  9. 9. 2007-09 n =114 r = .385 2010-11 n = 81 r = .387
  10. 10.  Defined  . . . “net” increase in grades resulting from changes to grading practices and standards over time, independent of other contributing factors. ASHE, 2005, p. 30 Supported – just a few of MANY stats!!  Only 10-20% of college students received grades lower than B-. Farley (1995) as reported by Sooner, 2000  1969 - 7% grade of A- or higher, 26% grade of C or less 1993 – 26% grade of A- or higher, 9%grade of C or less Vanderslice, 2004 NOT supported  Most evidence is anecdotal or reported perceptions; limited empirical evidence exists . ASHE, 2005
  11. 11.  Grade Increase  Gross measure of the trend of college grades over time without consideration of changes in other related factors (p. 29).  Data support a general upward trend. Grade Compression  Inability of grades to differentiate student performance; current empirical evidence does not support. Grading Disparity  Empirical evidence supports significant disparities in grades among different courses and disciplines. ASHE, 2005
  12. 12.  Place immediate self-interests over long-term outcomes; equate good grades to attaining high paying jobs Martinson, 2004 Value social learning more than academic learning; select courses with little reading, few requirements, and ―easy‖ instructors and don‘t esteem courses that promote academic learning or professional preparation Arum & Roksa, 2011
  13. 13.  Good grades = good evaluations = tenure, promotion, and better pay Germain & Scandura, 2005; Lanning & Perkins, 1995 ―Disengagement compact‖ I give minimal work and higher grades; you accept limited grading of assignments and feedback. Arum & Roksa, 2011; Cushman, 2003 ―Other-directedness‖ Need for approval from students; popularity takes precedence over standards in grading. Cushman, 2003
  14. 14.  Keeping the customer happy sustains current tuition & future contributions Cushman, 2003 Diversion of resources to student services—fastest growing employment category in higher education Decline in full-time tenure track faculty – from 78% in 1970 to 52% in 2005; adjuncts are more cost effective Arum & Roksa, 2011
  15. 15.  Themission of the AAUP ―is to . . . ensure higher education‘s contribution to the common good‖. Cushman, 2003, p. 454 Gradeintegrity – extent to which grade equates to quality of performance. Sadler, 2009 Serving―common good‖ requires GPA‘s to be a valid reflection of students‘ abilities and talents. Cushman, 2003
  16. 16.  Decision Making Rationale  Graduate & Based on college professional schools grades, employers have difficulty in applicants that can distinguishing the succeed or excel most and least  Employers competent applicants with skills applicants. and potential for Vanderslice, 2004 fulfilling job responsibilities Walhout1997
  17. 17.  Self-Understanding Rationale Obscure relationship  Students between grades and progress, student learning; improvement, and students have potential for success difficulty correctly  Faculty judging their own competence. evaluation and Vanderslice, 2004 instructional practices Walhout1997
  18. 18.  Ethical Considerations  Work judged on its quality; not other factors  Basis of judgments known; no surprises  Grades comparable across  courses in program (no courses characterized as ―lenient‖ or ―tough‖)  courses offered by institution  institutions Sadler, 2009
  19. 19.  Doing the Right Thing  Resurrect and maintain high standards Cushman, 2003  Reclaim ―gate keeper‖ role; rightly discriminate between the different learning levels of students. Lanning & Perkins, 1995; Walhout, 1997
  20. 20. Anyone who cares alot about somethingis very critical inmaking judgmentsabout it. Far fromthe opposite ofcaring, beingcritical is the veryconsequence ofcaring. Vanderslice, 2004, p. 25
  21. 21.  Grading disparity  Correlated specific course grades to outcome measures Grading patterns  Compare grade distributions to faculty perceptions of student performance Embedding outcomes  Explicit performance outcomes  Align course and exit outcomes  Monitor and manage student progress
  22. 22. Arum, R., & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Cushman, T. (2003). Who best to tame grade inflation? Academic Questions, 16(4), 48-56.Germain, M., & Scandura, T. A. (2005). Grade inflation and student individual differences as systematic bias in faculty evaluations. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 32(1), 58-67.Hu, S., Ed. (2005). Beyond grade inflation: Grading problems in higher education. ASHE Higher Education Report, 30(6), 1-80.Lanning, W., & Perkins, P. (1995). Grade inflation: A consideration of additional causes. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 22(2), 163-168.Levine, A. (2006). Taming the wild west of teacher education. Scholastic. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/taming- wild-west-teacher-education.Martinson, D. L. (2004). A perhaps ―politically incorrect‖ solution to the very real problem of grade inflation. College Teaching, 52(2), 47-51.
  23. 23. Perry, A. (2011). Teacher preparation programs: A critical vehicle to drive student achievement. Re:VISION, 1, 1-8.Sadler, B. R. (2009). Grade integrity and the representation of academic achievement. Studies in Higher Education, 34(7), 807- 826.SMTI/TLC. Discussion Paper. The Common Core State Standards and Teacher Preparation: The Role of Higher Education. http://www.aplu.org/document.doc?id=3482.Sonner, B. S. (2000). A is for ‗adjunct‘: Examining grade inflation in higher education. Journal of Education for Business, 76(1), 5-9.Tucker, M. S. (2011). Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Educational Reform. Boston: Harvard Education Press.Vanderslice, R. (2004). When I was young, an A was an A: Grade inflation in higher education. Phi Kappa Phi Forum, 84(4), 24-25.Walhout, D. (1997). Grading across a career. College Teaching, 45(3), 83-91.

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