The Dangerous Myth Of Grade Inflation Analysis

1150 Words5 Pages
Junnell Mclee

Professor Sarah Carson

ENGL 102: Research and Academic Writing

22 November 2015

Grade Inflation: Myths and Assessments
In Alfie Kohn’s article, “The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation,” Kohn analyzes the complaints of student’s grades rising over the years. During his analysis Kohn looked for data that demonstrated reasons why grades were thought to have been inflated versus the student’s motivation for achieving higher grades. Kohn also explains that it is difficult to determine the reasoning behind grade inflation claims. These claims may be false depending on the time period in which the claims were evaluated (Bergmann 261). Kohn showed how he first encountered issues regarding the time period through a study on self-reports.
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Former Harvard dean Henry Rosovsky debated that SAT scores dropped at the same time grades were expected to increase. To refute this argument Kohn pointed out that the SAT is imperfect when forecasting grades. A four year study of almost 78000 University of California students showed that the SAT anticipated a 13.3 percent variance in grades among freshman students. This number aligned with numerous studies done previously. Kohn believes that this variance proves the validity in his argument against the accuracy of SAT grade predictions. I did find that Kohn made a valid argument against the validity of the SAT. He persuades that an SAT score should not determine whether or not the student’s grade should be high or low. He made a good point that it would be challenging to confirm that when taken in high school that the SAT could measure college courses. Kohn further proved his argument by concluding that the SAT scores decreased between the years 1969-1993 due to the increase in the population of test-takers according to the American Academy report (Bergmann 262). In his final argument Kohn convinces that a drop in SAT score is not a fair assessment when compared to grades that are received at Harvard or other leading institutions. Kohn’s research for grade inflation at leading institutions over the last 30-40 years showed a rise in verbal and…show more content…
The assumptions that cause forewarning of grade inflation were based around his opinion rather than persuasive. Kohn’s evaluation on the professor’s job to categorize students for employers or graduate schools was not supported by statistical sources as his previous arguments. He also informs that performance wise, student’s grades provides useful information to post college institutions. He mentions that the Journal of the American Medical Association and American Educational Research Journal insinuate that grades and test scores do not predict successful careers (Bergmann 264). In this informative portion of his article it seemed that Kohn slightly moved from grade inflation to assess the effectiveness of students being compared to one another. In this sense I felt that Kohn was using this comparison to examine how the student’s performances compared to one another. Students who learned more had more knowledge therefore, produced better grades. Kohn was sure to also assess the professors as well. He found a recent analysis produced in 2000 publicized that harder grading criteria was associated with higher test scores according to Julian R. Betts and Jeff Grogger, professors of economics at the University of California. However, long-term results proved to be ineffective. On the contrary, professors who graded the easy way were considered sluggish and
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