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ERIC Number: ED358478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Departmental Grade Quotas: The Silent Saboteur.
Agnew, Eleanor
Anecdotal testimony indicates that grade deflation is encouraged in many colleges and universities, especially in freshman writing courses. As a result, grading down has become a point of pride for some writing instructors. Instead of earning reputations as good, caring, committed teachers whose students do well because the teachers have worked hard to create positive and empowering rhetorical contexts, writing instructors with higher grades are often thought to be grade-inflators. However, teachers with very low final grades are not suspect of being poor teachers. Assumptions that may underlie the pressure to hold grades down include: most freshmen are not capable of learning to write well, only average or worse; and freshman writing courses are not held in very high esteem by more traditional faculty. The portfolio system has been adopted at many institutions as a way of evaluating students' writing. Portfolios can be used: to informally track students; by committees monitoring grade inflation and deflation; as part of the process of an annual review, as application for promotion, or for tenure review. When highly effective writing teachers calculate their final grades for their courses, they should have the freedom to be delighted, not ambivalent, if "too many" students perform well enough to earn good grades. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A