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ERIC Number: EJ1015047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-189X
Is the Sky Falling? Grade Inflation and the Signaling Power of Grades
Pattison, Evangeleen; Grodsky, Eric; Muller, Chandra
Educational Researcher, v42 n5 p259-265 Jun-Jul 2013
Grades are the fundamental currency of our educational system; they signal academic achievement and noncognitive skills to parents, employers, postsecondary gatekeepers, and students themselves. Grade inflation compromises the signaling value of grades and undermines their capacity to achieve the functions for which they are intended. We challenge the "increases in grade point average" definition of grade inflation and argue that grade inflation must be understood in terms of the signaling power of grades. Analyzing data from four nationally representative samples, we find that in the decades following 1972: (a) grades have risen at high schools and dropped at 4-year colleges, in general, and selective 4-year institutions, in particular; and (b) the signaling power of grades has attenuated little, if at all. (Contains 2 tables and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A