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ERIC Number: EJ868702
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1253
Raising the Bar: A Data-Driven Discussion on Grade Inflation
Laurie, Robert
Education Canada, v49 n4 p32-34, 36 Fall 2009
The practice of handing out excellent grades to students who don't deserve them (grade inflation) is not a new phenomenon. Indeed grade inflation is among the oldest and most difficult issues to address in higher education. The author first studied the impact of grade inflation on student performance on standardized tests at the high school level in Newfoundland and Labrador and in both the French and English sectors in New Brunswick. This research showed a significant negative correlation between grade inflation and student performance in each of the three jurisdictions, as measured on provincial exams in Grade 11 mathematics. Based on data from the New Brunswick francophone, New Brunswick anglophone, and Newfoundland and Labrador education systems from the previous study, and the fact that Quebec, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador moderate teacher-assigned grades using various statistical methods, it can safely be assumed that grade inflation is present in schools across Canada. Although there will probably always be a gap between teacher-assigned grades and provincial exam results, these data suggest that teachers should strive to be below the average provincial gap by increasing their expectations. Inflating grades is a set-up for significant disappointment. Sooner or later reality will catch up to the students and "success" will be difficult to attain. Without a serious and concerted effort to change the practice of grade inflation, everyone loses. Instead of lowering the bar and asking "How low can you go?", teachers should raise the bar and work with students to see how high they can jump. (Contains 4 figures and 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada