[lit-ideas] Re: Masterly (or Personly) Outcomes

> Inflation is everywhere.  My father recently went to my
cousin's kid's
> Masters graduation in Scotland.  The cousin got a first in
engineering,
> which my father thought was wonderful.  And then he saw how
many other
> firsts had been awarded.

I agree inflation is everywhere, David.  (One dramatic example.
When I
was at Manchester, a First in Economic History was awarded -- for
the first time in twenty years. Now, well, yes, there are
more...)

But grade inflation and lowering of standards in the UK (and US)
are a separate issue; we re-read, and normally, re-graded,
the work our students did in the US (mainly in California)
because a) the US has a different system of marking -- and tends
to
"mark the range" and b) the standards were, often, lower there
(than
in the universities where I taught here).  We re-graded US and
Canadian students before reporting grades to the US for
the same reason/s and in the interests of fairness (that is, why
torpedo a US student who was genuinely an A or B by
the standards of their university, because they did not meet
our standards for the equivalent mark/grade?).  (Equivalence
is a genuine problem given we have 4/5 pass grades, too.)

("A" Level grade inflation is going to be tackled; the "A" grade
-- now attained by one quarter of candidates who pass --
is going to be subdivided.)

London, whose grade list was set up by a group of lecturers
who'd taught at various universities in the US, had a simple
way of calculating the final grade that seemed to me to
be reasonable and just.

Coincidentally, a letter arrived in today's
> mail, announcing that Emily is a valedictorian...one of sixty
(out of
> five hundred graduating) who got a 4.0 or better.  How do you
do better
> than a 4.0?

Quite.  (Here now school students whinge because they can't
get into Oxbridge despite 4 "A" grades at "A" Level including
a 100 per cent in their Shakespeare paper!)

I.B. and some other courses are weighted to encourage
> students to take difficult courses which might otherwise make
them look
> to college admissions people like duffers who didn't have the
sense to
> take Dust Bunny Studies and save their perfect GPA.

I didn't know they were weighted.  Things are still somewhat
better here -- i.e. there's still less stuff about perfect GPAs
etc..

(Must google dust bunny)

Judy Evans, Cardiff

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Ritchie" <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, February 18, 2007 12:26 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Masterly (or Personly) Outcomes


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