21 February 2024

I told you transcript changes didn’t affect grade inflation

Way back when, I blogged about a Texas proposal to include average course grades next to a student’s earned grades on the student transcript. The argument was that this could be a way to curb grade inflation. I was skeptical. 

This never came to pass in Texas, but what I didn’t know at the time that this was the practice at Cornell University.

A practice they just stopped.

It turned out that – surprise! – showing average class grades didn’t stop grade inflation. In fact, showing class averages probably increased grade inflation. Because with easy access to average course grades, students preferentially took the classes seen to be “easy A’s”.

I have to admit I didn’t see that possibility, but it tracks.

Related posts

The “Texas transcript” is a good idea, but won’t solve grade inflation

External links

Cornell Discontinues Median Grade Visibility on Transcripts 15 Years After Inception  

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