By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Education
In the last 50 years, grade inflation at private schools has far outpaced it at public schools, according to a new study.
But private schools have far outpaced public schools, according to a new study.
In the last five decades, college grade-point averages have risen approximately 0.1 points per decade, from a national average of 2.52 in the 1950s to about 3.11 in the mid-1990s.
The study, by geophysicist Stuart Rojstaczer and Furman University computer science professor Christopher Healy, uses historical data from 80 four-year colleges and universities.
What the researchers found is that grades at public and private schools rose for the most part in tandem in the first half of the 20th century.
Based on data from 160 schools, the average GPA at public colleges and universities is now 3.0. At private schools, it is 3.3.
But what's most interesting about this report is how those differences affect students' career paths in industries where grades, not experience, are valued highest.
The authors suggest that these laxer grading standards may help explain why private school students are over-represented in top medical, business and law schools and certain Ph.D. programs: Admissions officers are fooled by private school students’ especially inflated grades.
More points from the study:
- Science departments now grade, on average, 0.4 points lower than humanities departments,
- Science departments now grade, on average, 0.2 points lower than social science departments.
- Relatively lower grades in the sciences discourage American students from studying such disciplines.
Partly because of our current ad hoc grading system, it is not surprising that the U.S. has to rely heavily upon foreign-born graduate students for technical fields of research and upon foreign-born employees in its technology firms.
The real issue at hand? Schools continue to believe that granting higher grades gives their alumni advantages.
Want more information? The authors' GradeInflation.com website has a wealth of charts and graphs for the data used in their study, as well as listings of data by school, from Harvard and Yale to Albion and Spelman.
The authors also have several sets of college rankings.
Apr 19, 2010
verd@... 04/20/10 | Report as spam RE: Private schools outpace public in grade inflation, study finds Private schools are better because they are NOT funded or run by the government. Anything the government runs turns to CRAP. My dear knee jerk friend, there are many excellent and respected public schools, if you check the list of the top 5o schools in the us, over half are public. It seems you missed the classes about needing facts to gain credibility. Perhaps one more cracked tea pot?
Sorry... my degrees were in nuclear physics and advanced mathematics, i sometimes forget how rigorously english majors comb over internet blogs to derive a sense of meaning from their education.
Apparently, the private institution didn't teach the difference between possessive and plural use of the letter "s". I learned that in my public high school and placed out of composition at my state university, so I don't know if they taught it there.
* additionally what this study fails to take into account is that private insitutions have beoome more selective, at an accelerated rate over the last 20 years. private universities are choosing more and more frequently against the best and brightest candidates... why should they all be shirked with an incredibly average GPA? by going to a private selective school you are basically making a commitment to have your brains beat to a pulp for the next four years.
i'm sorry ... i just don't agree with this. i compared myself to a number of friends i had in highschool who went to state schools. in highschool, i had higher grades and SAT scores than all these students. they went to public universities and had roughly 3.8-3.9 gpa's ...some had 4.0's... i went to a selective private school... and yeah... the average GPA probably is a bit higher than the state school... but the thing is my GPA was MUCH lower than ALL of my friend;s. the funny thing was, i was studying two to three times more than they were.... and i still had a lower gpa. the thing is, most of the people i went to school with in college had really high sat scores and grades... everyone graduated in the top 5% of their high school class. my friends from high school went to college with people like my brother... who failed everything in highschool and goofed off. Can you really tell me that an "A" at the two institutions is the same thing? My friends were competing against people that couldn't have even gotten their foot in the door at my unviersity. to say that private school was more competitive and that we worked harder would be a GROSS understatement. i'm not saying that my friend's didn't deserve to get A's that went to public universities. i'm simply saying I worked a lot harder than they did, and still had a lot less to show for it. grades are higher at Private schools because the student population is operating a level light years beyond the state and public schools. my friend's at college would delight in watching transfer students from public universities fail out after one or two semesters.
That's bunk. They rely on foreign born [x] because they're cheaper. That's the only reason. Ever worked in Java? The reason everyone is an Indian isn't because they're brilliant, it's because Indians work cheap, and when one gets into management, they only hire other (male) Indians.
as with most things it is all about the money, and no one should be surprised at that. as shown by the polls of the tea party members, higher education is not always a sign of intelligence.
I would have to have some idea of the relationship between SAT and the other tests mentioned and the expected areas of achievement of graduates from private and public schools to judge this blog. If, as I suspect is true, that SATs are designed to accord with public school studies, with private schools thusly out of alignment, then the SAT scores are meaningless, and there remains no yardstick to judge grade inflation anywhere. I have had some interplay with students of both private and public schools, and the difference between the two sets, insofar as knowledge of practically any subject, is that between night and day, with the public school students a dismal second. I suspect this study was conducted by someone with a very large ax to grind.
Private schools are better because they are NOT funded or run by the government. Anything the government runs turns to CRAP.