Letter to the editor: Grade inflation

Dear Editor,

It was with great interest I read the article in a recent edition of The Torch on grade inflation.  

Professor Mary Bacon is right on when she says that students are viewed as consumers, and the customer is “always right.”

In my college and university teaching career (from 1974 through 2010, including 27 years at Ferris), I saw this trend first hand. As the years went by, grades went up and up.

It is not just administrators that are to blame. Some faculty are involved also. Student evaluations become increasingly important in tenure and promotion decisions.

How to get good student evaluations?  Easy.  Give good grades. Make the “customer” happy. 

As long as students are viewed as customers, I am afraid this trend will continue.  I view contemporary grade reports as essentially worthless. A sad commentary on an important component of American education.

Richard Ball, Professor Emeritus of Sociology