Over the weekend, the Washington Post had a column about grade inflation written by Alicia Shepard, a journalism professor at American University. The piece didn’t approach the subject from the perspective of documenting the existence of grade inflation, though; that much was (and is) assumed to be true. Instead, Shepard relates how she and and other teachers regularly get harrassed (or even bribed!) by students to whom they give grades lower than an A, students who almost certainly don’t deserve As for their work but who feel that anything less is an insult to them. Similarly, she points out the growing feeling among teachers that a college education is shifting from being a privilege to being a consumer product, and that the shift is bringing with it a belief that the cost of the education alone justifies good grades, irrespective of the amount of work a student does to earn them. It’s all a bit eye-opening, and a truly sad statement about education in America.


I taught college for many years and I was always amused when a student would ask me: “What do I need to do to get an ‘A’?”

Finally, I came up with an answer that addressed their concerns in the best way I knew how. I told them: “If you listen to me, you’ll get a C, if you learn something, you’ll get a B, and if you teach me something, you’ll get your A.

• Posted by: Jeff on Jun 10, 2005, 1:28 PM

As far as I know, the giant rat was first used several years ago in a labor action against Disney. It proved so popular that now it pops up all over. The photo really doesn’t do it justice - it’s painted to look hairy and filthy and it has fangs, grasping claws, and bloodshot eyes.

• Posted by: Ina on Jun 14, 2005, 3:34 PM

(I assume your comment is on this post.)

• Posted by: Jason on Jun 14, 2005, 4:44 PM
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