Anne Wingate, Ph.D.
Grade inflation has become so prevalent that even the “great universities” average A or A- overall. As a teaching fellow, I loathed being hassled into doing that. When I finally reached the position at which I could set up my own curriculum and my own requirements, I completely dropped “giving” grades. Instead, I wrote a contract with each student.
To get an A, a student had to meet certain requirements. To get a B, the requirements were smaller; for a C, they were smaller yet. No student was allowed to get a grade below C.
To my amazement, the majority of the children—and I use the term deliberately—most of them of normal or higher IQ and ability, chose to make a C. Very few chose to make A, and of those, many wound up not meeting their contract requirements and getting a C for failing to make their agreement.
What will happen to those students in adulthood, when they have to meet the terms of their employment?
I shudder to think of it. I am now 70 years old and unable to teach, but I still work as tirelessly as possible, more so than those healthy twenty-year-olds ever did or ever will.
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Thomas Russell Wingate
La Dottoressa is not alone in her observations.
She and I were in quite different graduate schools at the same time. (Better marriages than ours avoid such stresses.)
I was commissioned by my for-profit university to tally questionnaires filled out by my classmates. These were five or six pages long. The questions were subtle. The anonymous responders were telling (over two years) more than they suspected.
I read between the lines. I drew my own conclusions.
● Those who, according to themselves, put in the fewest hours made the most complaints. Those who, according to themselves, put in the most hours made the fewest complaints.
● The obligation of the student to learn exceeds the obligation of the teacher to teach. Those who do not grasp this will fail in life—and deserve to.
● We do not need to form a committee to study this.