Weekly Staff Editorial


?When students are consistently not performing well, there is reason to believe there is something wrong with the system. How is it that students are receiving more and more A grades, yet they are not learning as much?

Grade inflation is gradually taking place at the CSUN campus “? for reasons not always clear,” stated a report published by the CSUN Council of Chairs. The change from year to year is sluggish from zero to one percent; however, looking at the long-term effects the University gave out more As in 2004 than any other grade.

It is great to see students getting more As, but one tends to have a change of heart when professors and departments are lowering their grading standards at the students’ expense.

Provost Harry Hellenbrand stated in a message to the campus in Fall 2005, “I’m not telling the faculty how to grade and what to teach. The academic health of the institution depends on faculty being independent when they teach and evaluate students. But the health of the university also depends on each of us making sure that classroom practices, like grading, do not have the unintended consequence of signaling low expectations.”

The concept of grade inflation as defined by the report as a persistent rise in grades over a period of five years or more that should be based on student ability and readiness to continue onward.

The university standards are the base for a sufficient institution.

Each department has different percentages of grade inflation ranging from 30 to 60 percent or higher.

The university level of critical thinking, reasoning, reading and writing skills are slowly deteriorating for more than one reason including: The Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam is far too easy, anyone who knows how to write a sentence can pass; scantron exams cause students to more or less blindly memorize rather then understand the material; students complaining about low grades when they do not rightfully deserve them or grades reflecting the instructors’ teaching methods; and the pressure to graduate.

We suggest each department review their standards for the better of its students, rather than “dumb down” the classes. Students should expect to learn from their classes rather than just pass.

The high academic standards should be the priority of the university, the faculty and the students.