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Grade Inflation

I am still scratching my head over my recent midterms experience. One of them was a take-home test, handed out well in advance of spring break, to be turned in the following Monday. It was only 32 multiple choice questions. I managed to complete mine in 15 minutes, so I didn't think it was all that difficult.

Come that Monday, however, I walked into class just before the professor did, and saw numerous students clustered together filling out their exams. The professor saw it too. "Guys, guys," he said, "I guess I am going to have to get mean with you and give you all individual exams." But he didn't.

This is the same guy who told us that any violations of academic integrity (aka cheating) would be firmly dealt with, and that he had had to discipline two students last semester for that. After seeing how widespread and blatant this episode was, I just wonder what those two students did that he had to take action. No, the test stands as it is. What makes me angry is his attitude, "I know you all cheated and that's why you all got 100%." No, not all of us! Some of us did not cheat and I resent being lumped in with those who did.

This same professor also has repeatedly said that he wants everyone to get an A and he is making it easy so that they can get an A. My sister who is a university professor and a Ph.D., said that is called "Grade Inflation" and it is what gives schools like mine a bad name. In fact, there is only one community college in Michigan that has an even worse rating than mine. Thanks! The better four-year institutions will not accept credits from my school; if for example, I transferred to another school, I would have to retake most of the things I have studied. That's just one of the dirty little secrets they don't tell you when you apply to take classes there.

You know if I were just out of high school and learned that the time and money spent here was an utter waste I would be seriously p*ssed. But I am already well-established in my career, so getting the degree is simply a formality. What are you going to do with it? people ask. Nothing. There is nothing I can do with it, especially at this stage of my life. The ones I feel sorry for is the ones who are just starting out on the path to higher education. Many of them do not yet realize how seriously they are being cheated. By the time they do it will be too late.

Not all schools are created equal and it truly is a buyer's beware world out there. Before you plunk down your money, do some research.


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Spinning Compass
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