Commentary and Criticism about the National Education Association (NEA)
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I spent a previous blog post discussing Tim Walker's NEA Today article called "Beware of Hype Over Grade Inflation, Educators and Other Experts Warn."
That blog post was dedicated to grade competitiveness among students.
I am returning back to Walker's article because grade inflation was a topic of discussion at my faculty meeting yesterday. Our principle reminded us of the district policy that no student can receive a grade lower than 50 on any assignment - even if they fail to submit or actually cheat on it.
I happen to think that this is a silly policy (that's my G-rated term for the policy by the way) but don't want to go into my argument on that point right now.
I connect this policy with Walker's comments about grade inflation:
"Without calling into question that grade inflation exists at some level in high schools, many educators and other experts doubt grade inflation has been that widespread." My emphasis added.
If students can't get less than 50 on any assignment, isn't that a form of grade inflation?
This brought me back to a faculty meeting a couple of years ago where the principle brought out a chart which showed the increase in A's & B's (and corresponding decrease in F's and D's) over a period of time at our school.
She was actually puzzled about this and asked for a possible explanation - but no one had the guts to state the obvious.
It turns out that Tim Walker dealt with this very point in an NEA Today article from August 4, 2016 entitled "Teachers Divided Over Controversial 'No-Zero' Grading Policy."
So Mr. Walker, you probably should have re-read your 2016 article before you posted your newst one on October 10, 2017.
One source of "stealth" grade inflation could be the result of the "No-Zero" policy.