The Corner


A State Demands Grade Inflation

You might suppose that most politicians would be against grade inflation in college, or at least indifferent to it. But in Georgia, a bill recently sailed through the legislature and was signed by Governor Deal that adds half a point to the grades of students who earn B, C, or D grades in STEM courses. Why, you ask?

As retired English profesor Rick Diguette, who taught in the state for many years, explains in today’s Martin Center article, it’s because state politicians are convinced that America needs more students with STEM credentials. They want to add those half points to grades so that fewer of them in Georgia will lose eligibility for their HOPE scholarships. It seems that parents are griping that Johnny or Suzy lost eligibility (which requires at least a 3.0) because they didn’t do well in one or more of the math, science, technology, or engineering courses they took, so the government is moving the goalposts to help them.

As Diguette points out, the idea that we have a shortage of STEM grads is highly debatable if not clearly false, but even if we did, does it make sense to keep students who don’t do especially well in these classes in STEM majors by this legerdemain?

One more bit of evidence that the government should get out of higher education.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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