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From Wikipedia

Grade inflation

Grade inflation is the increase over time of academic grades, faster than any real increase in standards.

It is frequently discussed in relation to U.S.education, and to GCSEs and A levels in England and Wales. It is also an issue in Canada.


Grade inflation is the arbitrary assignment of higher grades for work that would have received lower grades in the past. The higher grades do not reflect a genuine improvement in student achievement. Only with systematic research can it be determined whether rising grades are a result of grade inflation or higher achievement.

The pressure to inflate grades, and thereby reduce standards, which is placed on teachers can come from parents, students, schools and politicians, and is evidence of underlying credential inflation.

This is especially true since, if other schools or teachers are inflating grades, any school or teacher that takes a "hold out" stance will place its students at a disadvantage. Some educators may feel pressured to give higher grades for fear of students complaining and receiving bad course evaluations, thereby diminishing their reputation resulting in denial of promotion or tenure, or causing them to face lower enrollment in their classes. Course evaluations produced by the students in a class are often used by committees to help them make decisions about awarding the teacher promotion and tenure. A teacher may improve evaluations by improving their teaching, but the strategy that comes most quickly to mind for achieving better evaluations is to give higher grades for assignments and exams. A comprehensive study by Valen Johnson shows a statistical correlation between high grades and high course evaluations [Grade Inflation: A Crisis in Education, Springer-Verlag, 2003]. In a separate analysis of grades at Pennsylvania State University, the onset of grade inflation in the 1980s corresponds with the onset of mandatory course evaluations.

Possible problems associated with grade inflation

  • Grade inflation makes it more difficult to identify the truly exceptional students, as more students come to get the highest possible grade.
  • Grade inflation is not uniform between schools. This places students in more stringently graded schools and departments at an inequitable disadvantage.
  • Grade inflation is not uniform among disciplines.

Princeton University took a rare stance against grade inflation in 2004, and publicly announced a policy designed to curb it. The policy states that A's should account for less than 35 percent of the grades for undergraduate courses and less than 55 percent of grades for junior and senior independent work. The standard by which the grading record of each department or program is evaluated is the percentage of A's given over the previous three years.

Arguments against taking action on grade inflation:

  • Higher grades at some schools may reflect better performance than others (although with no national standard, there can be no way to compare one school to another by grades).
  • Although grade inflation doesn't evenly distribute through departments, it is arguable, due to the subjective nature of grades, that interdepartmental grading practices were not even in the first place (e.g. how is one supposed to determine the English equivalent of an A's worth of work in Physics?)
  • Grade inflation may motivate less productive students to keep studying whereas countries with no grade inflation may discourage students from studying by demoralizing them.
  • The US system still allows for students to thrive by offering courses with honors options as well as awarding valedictorians. Many companies in the US also look at GPA while selecting candidates.

Similarly, if one believes the purpose of a school is to better oneself and gain an understanding of the subjects, then one might not care too much if people are getting better grades than before, regardless of the cause. Indeed, it could be construed as a positive development since it might lessen the negative effects that some say grades have (see Punished By RewardsbyAlfie Kohn).

Arguments against its existence:

  • Clifford Adelman, a senior research analyst for the U.S. Department of Education, reviewed student transcripts from more than 3,000 universities and reported that student grades have actually declined slightly over the last 20 years, in 1995.
  • A report issued by the National Center for Education Statistics surveyed all 16.5 million graduated from the year 1999-2000. The study concluded that 28.9% of graduated received mostly C's or lower, while only 14.5% received mostly A's. These results conform to grading based upon a normal distribution.

Grade Inflation in the United States

Grade Inflation at the Post Secondary Level

A recent study, , collects historical data from 80 schools, in some cases dating back to the 1920s, and conclude clear evidence of nationwide grade inflation over time, and regular differences between classes of schools and departments.

Main historical trends identified include:

  • a divergence in average grades between public and private institutions, starting in the 1950s;
  • a widespread sharp rise in grades from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s;
  • relatively little change in grades from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s;
  • a slow rise in grades from the mid-1980s to present.

The average at private schools is currently 3.3, while at public schools it is 3.0. This difference is partly but not entirely attributed to differences in quality of student body, as measured by standardized test scores or selectivity. After correcting for these factors, private schools grade on average .1 or .2 points higher than comparable public schools, depending on which measure is used.

There is significant variation in grading between different schools, and across disciplines. Between classes of schools, engineering schools grade lower by an average of .15 points, while public flagship schools grade somewhat higher. Across disciplines, science departments grade on average .4 points below humanities and .2 points below social sciences. While engineering schools grade lower on average, engineering departments grade comparably to social sciences departments, about .2 points above science departments. These differences between disciplines have been present for at least 40 years, and sparse earlier data suggests that they date back 70 years or more.

Until recently, the evidence for grade inflation in the US has been sparse, largely anecdotal, and sometimes even contradictory; firm data on this issue was not abundant, nor was it easily attainable or amenable for analysis. National surveys in the 1990s generally showed rising grades at American colleges and universities, but a survey of college transcripts by a senior research analyst in the From Yahoo Answers

Question:i need an essay on this topic for i have to attend a debate.

Answers:Advantages:- Students feel less stress with grading system. Some students work hard for whole the year but can't do better at the exam time grading system is very helpful for those students. Disadvantage:- Students that have gain position in the class they couldn't find the point to point difference as this system work approximate % age.


Answers:Disadvantage : Studying all day n night n doing well n other who is getting almost 8-9 % less mark will get the same grade. Advantage : I think there is no big difference between a student who is scoring 99 and other 90 and therefore it will help a student to perform in other areas also like sports, music etc.

Question:well i am 12 and in 7th grade all my friends are 13 and are turning 14 next year while i turn 13 they say i should be in the 6th grade not the 7th i haven't skipped any years and my birthday is in late august should i be in the 6th and what are the advantages and disadvantages of starting school early?

Answers:I was in your shoes in school. My birthday is late August, so when all my friends turned 13, I didn't turn 13 until the end of the next summer! It might not seem so great now, but later in life you will see that you have a head start on others. Try to remember that you're a teenager for only a small fraction of your entire life. Belief me, later and for the rest of your life, your older friends will start feeling jealous of you because they're turning 30, 40, 50 while your still younger.


Answers:I can't cite blanket statement advantages and disadvantages because every family is different. If an abusive family were homeschooling, that would have some distinct disadvantages that a good family wouldn't, right? For OUR family, here are some of the advantages: SOCIAL -more normal social environment: mixed ages, a variety of people (because we get out and do lots of stuff: homeschool activities, field trips, summer camps, swimming lessons, soccer, skating, more...) -the mixed ages provide better role models instead of 20+ other kids the same age being the role models -my kids are really with adults (not just in the same room as 1) more so get more guidance on their behaviour -my kids haven't adopted the highly materialistic and superficial (and even sex-related) attitudes that are creeping down lower and lower in the grades; just the other day, there were some gr. 6 (elementary school here) boys at this one public event talking about all the things they supposedly do to girls--my kids have the advantage of NOT learning about such things at an inappropriate age -my kids are less peer-dependent than I believe they would be if they were in school [Despite people saying homeschooled kids don't have a social life, my kids definitely do.] ACADEMIC -my kids get to have a personalized education, the type of education the highly educated of the past had--they can go their own pace, we can include their interests... The individual pacing is really good because it allows my 10yo dd to do more advanced work in some areas and allows my 7yo ds to not be pressured to go faster than he's ready for: he'll jump ahead when he's ready. FAMILY -my kids are great friends; sure, they have spats and they're "never going to play with each other again" and all that, but most of the time, they are great friends -my kids have a great relationship with me--they get to see me a whole lot more than they would if they were in school, which makes it easier to build a great relationship -I get to raise the kids instead of a different adult (and group of kids) each year -the dog doesn't have to be locked up in a crate all day long ;) OTHER -my kids lead a less stressful lifestyle than they would if they were in school -because their school time doesn't take nearly as long as it would in school, they have large blocks of uninterrupted time to figure out for themselves what they will do--this helps them know what their interests are and spend lots of time on them DISADVANTAGES -I really can't say that our family feels any disadvantages In response to some other responses so that you are not misled, homeschooled children can indeed get social contact with other children. Whether they get enough or not depends on the parents. Children do NOT need to grow up with what is essentially 20-30 siblings each day in order to have proper social development! I truly do NOT understand the comment about disciplining your kids. That's just basic parenting. Maybe the person who said it had parents whose skills were poor, or maybe the person is a parent who struggles with parenting, but that doesn't mean people who are willing to parent full-time shouldn't homeschool. I am truly baffled that somebody would think that kids should go to school in elementary so that they can say no to drugs. OMG!!!! Wouldn't it be better to NEVER be offered drugs? Or to be mature enough to say no? You do NOT have to be offered drugs and alcohol to learn to stay away from them. And actually, for many homeschooling families, homeschooling IS fun and games. You don't have to make it some torturous experience.

From Youtube

Russian school system :Russian school system is different from American . Preschool age 6, it's more Sunday school, there you learn how to write letters and to read. So when you go to the 1st class at the age of 7 you have to write and read. September 1 is a Knowledge day in Russia . All schools celebrate this day, so we have meeting at the front of school. We sing songs, give our teachers flowers and they congratulate 1 class as they say "First time to the first class. You are scared, you don't know anybody. You go the class and sit at the table and your school life begins. Teacher is very nice to you. One school year dived on 4 parts it's called quarters. So we have fall break. Winter and spring break 1 week, and of course summer break. Then you go to the second class , there you repeat what you learned at the first class. The classroom looks like his, 3 rows , 20 decks and there 2 people sitting at the one desk . Lessons begin at 8.30 and end at 2PM. We have 10 minutes breaks between lessons and a long break 30 min after 2 lesson .Usually we have 6 lessons in 1 day, each lesson is 40-45 minutes long, on Saturday sometimes it's 35. We have A,B,C,D,E classes. We have the same people from 5th class to 9th, for example I was at 5th A class, we had 30 people in our class and I was with them till my 11th grade. In American juniors, middle and high school 3 different types of school 3 different buildings. In Russia we have 1 building for all this school. 1,2, grade are located on the 1st floor, 3,4 ...