Professor and Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora, Carl E. James, writes about a recent Toronto Star investigation into grade inflation and whether it's holding top students back and setting others up to fail. James analyzed top scholar media coverage, STEM study, and teacher-student relations to understand this upward trend.
Schools in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are “handing out higher marks than ever before.”
This is according to a recent Toronto Star investigation into grade inflation. It asked: “Is runaway grade inflation holding top students back and setting others up to fail?”
The Star found that data indicate “Grade 12 averages are on a steady slope upwards and the number of kids entering university with a 95+ average has exploded.”
This question had me recalling summer media reports about “top scholars” graduating from schools in the GTA with average grades of 100 per cent.
Understandably, what accounts for the upward trend in grade averages is difficult to determine, since there are many complicated and nuanced reasons.
Nevertheless, among the reasons the Star investigation identifies is “the popularity of STEM courses” to boost averages.
When I examined reporting about the “top scholars” who received grades of 100 per cent, they were mainly taking science courses.
I wonder about the effects such media narratives have on youth who tend not to see their stories celebrated as “top scholars.”
Read the full article authored by Carl E. James on The Conversation website.