College students are inflating their own grades, while deflating their credits, by dropping classes to avoid a mediocre grade. Irascible Professor’s guest commentator, Tina Blue, who teaches at the University of Kansas, lost most of her C students and some of the B students.
The thing is, I know that many of the students who dropped my course were actually enjoying it. But as I was told by one girl I ran into a couple of weeks after she dropped the class, a lot of them just don’t feel they can risk getting a “bad” grade — and in today’s academic environment, a C is definitely a bad grade, In fact, a B might even be low enough to seriously damage their records, cost them their scholarships, or hurt their chances of getting into their preferred major or into the graduate program of their choice.
I think this puts an intolerable burden on our shoulders. We should be able to grade our students fairly, without worrying that giving out anything less than A’s will destroy some kid’s life.
Most colleges now let students drop a class at any time for any reason. It’s one reason that so many students take five, six or seven years to complete a four-year degree.