A is for average

“A” stands for “average” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s education school, concludes a Wisconsin Policy Research Institute report by Marc Eisen. Ninety-six percent of education students receive A grades; the average GPA is a near-perfect 3.92.

Grade inflation is common at ed schools, according to the National Council on Teacher Quality Bulletin.  Nationwide, the average GPA in 2006-2007 was 3.11, up from 2.93 15 years earlier.

At UW-Madison, education, art and women’s studies majors earn the highest grades. Math majors have the lowest average, 2.78, with only chemistry and economics majors also averaging less than a B.

About Joanne


  1. At Stanford, you got a B or you were required to redo all the work.

    Of course, the redo requirement was occasionally used to require someone to write a paper that fit the party line.

  2. I guess the really dumb kids major in math, and the Mensa members opt for women’s studies.

  3. Any ed types willing to defend this outcome?

  4. JND,

    Defending the outcome. Here goes. Ed courses are completely unnecessary and pointless in truth. They are merely ways to shake money out of people who need a “license” to teach. At least Ed schools pay people an “A” who don’t want to be in the class and are taking it involuntarily mainly and aren’t learning anything.

    Classes in other departments may not be desirable, but the “learning” is of some value. Not Ed.

  5. I once got a B in ed school from a wretched, dim history methods professor; I figured it probably had a bit to do with my contrarian stance in class. But I didn’t think much of it –a B is a decent grade, right? However when I told my classmates they were horrified –they acted as if I’d flunked the class. That was how I learned that ed school is afflicted by grade hyperinflation.

  6. tess d'ubervilles says:

    I am ed type, and no it is not defensible. That being said, today’s educators are more concerned about hurting people’s feelings then being honest and giving them a bad grade. As a result, there are a whole generation of young people out there that have inflated opinions of themselves – all based upon nothing but the b.s.. Education is the worst. Education classes are by far the poorest taught and the most boring. The current education trends are really dreadful, and have done nothing but create a whole generation of semi-literate, ego-centric, narcissistic spoiled brats that think they are entitled to an A. If you do not give them an A they argue with you, pester you, demand an explanation. What I’d like to say is, “You didn’t get an A because your paper sucks.”

  7. Ex-PhysicsTeacher says:

    Ed school professors always seemed to be groping for something to do. It’s like they were all killing time. The first class of the semester was almost always completely wasted on class introductions. Another almost completely wasted babbling about NCLB. Nothing in the least bit substantial, of course, just more hysterics about how all standardization is bad. One semester, an entire week, all five classes taken by our cohort, was wasted on NCLB. Then we’d discuss some newspaper article on education. Then came time to start doing class presentations and/or lesson plans, which we did for the remainder of the course

    Never have so many paid so much to so few for so little.

  8. “Ed school professors always seemed to be groping for something to do.”

    That’s because you can summarize a 4-year Ed School degree as a week-long conference containing 5 three-hour long PowerPoint presentations. “Ed School” should be no more than three classes, all of which you can take in a single semester. There should be no Bachelor’s, Master’s, or PhD Degrees in Education, period.

    Get a degree in your favorite subject to teach, and add a semester to the end of it for the education training. That’s how it should be.

  9. At least Ed schools pay people an “A” who don’t want to be in the class and are taking it involuntarily mainly and aren’t learning anything.

    That’s as good a reason as any. I agree that a credential is basically an agreement to pay X in order to get into the teaching gig.

    I got two or three Bs, but then I was the class radical.

  10. I got a Master’s in Secondary Education at the University of Colorado at Denver. I went back to school after a decade working in finance and banking, in order to switch careers.

    I’m happy to say that all my courses except one were rigorous useful courses, and a few of them I have found extremely valuable, especially Reading in the Content Area. Two or three courses I did not find very useful in the long run, but they were still rigorous courses with serious professors.

    I guess I was lucky to attend a really good school with dedicated professors.

  11. The reason is simple. Education does not have a wrong answer, only “Gee Golly, you tried hard. A.” or “Grades are based on attendance.” Science, engineering, math all have ideas with correct and incorrect answers. You can be wrong in these courses and you can get a low grade.