The high school class of ’16 had lots of A students: 47 percent graduated with an A average, reports Greg Toppo for USA Today. But while grades and graduation rates are rising, SAT scores are down.
Most high school graduates enroll in college, but only 56 percent of four-year college students complete a bachelor’s degree in six years, according to a Harvard study. Just 29 percent of students who start at two-year colleges earn a degree in three years.
From 1998 to 2016, the average grade point average (GPA) rose from 3.27 to 3.38, even as the average SAT score dropped, researchers found.
“The upward creep is most pronounced in schools with large numbers of white, wealthy students,” Toppo writes. “And its especially noticeable in private schools, where the rate of inflation was about three times higher than in public schools.”
That suggests teachers are under pressure to inflate grades to help students get into selective colleges.
Once in college, the A’s will keep on coming, reports Stuart Rojstaczer, founder of the GradeInflation.com. site. Half of all college grades given are A’s, he says. Two decades ago, the average college GPA was a 3.11.
“Absurdly low” graduation standards hurt poor kids the most, writes Jon Hebert of Students for Education Reform. “Expecting more of students in return for a high school diploma is a show of respect for the limitless potential of kids.”