“Why Colleges Shower Their students with A’s by Brent staples Brent Staples pres
“Why Colleges Shower Their students with A’s by Brent staples
Brent Staples presents a great deal of information in a very brief opinion piece. How well does the piece live up to the promise of its title—explaining the cause of the abundance of A’s? Explain.
Staples argues that the proliferation of A grades devalues a degree by demonstrating the lack of academic rigor of any college that grants so many A’s. How do you feel about the degree that you are working toward? If you had the choice of two colleges equal in all other ways, and one had a reputation for academic rigor and maintained high standards for grades, while the other had a mediocre academic reputation but was known for giving many high grades, which would you choose, and why?
Staples’s essay was published in the New York Times, which has a readership of millions. Is Staples really addressing all of those millions, or is his true intended audience a particular subset of those who read the Times? If so, who was he addressing—and how can you tell?
Staples mentions the proposal of Valen Johnson as a way of dealing with “counterfeit excellence” (11). Is he advocating Johnson’s proposal? opposing it? not taking a position one way or the other? How do you know?
Imagine that the administration of Ivy Tech is undertaking a major evaluation of the grading system, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the academic rigor of the institution. They have asked members of the academic community at all levels, including students, to present opinions and suggestions. Write two paragraphs in which you argue a position on grading policies, particularly with respect to grade inflation. Give a carefully reasoned argument backed up by evidence from your own experience.