November 30, 2005
What does an A mean? How many A's should we give? Grade inflation, or the perception of grade inflation, arouses passionate debate in higher education. Here at Clark, recent data supports the notion of an upward trend in grades. Some high-profile institutions have adopted policies to ration A's. Yet, if we embrace the "Learning Paradigm" philosophy of Barr and Tagg (1995, http://critical.tamucc.edu/~blalock/readings/tch2learn.htm), we may view the bestowing of a large proportion of (honestly earned) A's as being a measure of institutional educational success. The purpose of this lunch was for faculty to join their colleagues for a discussion of grading issues. Reading the Barr and Tagg article in advance of the discussion was encouraged to stimulate thinking.