The Effects of Grade Inflation on Education

So what is Grade Inflation and what are the effects?

Article by Diane Shawe Author extracts from ‘Is Adult Education Broken’

Grade inflation is the tendency to award progressively higher academic grades for work that would have received lower grades in the past.

  • Grade inflation makes it more difficult to identify the best students, as more students are awarded the highest available grade.
  • Grade inflation is not uniform between schools. This places students in more stringently graded schools and departments at an unfair disadvantage.
  • Grade inflation is not uniform among disciplines.
  • Grade inflation makes it more difficult to compare students who took their exams at different times.

The effects of Compliance Professionals

The rise of the campus compliance professional as expert utilising the perfects means of
gaining media influence with their established position. Though the means of gaining influence
are common, their aims vary from political, economic, to personal. Thus the label of
compliance professional applies to diverse groups of people, including propagandists,
marketers, pollsters, salespeople and political advocates. It’s interesting to note that education is not really targeted

The effects of Grade Point Averages (GPA)

According to a study published in 2014, a one-point increase in high school GPA translated to
an 11.85-percent increase in annual earnings for men and a 13.77 percent annual earnings
increase for women. However, the higher percentage increase was not found to be enough
for women to catch up to men: women with a 4.0 high school GPA still made less, on average,
than men with a 2.5 GPA. We are now seeing evidence of this in unequal gender pay for the same job

College and post-college students often wonder how much weight their GPA carries in future
employment. The employer, company and industry play the largest factor in answering this question.

According to Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., senior vice president of human resources for IAC/Interactive Corp, a company with over 33,000 employees, an applicant’s GPA is the single best indicator of future success in job employment. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, since 2001 there has been an increase in employers looking at and making hiring decisions based on, a candidate’s GPA.

In addition, Job Outlook 2005 survey reported that 70 percent of employers looked at an applicant’s GPA, increasing to 75 percent in 2010. Those looking at and weighing in college GPA reported that their cut off was a GPA of 3.0 or lower (Morsch 2 CL 2007-2010)

GPA is not the only factor that determines future employment. Many employers look for other
pertinent characters such as leadership, teamwork, flexibility and attitude. They may also look at the reputation of the college attended and other work related experiences such as
internships. In a 2010 student survey for recruiters, 45 percent of the students who had
completed an internship had already received a job offer. Many of these jobs were within the
company that they interned for.

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Although GPA seems to be important in the hiring process, other variables may contribute to
the likelihood of getting hired. If a student’s GPA is below a 3.0 or what the employer is looking for, it is suggested to calculate your GPA for only the classes within your major for your resume.

The effects of Consumer Confusion

Confusion occurs when a consumer fails to correctly understand or interpret products and
services. (Turnbell 2002 -2003). This, in turn, leads to them making imperfect purchasing
decisions. This concept is important to marketeers because consumer confusion may result in reduced sales, reduced satisfaction with products and difficulty communicating effectively with the consumer. It is a widely studied and broad subject which is a part of Consumer behaviour and Decision making.

The effects of Choice overload, financial pressures

Choice overload (sometimes called over choice in the context of confusion) occurs when the
set of purchasing options becomes overwhelmingly large for a consumer. A good example is a wine in the UK where supermarkets may present over 1000 different products leaving the consumer with a difficult choice process. Whilst large assortments do have some positive
aspects (principally novelty and stimulation and optimal solutions) any assortment greater
than around 12-14 products leads to confusion and specifically transferring the ownership of
quality assurance to the consumer.

What this means in practice is reduced levels of satisfaction with purchases from large assortments as a consumer may be left with doubt that they have succeeded in finding the “best” product. Choice overload is growing with every large database of online free courses such as Moodle, University offering large choices of taster courses which can often be misinterpreted as real courses.

Taking it all in

By no stretch of the imagination have I scratched the surface of all the different methods of
reviewing standards, methodologies, global rankings and other factors that suggest the
system(s) is failing to adequately prepare students and adults who are still in our system and will be for another 30 years to adjust to rapidly changing technology.

How can educators,prepare individuals for entrance into the global marketplace?

This is done by reviewing potential hindrances and shortcomings, of which I am going to list in my opinion the most relevant ones so that educators around the world can better explore and devote their best and brightest to finding solutions to shape educational strategies with a proactive approach designed to improve overall outcomes for success.

Before I begin I quote a reference from Charles Darwin

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best
manage change.”

Throughout the ages, every human society has experienced challenges adjusting to population
growth, maintaining structural order and creating channels for future generations. How well a society prepares the next generation for survival is imperative for the society as a whole but we have stalled in this process because we seem to be accumulating a pool of adults (who were once the next generation) who appear to be helpless in this new found world of information and technology -The intangible and more important how to work with the tangible.

One critical element of preparation in the 21st century is the ability to engage all ages and
cultures beyond communal borders. At the centre of this struggle for growth and prosperity is education.

I will now explore some of the current educational strategies which are failing to prepare the current adult generation sufficiently enough to enter the global workforce and sustain their family, community and contribute to their countries economic prosperity.

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