Carroll School Moves to Combat Grade Inflation

The Carroll School of Management (CSOM), seeking to understand whether grading standards varied among different professors teaching the same courses, compiled a report that ultimately demonstrated grade inflation within CSOM. The report—which Ronnie Sadka, CSOM’s senior associate dean for faculty, and Sam Graves, the chairman of the operations management department, led—will push professors to grade on the same standard across different sections of the same course.

Administrators in CSOM declined to give The Heights access to the report.

“We didn’t even know if we had a problem,” Sadka said. “They found that we did suffer from it.”

Sadka discussed the need for faculty members to be more consistent across different sections of a course, emphasizing that different professors have different grading standards and ways of allocating grades, the result being that different students may take the same course with different professors and put in the same amount of work, but receive different grades.

“Each department will have a mandate to tackle this—consistency is key,” Sadka said.

Furthermore, the report found that students receive grades in various courses that are higher than they likely deserve to get. Due to the findings of the report, professors will possibly hold students to stricter grading standards.

“It’s hard to demonstrate excellence and feel great when everyone’s getting an A,” Sadka said.

Professors in CSOM asked by The Heights had mixed opinions on grade inflation, with some arguing the current trend is concerning, like Edward Taylor, senior lecturer in the accounting department, while others disagree.

“In my classes grade inflation has not been a problem,” said Gerald Smith, associate professor of marketing. “I believe that CSOM is watching it and following it, but I’m not involved in those discussions.”

“I have not seen grade inflation in my financial and managerial accounting courses at all,” said Amy LaCombe, professor of the practice. “I think it would be interesting to look at the average GPA in CSOM and AP classes and SAT/ACT scores as there could be a correlation as it is much tougher to get into BC and thus the students are coming in with higher credentials and preparation.”

 

This article has been updated.

Featured Image by Taylor Perison / Heights Staff