Letters to the Editor of The New York Times Magazine replying to Cohen on "The Art of Grading"

"A teacher's grading system, which precludes grades above 94, is not only unethical; it is probably illegal (The Ethicist, April 3). the notion that everyone "has room for improvement" as a justificiation for this policy reflects a psychological problem that has no place in the classroom. It is a power thing and nothing else. What would this teacher say if she were paid 6 percent less for her work because the school board claimed that she has room for improvement?" "Unfortunately, grades are important for college admissions. Keeping students involved int he arts curriculum is important to prevent arts education from being cut. Topping grades at 94 helps no one." "The Ethicist argues that "one feature of a good grading system is that those measured by it generally regard it as fair and reasonable." Given this standard, every student should get an A because anything less would be considered "unfair." This results in grade inflation.

William J. Rapaport (rapaport@cse.buffalo.edu)
file: artofgradingletter-20051025.html