The New York Post is reporting on a lawsuit filed by an NYU prof who says he was fired for giving actor James Franco a "D."
At my daughter's school, top marks are exceedingly difficult to earn. The kids seem more or less fine with it. They understand that As are only given for mastery of the material. The parents? That might be another thing.
And I get it, I really do. The first time I saw my daughter's report card, I practically cried. And this is before she gets to letter grades, which begin next year in Kindergarten. I was somewhat prepared from an incident a few years ago. I was sitting next to one of our teachers while we manned the Lutherans for Life booth at a local conference. Now, this woman is brilliant. She has a degree in Russian from Bryn Mawr. She's fastidious in all she does. Including grading. Here she was with a red pen, a lot of ink getting on the papers. I asked her what grade she taught. First. First grade! I might have coughed or something in response. She explained that, according to the Classical model we follow, there's no grade inflation or pretending that things are better than they are.
The New York Times commented wrote about it this summer:
Most recently, about 43 percent of all letter grades given were A’s, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. The distribution of B’s has stayed relatively constant; the growing share of A’s instead comes at the expense of a shrinking share of C’s, D’s and F’s. In fact, only about 10 percent of grades awarded are D’s and F’s.
What's difficult, though, is to practice accurate grading in a world where most kids get As for showing up to class. And yet it's so important to teach kids the value of mastering their material. I'm glad we have that at our school, even if it is a bit of a punch to the gut when those report cards come home!