On this episode of The Report Card, Nat Malkus speaks with Brooks Bowden about her recent paper The Unintended Consequences of Academic Leniency, co-authored by Viviana Rodriguez and Zach Weingarten. Nat and Brooks discuss how grading policies influence student effort and engagement, whether academic leniency helps low ability students, why North Carolina’s changes to its grading policies led to increased absenteeism, whether making grading policies stricter can ameliorate student achievement, whether increases in academic leniency in the wake of the pandemic are good for students, and more.

Brooks Bowden is an associate professor at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the Center for Benefit–Cost Studies of Education.

Show Notes:

The Unintended Consequences of Academic Leniency

Lenient Grading Won’t Help Struggling Students. Addressing Chronic Absenteeism Will.

Designing Field Experiments to Integrate Research on Costs

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