Dumbing down and grade inflation

Eric R. Pianka

Samian Quazi’s suggestion in his column titled, “Inflate grades in STEM programs,” that ran in The Daily Texan on Tuesday that professors should hand out higher grades in science classes is a request for deliberately dumbing down courses. Integrative biology professor David M. Hillis’ arguments in Thursday’s firing line against grade inflation are sound, but more needs to be said on this issue. Students do not seem to realize that they grade themselves. Every semester, some of my best pull out way in front whereas others lag far behind. The resulting gaps in student scores determine break points between letter grades.

If we educators don’t uphold academic standards, who will?