three blind mice wrote: "There is little room for the grade inflation seen in the humanities. Calculus is done correctly or is not."
Say someone knows that they aren't the best academically, they may well choose a science or engineering major because even with a low GPA they can find steady employment, whereas with a humanities major that might be more of a problem.
It appears that sometime in the 1950s to 1960s, the major purpose of grading at colleges and universities changed from an internal measure and motivator of student performance to a measure principally used for external evaluation of graduates.
Now, you can say all you want about "60's liberalism", and moan about declining standards, and all of that - but I went to college in the '70s, and heard from two different professors that - back during the days of conscription - they simply refused on principle to give out "F"s.
If the grading is done on a curve, grade inflation doesn't happen.
He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.
On two occasions I have been asked, – "Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?" In one case a member of the Upper, and in the other a member of the Lower House put this question. I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
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