Posted by Joseph Knippenberg
This article on grade inflation at Harvard brings out all the apologists and reminds us of one persistent critic.
Webb aside, Mac Owens makes handles two important issues carelessly (as do most conservatives, when Reagan comes to mind): First, while Reagan did encouraged a "solid South" crackup politically, he did not do so ideologically. Yes, just as New Deal Democrats got lasting control (for forty years) of Congress in 1954, the GOP did the same on the heels of Reagan. But, secondly, when Owens states: "Meanwhile, the Democratic Party went into decline. Since FDR, the central idea of the Democrats has been that the government’s job is to adjudicate the distribution of resources among competing claimants," and implies that somehow the "the most significant political realignment in the United States since FDR and the New Deal" changed the ideological landscape.
It did not. The federal government "job" is not only still"to adjudicate the distribution of resources among competing claimants," it does so on a scale that, today, would make even FDR blush with a pitched fever.
One needs only to see the wreck that is the federal governments response in the aftermath of Katrina to understand how The People and politicians alike believe now more than ever in Big Nanny Government. And Reagan, bless his Cold War heart, changed that score not one iota.
Ergo, even a guy like Allen will, yes, spend taxpayers money on silliness to beat a guy like Webb. Its just the way it is, folks.
Oops, I meant to post my rant here. I have no idea how I got the wrong one, but, oh well, :)
Does anyone know if studies have been done on the correlation between the importance of student evaluations in tenure review and grade inflation? It strikes me that there is very little incentive for the professor to not inflate grades prior to tenure. The anonymity of sutdent evaluations, together with no effort to link evaluations with individual performance in class, may have left many professors at the mercy of their worst students.
That is a real problem that some Professors and TAs are starting to talk about. Why not correlate grades with comments- and still leave things anonymous?
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