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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: December ::
(R) Re: Plagiarism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2856 (R)  Monday, 17 December 2001

[1]     From:   David Linton <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Dec 2001 12:48:58 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Dec 2001 15:10:33 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism

[3]     From:   Graham Hall <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Dec 2001 22:36:59 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism

[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Linton <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Dec 2001 12:48:58 -0500
Subject: 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism

Is there actually a substantial body of research to substantiate the
claim that grade inflation is endemic?  Or is this just another aspect
of the ongoing attack on academia, blaming once again the schools for
the ills of society?  And what is grade inflation anyway?  There's an
assumption in discussions on the topic that there actually exists some
set of agreed upon standards which, if applied responsibly, would result
in numbers or letters which would communicate to all who read them a
clear identification of the value or quality of the student's work.

I don't think such was ever the case, but talking about inflation
implies that once upon a time in the good old days grades really meant
something, men were men, and children respected their elders.

Once when the issue came up at my college in a faculty meeting I asked
that everyone who practiced grade inflation raise their hand.  Turned
out that all the inflaters must have been absent that day.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Dec 2001 15:10:33 -0500
Subject: 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism

Ed Taft correctly adds another factor to my catalog of social
considerations leading to "grade inflation": The instructor's need for
favorable student evaluations.  This is a very good reason to do away
with student evaluations.  I doubt that Ed contends that students should
receive high grades as a quid pro quo for giving the teacher high
grades.

Ed also says, in apparent justification for exaggerating students'
achievements, that

> Back
> in the 50s, you could graduate from Yale with a 75 average and
> immediately count on an old boy network that would set you up for life
> as an executive in a top company.  Grades weren't important because
> pedigree was.

I think grades were important to students who lacked pedigree.

In any case, it is indefensible to give a student an unearned grade
precisely because grades are important.  The more material a fact is,
the more culpable is the misrepresentation.  Not only do exaggerated
grades deceive potential employers and graduate schools (to the economic
disadvantage of all of us who have to pay the wasted costs and put up
with low quality performance), but it is grossly unfair to those
students whose intelligence and industry have actually earned high
grades, the value of which depreciates because they are so liberally
conferred.  Gresham's law applies to much more than currency.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Graham Hall <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Dec 2001 22:36:59 +0000
Subject: 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2842 Re: Plagiarism

"Private Eye", Issue 1043, 14-27 Dec, (a UK satirical publication) has
an article on "academic rescue" run by an ex-lecturer from a British
University. In essence, you can have your PhD written for you asap at


 

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