Date: Mar 1, 1995 10:08 AM
Subject: new study on grade inflation

Thought people might be interested in this.  I look forward to comments.

>From: (Hung-Hsi Wu)
>Date: Mon, 27 Feb 1995 12:19:42 -0800
>Subject: new study on grade inflation
>There is a new study by two economists from the University of California
>at San Diego on the correlation between the students' performance on
>standardized tests and the usual factors used to measure the quality
>of schools, such as spending per pupil, class size, etc. Apparently,
>no such significant correlation has been found in the literature. Instead,
>these authors found that the single most effective incentive for increased
>student effort, and hence performance, is a strict grading standard.
>"Students who attend schools with more lax grading standards learn less
>during the school year than do students at schools with more stringent grading
>standards, even after controlling for a wide variety of measures of family
>background and school resources." The results are especially significant
>in math and science.
>This study has particular relevance to the math reform, and is something
>that I think the current curriculum designers and people in NCTM ought
>to take note of.
>The authors are Julian R. Betts and Stefan Boedecker, and the paper in
>question is entitled "Does grade inflation reduce the incentive to
>learn?" The email of the first author is Preprints
>of this paper can be obtained by sending me or Betts an email.

Judy Roitman, Mathematics Department
Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66049