Although Oren Cass ’05 makes this point in the context of a discussion of tips, I think that it is important independent of that debate.

Stop giving out As. I have little sympathy for a faculty complaining about rushed-through papers when they award those papers good grades. The GPA of a Williams student has been steadily rising. Either the work we’re doing is still OK, or faculty are giving out good grades for bad work. Stop doing that. The worst that will happen is people unserious about working hard will not take your class (which is what Professor Crane wants, isn’t it?).

If the rise of tutorials and the housing lottery are two of the most important changes for the best at Williams over the last 20 years, then surely grade inflation has been one of worst influences. I think that the situation may have actually gotten better, or at least stabilized, in the last few years. Much of the thanks for this goes, I hear, to the unsung work of College Registrar Charles Toomajian, forcing faculty to confront the problem.

But, from Cass’s comment, a lot more should be done. I can understand why an untenured member of the faculty might hesitate to center her grading curve around a B. I have never heard a good justification for senior faculty refusing to do so.

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