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Yale Professors Frustrated After Most Students Receive A Grades

Some professors at Yale University have voiced their concerns over the fact that an overwhelming majority of the university’s undergraduate students received A grades in their classes.

As Fox News reports, 78.97% of students received an A grade during the last academic year. As a result, professors and students alike began to fear that high grades at such an elite university no longer carry the same value that they once did.

“When we act as though virtually everything that gets turned in is some kind of A — where A is supposedly meaning ‘excellent work’ — we are simply being dishonest to our students,” said Shelly Kagan, a professor of philosophy.

“If Yale and other Ivy League institutions start getting these reputations for grade inflation, students who were already feeling pressured to get these high G.P.A.s will then feel that their work is sort of devalued,” said political science student Gustavo Toledo. “This obviously doesn’t help.”

The report on Yale’s grades was authored by economics professor Ray Fair, and was first reported on by the school’s student newspaper, the Yale Daily News. Professor Fair noted that grades first started rising during the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic, which took place in the academic year of 2020 to 2021. However, grades have continued rising even after the pandemic ended; in the 2022-2023 school year, the mean GPA rose to 3.70. By comparison, the mean GPA at Yale in the 2013-2014 school year was 3.60.

“Some thought [the COVID effect] would be temporary,” said Fair, “but it has more or less persisted. [It’s] probably the faculty going easier on students because COVID was a pain. The report simply documents the history of grading at Yale…It gives the ‘current state of grading’ and I think the numbers are straightforward to interpret.

The issue of “grade inflation” has been reported at other elite universities as well. In October, a report revealed a similar trend among undergraduate students at Harvard University, with 79% of grades during the 2020 to 2021 school year being A’s.

The artificial inflation of A grades at prominent universities has proven to be just one more side effect of the COVID pandemic on American education, which also includes a significant decline in the number of K-12 students reaching grade-level comprehension of basic subjects such as math and English. Such effects can be attributed to the failed efforts to implement “remote learning” during the early days of the pandemic, which then attempted to transition to “hybrid learning” combining remote learning with in-person attendance.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.