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Top colleges give easy grades to avoid ‘whining’ from parents: professor

Top colleges hand out A’s in class to avoid “whining” and “incessant emails” from irate parents, according to a professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

Yale University and Harvard University are just two elite universities that are part of this trend.

Data scientist Liberty Vittert wrote in The Hill recently:

Professors hand out A’s right and left. This is not because it gives their students a leg up in the job market or because our bosses at big universities require it, but because it is just so much safer.

When you give out a bad grade, you get the incessant emails and whining about why Joey’s grade should have been higher. But that’s just the beginning, not the end of Joey’s B. Joey’s parents then demand long explanations for his B, other than simply Joey’s failure to put on an A-level performance.

Vittert said professors can expect to be called a “racist,” “homophobic,” or “antisemitic” for not giving high grades. The data scientist experienced the latter herself until she informed the parent that she is, in fact, Jewish.

Another tactic is to accuse professors of not caring about a student’s mental health. The administration will not back a professor, either.

Vittert wrote:

Just pick your poison, and this new generation of students will accuse you of it. Worst of all, the administrators at these universities are so afraid of their own student body that they will throw the professors to the wolves — that is, straight to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) dean — if there is so much as a whiff of an accusation.

Being a tough or even a fair grader just isn’t worth the hassle or risk anymore, and the students know this.

From there, the cycle only gets worse. Once kids know that professors will cave, they double down. It’s not just B-plus work for an A grade, but now students who barely know the material demand A’s — and get them.

Referencing the Yale grade inflation study, Vittert said this is not a new problem. While in pre-med at MIT, students would take organic chemistry at Harvard. Though organic chemistry is normally a difficult class, it was a “guaranteed A” if taken at Harvard.

“Suddenly, your MIT-educated doctor doesn’t look so smart, does he?

Read the full essay

MORE: Professor dismissed for easy grading speaks out

IMAGE: Liberty Vittert/X

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