The Dangers of Grade Inflation in Connecticut High Schools

By General Education Advice

“How could this student have had As in math prior to 11th grade?” A tutor on The Learning Consultants’ team noted as he worked with a student who had not mastered the fundamentals of basic algebra and now was getting crushed in Algebra II.

The mystery was easily solved. The student was “a good kid.”  She did her homework on time.  She paid attention in class.  Her parents were highly involved, contacting her teachers on a nearly weekly basis.  The student, herself, noted that she “talked her way into moving her Bs to As” by asking for extra credit and generally being a polite nudge.

The student now faced multiple challenges:

(1) Her higher level math classes required mastery of entry level classes

(2) Her PSAT scores revealed her math weaknesses

(3) Her initial plans to consider STEM (health care) were, in part, based on a false confidence that she could do well enough to both gain admission to pre-med programs and handle pre-med work (such as calculus and organic chemistry).

Covid has added to the educational challenges and it seems that most every student we work with has grades in the 90s and/or A/A- grades.   Feels good in the short term but the long term problems will reveal themselves soon enough.