Sunday 22 January 2017

Time to tackle grade inflation

Published 02/03/2010 | 05:00

EVIDENCE of "grade inflation" in our universities, institutes of technology and second-level schools has mounted over the last five years and more. In 2005, a study found that over the previous 10 years the proportion of 'firsts' awarded had risen by 7pc in the Leaving Certificate, by 17pc in the universities -- and by an extraordinary 52pc in the ITs. A time for action, surely? In fact, the time for action had arrived much earlier.

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Protests about "dumbing down", coming usually but not only from academics, were commonplace by the time of the study, and were often delivered hand-in-hand with complaints about teaching methods and a neglect of mathematics and science.

Ever since, grade inflation has been a constant theme in the discourse on education. But it has come up against a culture of denial, especially within the profession and the political system.

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