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USA Today Report: Students’ Grades Up, SATs Down

A new study shows schools are handing out excellent grades to their students, but the students aren’t getting any smarter.

Using data from the College Board, USA Today published a new report that indicated that recent high school grade inflation does not reflect better student performance.

Over the past 18 years, the average percentage of students who scored an average of A on their report cards has risen from 38.9 percent to 47 percent. At the same time, students’ SAT scores fell 24 points over the same period:

Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen.

In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%.

That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A’s on report cards might be fool’s gold.

These revelations may explain the disparity between the increase in high school graduation rate and the decrease in the college enrollment rate.

Meanwhile, high school students who do end up attending college struggle to complete a degree, according to Reuters:

The “Pathways to Prosperity” study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011 shows that just 56 percent of college students complete four-year degrees within six years. Only 29 percent of those who start two-year degrees finish them within three years.

America’s students are struggling, but teachers’ habit of handing out As like candy hasn’t helped.