23 June 2010


Loyola at Los Angeles. New York University. Georgetown. Tulane. These and other law schools in the US have something in common -- they are giving law students' grades an artificial boost across the board in order to make their students appear more competitive. Not only that, these law schools are making the undeserved and unearned jump in grades retroactive by as much as two years. It is only one of a number of measures which law schools use to improve students' chances of employment upon graduation.

The dumbing down of curricula and of requirements to graduate has been going on in primary and secondary schools for a long time. "More graduates with higher grades" means continued federal financial support. Why aren't more school districts (and now law schools) willing to rise to the true challenge -- raising standards for both students and teachers, instilling an expectation of creativity and excellence. Small wonder that students in the US lag further and further behind students from other countries in their understanding of math, science and language. We do our children a shameful disservice, with ripple effects into future generations.

When I look at the credentials of an attorney, or a physician, or any other profession, I have a clear preference for accuracy of information. I would rather hire the best-qualified person, not someone who graduated last in his/her class. Grade inflation only muddies the waters, making it more difficult to separate the true qualifications among individuals. It is a form of fraud.

Here's a link to a funny, and painfully true, video -- The BP Oil Spill Re-enacted by Cats in 1 Minute. It's too bad we can't replace corporate heads with the same alacrity with which we replace military commanders. (McChrystal is out, Petraeus is in as commanding general in Afghanistan. See yesterday's post for more.)

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