grade inflation

noun Education.
1.
the awarding of higher grades than students deserve either to maintain a school's academic reputation or as a result of diminished teacher expectations.
2.
a rise in the average grade given to students.

Origin:
1980–85

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World English Dictionary
grade inflation
 
n
an apparently continual increase in numbers of students attaining high examination grades, or the practice of awarding grades in this way

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  grade inflation
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  the practice of giving higher grades than deserved to make up for lowered educational expectations and standards, esp. to uphold a school's reputation
Example:  Grade inflation is perceived by some to be problematic for schools because it is seen as a dilution of standards.
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Example sentences
Even allowing for grade inflation, his effort to hold himself accountable is
  commendable.
The review follows a year of introspection amid disclosures of rampant grade
  inflation.
For years, professors and administrators have complained about grade inflation
  in the nonprofit sector and sought to remedy it.
Often professors will honor those requests to change grades, which leads to
  grade inflation.
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