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grade inflation

noun, Education
the awarding of higher grades than students deserve either to maintain a school's academic reputation or as a result of diminished teacher expectations.
a rise in the average grade given to students.
Origin of grade inflation
1980-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for grade inflation
  • 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.
  • Much has been written about how grade inflation is a consequence of the student-as-customer approach.
  • The system also appears to have contributed to a general increase in grade inflation at the university, the scholars write.
  • They frown on professors who hold their students to high standards even as they pay lip service to concern over grade inflation.
  • What is the level of grade inflation and how does it affect both teaching and learning.
  • Over time, probably, and even in some cases immediate clusters of grade inflation.
  • The main difference wasn't with grade inflation as much as lack of failing.
British Dictionary definitions for grade inflation

grade inflation

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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for grade inflation

the practice of giving higher grades than deserved to make up for lowered educational expectations and standards, esp. to uphold a school's reputation


Grade inflation is perceived by some to be problematic for schools because it is seen as a dilution of standards.'s 21st Century Lexicon
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