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Is Grade Inflation Affecting Your Child?

Grade Inflation

All parents take pride in their children’s academic achievements. A stellar report card can be a testament to their hard work and potential. But do grades mean what you think they mean? Grade Inflation is a growing concern in today’s educational landscape.

But what is grade inflation and what can parents do to ensure their child’s grades are an accurate representation of their child’s academic performance?

Understanding Grade Inflation 

Also sometimes known as grade creep, grade inflation is an issue impacting educational institutions across the country. Grade Inflation is a trend that gradually increases average grades over time, often without a corresponding improvement in students’ actual academic performance. 

In other words, better grades that don’t actually correspond to better academic achievement.

Provinces like Ontario have seen significant shifts in grade inflation, with historical systems giving way to a culture where high grades are increasingly common. In 2007, 90% of Ontario students earned a B average or higher.

Similar trends have been happening in Atlantic Canada and British Columbia. Discrepancies between teacher-assigned marks and provincial exam results highlight the challenge of maintaining consistent grading standards across different educational jurisdictions.

Impacts of Inflated Grades 

Grade inflation has several consequences for students, such as:

  • Devalued grades: Inflated grades can reduce the value of academic achievement, making it difficult to assess students’ actual abilities accurately.
  • Admission disparities: Students from provinces with high inflated grades may need help applying to universities in other regions with stricter grading standards.
  • Educational rigour: The loss of academic rigour from inflated grades can impact students’ preparedness for higher education.
  • Perception of performance: Inflated grades may create a false impression of students’ post-secondary education readiness.

Recognizing Effort

grade inflation

The real issue behind grade inflation lies with student motivation: if students are getting great grades for minimal effort, where is the incentive to put in any effort, develop perseverance, or try when things become challenging? Grade inflation works the same way that praising intelligence rather than praising effort does.

In studies about the value of praise, researchers noted that Instead of recognizing students for being naturally gifted, it’s better to focus on praising students for the effort they put in to reach their goals.

When students think they are born with a particular skill, they are less likely to put in additional effort. They practise less, study less, and try less. When students think they can achieve great results without putting in effort, it can erode their motivation.

Praising effort rather than skills or natural ability helps students of all ages learn that the work they apply leads to the results they want. Skills such as perseverance, dedication, and determination help students learn to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and move on from setbacks.

Dynamic Assessments for Academic Clarity

Oxford Learning students benefit from a comprehensive assessment called the dynamic assessment. The assessment unveils academic strengths and areas needing improvement. The dynamic assessment is a proprietary combination of licensed testing activities combining both academic and cognitive learning subtests. The dynamic assessment is designed to give insight into your child’s academic performance and how they think.

Throughout the assessment, we aim to provide parents with a clear understanding of their child’s academic abilities and potential areas for growth. Having this knowledge helps parents make informed decisions about their child’s education and support them effectively.

Crafting a Personalized Game Plan

Following the assessment, not only will our team at Oxford Learning sit down with you to review the results, but we will also develop a tailored strategy for your child’s academic development. This personalized game plan addresses any identified learning gaps and equips your child with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed academically.

How Oxford Learning Can Help

It’s important to realize that grade inflation is a prevalent issue that demands attention. Oxford Learning is committed to providing parents with the tools and insights to navigate this challenge effectively. 

Our comprehensive dynamic assessment and personalized strategies ensure that your child’s academic progress is grounded in genuine achievement and readiness for the future. 

Learn more about our offerings and schedule your child’s assessment at Oxford Learning today.

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