Got this email from a friend yesterday, the first quote is from Poshard's speech -
Anyone who read Poshard's comments knew that he clearly didn't understand what was happening or has chosen to hype a bad statistic. The thought that SIU's lowly qualified and under achieving students have earned a university wide 2.96 GPA is pretty silly. We all know that SIU's management has been driving GPA higher through management practices and promotion of professors and it is working. It is likely that by lowering the standards they are damming the institution for the long haul, but who cares? They will be retired before anyone figures it out."The institution's average GPA is an impressive 2.96 on a scale of 4.0, impressive particularly because SIUC is still largely considered an inclusive institution, not an exclusive one..."The teacher union backed NCTAF said the same thing in 1998:"Meanwhile, what has the commission to say about the academic competence of the work force? The NCTAF report is silent on this issue except for this remarkable assertion:
Talented recruits are entering schools of education in record numbers. Due to recent reforms, both standards and interest have been steadily rising. By 1991, graduates of teacher education programs had higher levels of academic achievement than most college graduates, reversing the trends of the early 1980's.
A reader encountering this statement would probably assume that it referred to scores on the ACT, the SAT, or other standardized achievement tests. In fact, the commission's evidence for this proposition consists solely of self-reported college grade-point averages obtained from a series of Department of Education surveys of recent college graduates. Because the average GPA of education majors is higher than engineers, the commission concludes that education majors have higher levels of academic achievement.
This is preposterous. The commission ignores differences in grading standards familiar to virtually everyone in higher education. The average grade awarded in the education courses taken by 1992-93 graduates was 3.41 on a four-point scale. By contrast, the average in social-science courses was 2.96. In science and engineering it fell to 2.67. Yet science and engineering majors have significantly higher college board scores than education majors."
I have written about this before, but I was hoping for better from Poshard. Giving away degrees isn't a method for building up SIU.
Your comments are always welcome.