Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Sometimes, Joel, you've gotta say....what the fuck???

I got this letter today via Loyola's email system:

From: Law-1stYR-Student-Life
Date: Tuesday - September 16, 2003 4:53 PM
Subject: Proposal on Grades

A proposal has been made through the College of Arts & Sciences that Loyola implement a grading system that would include minus grades. The faculty asked that I write to ask your opinion of such a change, which is still in discussion in various parts of the University.

The immediate consequence of this change would be to add three more grading categories (A-, B-, C-) to our grade system and change the value of the grades of B+ and C+ prospectively. In other words, our current grades and their values are as follows:
A = 4.0
B+ = 3.5
B = 3.0
C+ = 2.5
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0

The proposed grading scale and the associated values would be:
A = 4.0
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.0
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0

I regret that I don't have details regarding the implementation of such a proposal, but I would appreciate your reaction to it as described above.

Best wishes.

James J. Faught
Associate Dean

My response:

Dean Faught,

How about we follow Harvard and Yale's lead and shitcan grades and rank altogether? Ok, so it's only Yale that doesn't issue grades, but neither of them rank students.

Personally, I'm against subdividing grades. The AICPA used to have no grade issued on the CPA exam between 69 and 75 (the lowest passing score). This was so that no one could complain that they'd "just missed" a passing grade by getting a 74. (They've since changed that policy, to their detriment, I think.)

What's next? A++? C--? Why did we go to plus grades anyway? To make those people who didn't get an A feel a little better because they got a B+? So what? Employers don't care if you got 31 B+s. They care about the numerical grade - whether you have a 3.54 or a 3.24.

How about this: we make all final exams worth 100 points. The sum of all Legal Writing papers in a given semester would be worth 100 points as well. At the end of the semester, you'd achieve a certain amount of the maximum points available. For example, if you had five classes, and got 100 points in each, you'd max out at 500 points. Class Rank (if you must) could be determined by multiplying the points earned by the hours for each class. Thus, a student earning 10 hours with a maximum score of 500 points would have a total of 5,000 point hours.

I vote NO on minus grades. Stop pandering to the whiny children who get their first "B" in college after having their high school teachers kiss their ass for four years. Life's rough. Deal with it, kids.


Greg Z

What's going on here? Minus grades? How far do we subdivide our grades?

"Gee, Mark, I see you got a C------- in Contracts. I'll have you know I got a C------ in that class. So let's see....you got a 2.008 to my 2.010. Man, I feel sorry for you. Looks like Dewey, Chetham and Howe won't be calling you!"

Ok law students. How does your school grade? What do you think of Dean Faught's proposal? And dare I point out that it's the ART students who want to split hairs here?

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