Inflation of the New Generation
When I think about inflation, the first thoughts that come to my mind are historical ones. Times in history when the prices rose dramatically, and incomes either met the rising demand, or the economy took a drastic downturn as a result. I think of the stories my grandparents told of the Great Depression or of the ones I lived through in the 1980s as my father's job was cut and we ended up standing in a bread and cheese line.
Unfortunately, the type of inflation I am dealing with here and not is not economic. I am a teacher and my husband is an administrator, so we are not hurting for cash. We are responsible spenders, and we save our pennies, but more importantly, we live within our means. Still, there is an inflation which for me is even more stressing and more trying of our times. This inflation is leading me to make choices that will affect my standard of living and my family's welfare for the rest of our lives. More significant though, is the fact that this inflation is not only harming me. It is harming every student that passes through our school systems every day.
Grade inflation has become an epidemic in our schools. We see political cartoons and editorials about it every day, but no one has stood up and demanded that we step back to the high expectations we held just 10 years ago. It is sad, but so true.
In my state, students are awarded college money based on their GPA. This has only fueled the grade inflation fire. Now, teachers, principals, and even superintendents feel responsible for making sure students receive the money they will need to attend college. After all, we are in an unstable economy, and our kids will need all of the financial help they can get. How can we jeopardize that?
Well, let me tell you how. For every assignment we dumb down or every grade we inflate, we are cheating that student out of the KNOWLEDGE they need to be successful in college. More importantly, as we continue to lower the standards, we are decreasing our students' chances of being successful in LIFE!
In the end, we need to step back and take a look at what is more important. Do our students need the cash or the credit? If we continue on this path, we will end up with more unprepared college freshmen than the system can handle. Remedial 101.