Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gentleman's "C"

One of the concerns raised in the recent "Moving Dartmouth Forward" report concerned the excessive grade inflation that has infected Dartmouth and the rest of higher education. There is a call for stricter grading to counter the rash of "A" grades. Dartmouth students today would be appalled by the grades their peers received in 1925.

Amid some worry that certain departments and divisions were looser in their grading than others, in 1926 the Board of Trustees received reports on academic performance across campus. In the Fall term of 1925, only 8% of all grades were an "A," and only 23% a "B."  But 41% of all grades were a "C."  It was easiest to pull an "A" in Fine Arts (a whopping 19.3%) and hardest in the "Special Freshman Courses" (just 3%). 35.5% of all grades doled out in the Ancient Languages and Literatures departments were a "D"--and that department gave more failures than "A" grades.  Overall GPA in Fall of 1925? That would be 2.028... and just 1.847 for freshman. Gentlemen, you earned your "C."

To see the report, ask for DA-1, Box 1484, folder 87.

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