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Grading on Campus: Is the Easy A Here to Stay?

Leaked data at Columbia University shows plenty of students are getting A's. Is it grade inflation, or is everyone really just that smart?


Remember the days when college students fantasized about being tech savvy enough to hack the campus computer system and change their GPA to a 4.0? For students at Columbia University, A's come easily—no hacking necessary. According to leaked stats obtained by the school's student paper, the Spectator, professors gave A's and A-pluses to 8 percent of undergrads. Is it grade inflation, or are Columbia's students really just that smart?

The Spectator obtained a spreadsheet with data on 482 students, including their class years, majors, and academic advisers, when a dean mistakenly emailed it to students. According to the data, economics, English, and history majors are more likely to rack up A's, as are seniors.

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Michelle Rhee Tells Chris Matthews Teachers Unions Are Out for Themselves

Michelle Rhee continues to claim that teachers unions only care about paychecks, not closing the achievement gap.

According to Michelle Rhee, teachers unions aren't the biggest problems in public education. They just can't be a part of the reform solution because their members—also known as teachers—don't put students first. Unions are merely a special interest group that's too busy thinking about increasing their paychecks and benefits to care about closing the achievement gap.

Rhee shared her views on the MSNBC political talk-fest Hardball with Chris Matthews on Wednesday night. Matthews asked the former D.C. public schools chancellor if the unions are, "for education or for the teachers?"

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Q&A: Diane Ravitch Skewers Every Education Reform Sacred Cow

In part two of a two-part conversation, Diane Ravitch upends many commonly held assumptions about education reform.

Education expert, author, and New York University professor Diane Ravitch believes that students are more than just their test scores. Her bestselling book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, positions Ravitch as one of the most outspoken critics of the recent wave of education reformers. Her current viewpoints are a sharp departure from the beliefs she held in the 1990s when she served as Assistant Secretary of Education under both President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. Ravitch shared with us her recipe for improving academic achievement in our nation's schools.

Please note: This is part two in a two-part series. Read the first installment here.

GOOD: What do you say to reformers who say that poverty doesn't matter and teachers should be able to get the same results regardless of a child's income?

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