SPerez wrote:It doesn't do anything for the BigLaw folks who use ranks for OCI cut offs, etc., but it works out great for the bottom half of the class who get to still put a 3.0 on their resume.
Why wouldn't you want to do something that works out great for the bottom half of the class? Obviously there's a limit, you still want to be able to distinguish the top of the class, but a 2.7 seems unnecessarily low given the psychological boost a 3.0 has and the fact that a lot of jobs post a 3.0 requirement.
I understand the anti-grade inflation sentiment for undergraduate schools, where "learning for the sake of learning" and academic rigor are still things, but we're talking about professional schools where the goal is to get your students jobs. Why not do everything you can to make that happen?
I'm not saying schools should or shouldn't, merely that this tends to be the benefit. (Your comment about law school being a professional school is actually a long-standing debate among law school faculties (who exercise WAY more control over the direction and policies of law schools than their counterparts in other university departments/schools). Many would disagree that a law school's primary mission should be that of a professional school ("trade school" is the term many academic-focused people use) that exists just to get people jobs, preferring to see law schools as academic institutions that are sources of scholarship and that exist to teach students how to learn, reason, and write. Then, while a school will certainly help, it is up to the student to find their job. This feeling tends to be more prevalent as you go up the rankings. On the other end of the spectrum, most regional schools know and embrace their role as professional schools producing "practice-ready" grads, which is why they focus more on skills, writing, and the like.)
I guess my general slightly negative view on inflating grades is that I seem to still cling to an increasingly quaint notion that grades should be an indication of how well you did in your classes. (I'd even say how much you've learned, but as I recently learned during our main university's accrediting process, apparently grades are NOT a valid "assessment measure" for learning.
Who knew?) This also seems to fit into this larger trend reflected elsewhere in places like those studies that showed US students had the most self-confidence and belief that they were smart, yet had actual test scores at the bottom of the pack.
It seems entirely reasonable to me to have the middle of the class be a B-. But I guess since B's have been the new C's on college campuses for a long time, that has skewed people's perceptions a bit on what "average" is. This is something I put at the feet of law firms, too, though, for doing things like you mentioned (high GPA cutoffs for interviews). If it helps students I'm all for it, it just seems still weird to me, since aren't we basically saying that employers are too dumb/busy to notice or ask where a 3.0 ranks in the class so we're going to just give the bottom of the class all B's and hope no one asks questions?
It is an interesting question, if off-topic. As an employer, would you rather interview/hire the last person in the class at Yale (which you would never know since they don't have grades, who knows how many "Low Pass" folks they have) or a 3.0 at a school like Northwestern (where as much as 80% of the class could receive a B-/B/B+
or someone in the top 10% at IU-Bloomington?
Texas Tech Law