The Culture of Low Standards and Significant Grade Inflation for America's College Education Majors
The grade distribution shown above for Indiana is not at all unique but found elsewhere including at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Miami University (in another paper by Koedel). In a larger sample of large public universities, Professor Koedel finds that the average course-level GPA for education departments is 3.66. I presented evidence recently of significant grade inflation for the education department at Cornell University compared to other departments.
Assuming that it can be documented that there's a nationwide culture of low academic standards and inflated grades for college students majoring in education, what does it mean?
Here's Professor's Koedel's conclusion:
"Low grading standards in university education departments are part of a larger culture of low standards for educators, and they precede the low evaluation standards by which teachers are judged in K–12 schools. The culture of low standards for educators is problematic because it creates a disconnect between teachers’ perceptions of acceptable performance and the perceptions of everyone else.
Society resists change, and resistance to change is particularly acute in education. But there is no rational reason for the low grading standards in education departments. Rather than asking why these grading standards should be changed, perhaps the more reasonable question is why they shouldn’t be changed. Put differently, if we were to start over with university education and could choose the grade distributions in each discipline, would we choose the currently observed discrepancy between education departments and all other academic departments?"