KUBINEC | “Shadow Grades” Can Fix the Humanities’ Grade Inflation Problem

Grade inflation leads grades in many humanities courses at Cornell to not describe a student’s actual performance. At the same time, Cornell professors cannot change the societal forces leading to grade inflation. As a compromise, professors should institute shadow grading — where they give inflated grades for transcripts, but provide students with private “shadow” grades that measure quality more critically.

SPARACIO | The Second First Day

All I can do is stare at my reflection, boxed within two pairs of bisecting parallel lines and four right angles; nothing feels right, and I’m paralyzed once again by my rectangular composition. By now, we all know what it feels like to stare into the pixelated abyss that is Zoom. Even the word “Zoom” seems to trail off into the distance, attempting to bridge our distant worlds, but lengthening the divide instead. 

Zoom creates a world of its own filled with Zoom “norms.” The silent breakout room. The impossibility of eye contact. Turning the camera on.

YAO | Median Grades: Never the Whole Picture

As the economy descends into chaos, it’s time for Cornell to reconsider its grading policies. Namely, it’s time to reconsider the column of letters centered on every student transcript — each course’s median grades. Cornell publishes median grades on transcripts to protect against grade inflation and to represent each student’s performance in comparison to those of their peers. However, the University fails to acknowledge that, more often than not, these grades disadvantage students during graduate school admissions and job or internship searches. This semester, Cornell decided against compiling median grades.

S.A Votes Against Median Grades for Transfers

The Student Assembly passed a resolution — by a vote of 17 to 1 — yesterday that seeks to ensure that current transfer students will not be subjected to the University’s new policy of publishing median grades on transcripts.
Andrew Brokman ’11, S.A. Transfer Representative, had proposed Resolution 26, which “requests that the registrar clarify the Median Grade Policy, so that it is in conformity with the Faculty Senate Resolution.” It states that students who will graduate any date earlier than June 2012 should not have the median grades on their transcripts.