Just read a good one in today’s paper, an opinion piece by Stamford resident Thomas Cribbin. Mr. Cribbin is a law student who questions the emphasis placed on a student’s grade point average.
The more I read and re-read his column, the more impressed I am. This is a great piece of work by Mr. Cribbin.
Here are some of the writer’s main points (in italics) followed by my commentary:
While grades are certainly important and their significance should not be diminished, they rarely tell the entire story. There are several qualities beyond one’s academic rank that can enable their path to success to be illuminated and sadly, many of these things cannot be categorized or computed. How do you calculate someone’s work ethic, their people skills or their enthusiasm?
Not by the current system, Mr. Cribbin. Inflated grades – called weighted grades by those who defend the practice – have eliminated the work ethic and enthusiasm you rightfully value.
Many students with average GPAs have the type of incalculable personality traits that can enable them to succeed down the road. One such characteristic of these students is people skills.
Those with “average GPAs” may also be the ones taking meaningful classes like Public Speaking, which inflate presentation skills as opposed to inflating grades.
Since things like work ethic, people skills, and enthusiasm can’t be valued with any type of numeric system, they are usually not given as much credence as something concrete and universally understood like a GPA.
I don’t think anyone could have articulated the case against weighted grades any better.