Princeton proposes first step to halt grade inflation; will others follow?

From AP via the San Francisco Chronicle

College grades have been creeping steadily upward for 30 years, but Princeton University may try to break the trend by rationing the number of A’s that can be awarded. The proposal has academics wondering already about the possible impact at other schools.

In what would be the strongest measure to combat grade inflation by an elite university, Princeton faculty will vote later this month on a plan that would require each academic department to award an A-plus, A or A-minus for no more than 35 percent of its grades.

A’s have been awarded 46 percent of the time in recent years at Princeton, up from 31 percent in the mid-1970s. Since 1998, the New Jersey school has been encouraging its faculty to crack down, but marks have kept rising. Finally, Princeton administrators decided that the only solution would be to ration top grades.