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A's on the rise in U.S. report cards, but SATs flounder

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,741 Senior Member
"The good news on America's report cards: More high school teachers are handing out A's. But the bad news is that students aren't necessarily learning more.

Recent findings show that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average — that includes an A-minus or A-plus — has grown sharply over the past generation, even as average SAT scores have fallen.

In 1998, it was 38.9%. By last year, it had grown to 47%.

That’s right: Nearly half of America’s Class of 2016 are A students. Meanwhile, their average SAT score fell from 1,026 to 1,002 on a 1,600-point scale — suggesting that those A's on report cards might be fool's gold." ...


Replies to: A's on the rise in U.S. report cards, but SATs flounder

  • excovererexcoverer Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    This may be weird to say, but in my school, the amount of As given are actually dropping. I wonder exactly what variables are causing the national average of As to increase yet the average of As in my school to decrease....

    Have a good day!
  • mstompermstomper Registered User Posts: 1,024 Senior Member
    I'd hate to see our kids' GPAs if A's weren't being handed out.:). Their SAT scores were both very strong. What does that mean for college success? S16, with a 1460, experienced a "failure to launch" his freshman year and is taking time to work and mull his options for the future. His brother, a rising senior, didn't score quite so well but doesn't have the problem with writing assignments his big brother has. The problem, by the way, is that he doesn't do them (he's getting help with that). My point is that those A's that kids are getting are probably an indication that these students are doing the work that's assigned.
  • abeg19abeg19 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Maybe this is only in my school, which is really small to be fair, but it seems to be relatively easy to do well (A minus, low As) but difficult to excel, so the GPA range isn't all that big, but the quality in testing does have a much bigger range, and even regular essay quality is shocking seeing the grades. Kinda sad.
  • APOLAPOL Registered User Posts: 1,781 Senior Member
    As a community volunteer who sits on a board reviewing scholarship applications, I have noticed the GPAs have not correlated to SAT scores. i wonder if the A's earned are reflective of that school's pool of students who are not necessarily the same caliber of A students at other schools. Ergo, the SATs can actually be helpful in determining the students ability to succeed. It makes me sad to think these students are being set up to fail because they are not getting the education they deserve. Its it the curriculum, the society, the individual, or combination thereof?
  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen Registered User Posts: 1,115 Senior Member
    I'd like to know if college admins track students' successes/"failures to launch" with respect to what high schools they came from. Even way back when I was in college, it was obvious that some kids were less prepared for college-level work than others, and now with high school grade inflation, it would follow that it's getting harder for adcoms to judge what it means to be a 4.0 applicant. The only obvious way I can think of to derive meaning from this would be tracking how well students do in their 4 years of college, and if they drop out after freshman or sophomore year. Then, once a statistically meaningful number have been tracked, adcoms could see which high schools hand out A's like candy. Once high school counselors get the message that their students' applications will be looked at through that lens, there might be some pressure on teachers to knock it off with the easy A's.
  • CTTCCTTC Registered User Posts: 2,205 Senior Member
    @APOL "As a community volunteer who sits on a board reviewing scholarship applications, I have noticed the GPAs have not correlated to SAT scores."

    Similar situation here, and I've noticed the same thing.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,860 Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    SATs are not going to move that much, they're scaled so the numbers are consistent year to year, so you wouldn't expect to see them increase or decrease all that much. When they do move it appears that they actually decrease. This is why in 1995 the college board changed the scaling so the average would be a 1000 from 900, they got some criticism that they showed US students looking worse relative to international students, so they adjusted upwards. I believe the new SATs may have similar average to the old 2400 (M & CR) but possibly more perfect or near-perfect scores.
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