Transcript changes will not benefit anyone
To the Daily:
I am surprised both by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’s adoption of new transcript policies this week and the Daily’s support of them (Deflating academia, 12/08/2004).
Including median grades on transcripts can only foster bitter competition and aid no one. LSA and the University as a whole do not serve to separate the wheat from the chaff, but to educate all alike. By listing median grades, the college is imposing a universal curve. This policy will not encourage students to work together, as the Daily suggests, but actually drive them apart, as one’s classmate’s grade suddenly bears an impact on one’s own. This is unfair to students and professors alike, especially in smaller, upper-level courses where individual attention can allow every student to master difficult material. Rigorous upper-level courses with very intelligent students earning As and Bs may now look “easy” due to their high averages, when this is by no means the case. An A in any 300- or 400-level course should hold its value on its own, especially in light of the University’s reputation for excellent standards of education.
If this is not the case, a larger but still manageable problem looms for LSA, and it should be addressed in a different manner. As it will be under the new policy, LSA students coming to the University will be engaged only in a grade-grubbing game, rather than an individual learning process, which is contrary to LSA’s academic goals.