Monday, September 26, 2011

Reader Response #2: The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation

Alfie Kohn makes a strong argument about grade inflation in her essay, “The Dangerous Myth of Grade Inflation.” Kohn demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the topic under discussion for she addresses the other side of argument, proves her claims with qualitative and quantitative statistic evidences, and clearly explains the role of grades in the higher education system. Kohn begins her essays with the quotations of the opposing sides and promptly responds that the other side’s claim is weak for it is based upon insufficient and unreliable source; she reveals that questionnaires fails to prove the existence of grade inflation because it is conducted from a small sample of unreliable representatives, who might not possibly takes their time to answer and return the survey (RR 62). Moreover, she asserts that students’ transcripts are the most accurate to assesses if there is grade inflation, but statistics shows that there is no significant increase.

Throughout her responses to the opposing sides, Kohn uses many specific statistic data as evidences to support her claims and to weaken the claims of the opposing sides. Such use of logical appeals, mostly through large statistic data that reflects the higher education population, helps open her discussion to all the people within higher education, instead of a single university, and win their approvals. Beside the use of statistic data to capture the attention of larger audiences, in paragraph 7 of her essay, Kohn also proposes explanations to why grades are higher now than in the past and why people “spent so many years trying to make good students look bad” (RR 63). Such projected assumptions make readers to questions the motive of the opposing side’s argument.

Kohn displays in-depth analysis of grade inflation not only in her assessment of the opposing side claims, but also in her discussion of the roles of grades in learning, especially in higher education. This discussion opens another perspective for readers to critically think about grade inflation; it also establishes a good impression in their minds that Kohn is a person who is concern with how students can have qualitative education instead of grades. Overall, Kohn argument is valid and sound because her assessment of the opposing side argument with many statistic data and facts establishes her as a fair, creditable, and knowledgeable person.

No comments:

Post a Comment