This is a good thing:
Tar Heels in search of the easy A, beware. Starting this fall, UNC-Chapel Hill transcripts will provide a little truth in grading.
From now on, transcripts for university graduates will contain a healthy dose of context.
Next to a student’s grade, the record will include the median grade of classmates, the percentile range and the number of students in the class section. Another new measure, alongside the grade point average, is the schedule point average. A snapshot average grade for a student’s mix of courses, the SPA is akin to a sports team’s strength of schedule.
The nuanced transcripts will provide more information for graduate schools and employers, who should be better able to judge the difference between good and excellent performance. An A- in psychology might not look so swell when the average grade in the class is an A. On the other hand, an A- in physics looks downright impressive if the class average is a C+.
The new contextual transcript is the university’s response to grade inflation – the long-term trend of rising grades that began in the 1960s and accelerated in the 1980s. ...
Andrew Perrin, a sociology professor at UNC-CH, said the [grade inflation] system provides a perverse incentive for students to seek courses not because of intellectual interests or career aspirations, but to pad their GPAs. Popular sites such as Rate My Professors include a measure of “easiness” for each faculty member.
Anything less than an A is unacceptable for some students.
“Elite universities, both elite state universities like ours or elite private universities, face a particular challenge, which is that everybody here is used to being the best,” Perrin said. “And in many cases, they’re used to complaining if they’re not the best.”
At elite regional comprehensive state universities or elite community colleges, professors face a particular challenge, which is that not everybody here is used to being the best and they don't complain if they're not the best. They especially don't complain if you explain to them that this is a college course and not everyone is going to get an A.