Dartmouth's Daily Blog
News, commentary, criticism and praise for the College on the Hill, enlivened with history, culture and travel when we feel so moved.
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The D summarized grade inflation at the College yesterday, a topic that was discussed at the faculty meeting in the afternoon:
Close to two thirds of Dartmouth classes have median grades of A- or higher.
Almost two years ago, Dartblog’s Brian Solomon looked at grade inflation in a five-part series. Among other aspects of the problem, he reviewed each academic department’s grading:
Now you know why they call them the “hard” sciences.
Addendum: Look at how tough grading is in Economics (fourth from the bottom). The fact that Dartmouth’s most popular department doesn’t give it away proves that some students still have a taste for work.
Addendum: A recent alum who knows how to do research has a comment:
I’ve been a reader of Dartblog since my senior year, and I check it every day to keep up with the “current state of things in Hanover”. Thanks for the valuable insight! You mentioned in the grade inflation piece that Economics is one of the most popular majors, despite being one of the most difficult out of the ~50 possible ones.
Guess which professors tend to win the most faculty awards (about ten are awarded each year)? Pretty clear pattern to me, though I only looked at 2010-2012. A disproportionately high number go to professors who teach in the “difficult” departments. Here’s a list of winning departments:
2012: Engineering, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Biological Sciences (x2), Spanish, Classical Studies, Native American Studies, Government
2011: History (x3), Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Spanish, Physics and Astronomy, Russian, English (x2), Psychology
2010: Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, Art History, African-American Studies, Education, Writing, Psychology, Chemistry, History, Government
These awards are determined by the Dean’s office, though. Do we have a metric to look at student opinion? Why, yes! The last ten faculty members who have won the Jerome Goldstein Award for Distinguished Teaching (voted on by the graduating class) teach in the following departments:
2013: David Lagomarsino, History (16th)
2012: Vicki May, Engineering (11th)
2011: Pamela Crossley, History (16th)
2010: Lucas Swaine, Government (8th)
2009: Andrew Garrod, Education (21st)
2008: John Rassias, French (37th)
2007: Annelise Orleck, History (16th)
2006: Edward Bradley, Classical Studies (10th)
2005: David Lagomarsino, History (again!) (16th)
2004: Kenneth Shewmaker, History (16th)
Is it a coincidence that nearly all of these are in the top third of department difficulty? I think not — but I didn’t account for relative numbers of students majoring in the subject. There sure are a lot of difficult courses being offered at Dartmouth. While we might be losing faith in the Dartmouth bureaucracy, we should not be losing faith in Dartmouth students. They didn’t come to the College to take easy classes; they came for a challenging education. I know I sure got one.
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…