« on: July 04, 2008, 05:32:28 PM »
I've seen several posts that have complained about the fact that law schools grade on a strict curve. Here's a cut-n-paste of one such criticism (with identifying info removed)
"Curve - The curve at (X) was similar to that of (Y). Unfortunately, the difference between a B+ and C+ was usually only a handful of arbitrary points. I found it was often the case that I would get every issue, but still get a B on the exam because everyone else also got every issue. Curves are worthless because they punish a class of very smart people, or reward a dumbass who happens to have stupider classmates. People should get grades based on what they accomplished or demonstrated, not what other people did. If the class had a bunch of lazy slackers who learned nothing, they should all get F's. D level work should not get an A just because of a curve."
Personally, I think that the curves that law schools use serve a valid purpose and I think that criticism like this aren't particularly valid. I'd imagine that few schools have classes full of 'lazy slackers' where a curve would "reward a dumbass who happens to have stupider classmates". Has anyone actually had a class filled with stupid classmates? From what I've seen in my first year, many of my classmates were just as determined once they got to school as they were to get in in the first place and all had comparable academic qualifications to my own. Further, without a strictly enforced grading guideline or mandatory curve, grades become far more subjective and schools quickly become subject to grade inflation, which ultimately devalues what it means to get an A. When everyone gets a top mark, is it really that much of an accomplishment? It would be the norm... and therefore not the exceptional performance that a top mark should denote.
Just bringing it up for discussion...