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Community sounds off on grades

Students take issue with UV article about grade increase

Every year I realize more and more how hard everyone around me is working every day.  Marlborough girls do a lot of work and I think their grades reflect this. We earn the grades we receive; for the vast majority of our assessments there is a clear-cut right answer which, if we know, gives us the points.  If students study hard and learn the material, it is no surprise that they do well.

While competition has increased in recent years with so many people applying to college, the academic caliber of the student body has not changed all that much. The highest increase in average GPAs over the past ten years was seen in English grades, but even these only rose a quarter of a point.  To me, this is not cause for concern.  Marlborough girls in general are very conscientious and work hard for every A they receive.

High grades are certainly not just given away here; they are taken seriously and are difficult to earn. While I agree that too much emphasis is placed on grades, the fact remains that both inside and outside of Marlborough, grades have been given an immense amount of value and importance.

Grades haven’t risen, though minutely, as a result of increased significance of our report cards, not leniency of teachers.

–  Becky ’11

Come on, grade inflation? Really? The reason Mustangs are accepted into these incredible colleges, programs, and such isn’t because A’s are tossed out like candy from an identity theft speaker.

The article cited a teacher who has been here less than a year, and national quotes– not Marlborough quotes. Yes, there have been slight increases of GPA in different areas over the past few years, but the race for cum laude and college admissions has also become more intense as we are shipped off to look at colleges as mere sophomores.

I may not get straight As or anywhere close, but the ones I do get, I deserve. I believe I speak for the senior class as well when I say we have worked for the past six (or for myself and some others four) years and do not appreciate a full spread explaining that these As we’ve gotten were simply handed over.

The UV is supposed to be a voice of the students and not one student was cited on WHY there may have been a grade increase.

We should consider that the reason for higher grades is because girls might be working harder, putting in more effort, or working with tutors – the variables are endless.

–   Maddy ’10

Marlborough prides itself with having some of the most rigorous academics in the country.  So while we might be getting a B in this AP History, some girl in Middle America, with a supposedly less rigorous work load, is getting an A.  This drives our fear – what if a college prefers their transcript to ours?

We have no idea what their school is like, and we have no idea what challenges they face.  All we know is that we are terrified of their As.

Marlborough should stop worrying about these girls we don’t know and giving into the pressure of the college transcript.  We need to trust that institutions know we are a good school. We shouldn’t be boosting up our grades because of the competition of the nation – grades should be seen on a school-wide level, as a way we can improve.

A school should strive to create intellectuals, not college applicants. And if a school doesn’t accept us because of a piece of paper, then maybe they don’t deserve us.

–  Amanda ’11

I have a pretty strong opinion about this article, because I believe it’s wrong.

For starters, I don’t even think the increase in grades is notable enough to actually call it inflation. I don’t think that .33, .11 and .28 are increases enough to call this an issue.

There have also been so many technological innovations in the time period between 1995-2005, so information is easier to access, so that leaves more time to study and retain it. Websites like online dictionaries, and internet resources like JStor and others were not prominent 15 years ago, so it would only be natural that we increased greatly thereafter.

Taylor ’10

An A is a true achievement, especially at a school as rigorous as Marlborough. Girls go above and beyond to get an A in a class, even when sick and advised to stay home.  Achieving an A at Marlborough is no piece of cake.

Jasmin ’10