Analysis Of Grade Inflation

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“In 2007, two federal reports found that performance of U.S. high school students on the reading portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has declined between 1992 and 2005, even though students reported getting higher grades and taking harder classes” (Goodwin, 2011). One might conclude that this fallacy in data identifies a deeper issue in the classroom referred to as grade inflation. According to A Handbook of Education Law Terms, grade inflation is defined as, “the increase in score being awarded, with no increase to the standard being required of the student” (Garner, 1999). Studies suggests in the past rising grades represents an improvement in standards and academic rigor, however in today’s classroom this correlation does not always seem to be true. As trends in education change, so does the position on this topic. Through his writing style, appeal to his audience’s logos, and use of elaboration strategies Bryan Goodwin, author of “Grading Inflation: Killing with Kindness,” presents a strong argument against grade inflation in the classroom.
To begin with, Goodwin uses his writing style to present a strong argument against grade inflation. There are several elements that contribute to an author’s writing style such as word choice, sentence fluency, and voice. Goodwin uses each of these elements to present his thoughts on grade inflation. For example, Goodwin states, “Students and their parents should expect high school grades to at least serve as reliable benchmarks by which to measure student’s readiness for college” (Goodwin, 2011). In this example Goodwin demonstrates several elements of his writing style; his writing is very formal, which helps present a well articulated point of view. Goodwin...

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...ents a false sense of ability, thus setting them up from failure on standardized test and even post high school learning. These elaboration strategies not only prove the claim Goodwin is making in his argument, they also appeal to the reader’s ethos and pathos.
In conclusion, holistically Goodwin provides a very compelling argument regarding inflation through his writing style, appeal to his audience’s logos, and use of elaboration strategies. The author’s claim is that grade inflation gives students a false sense of their ability, and as a result they don’t perform well after high school. Using each of the elements, Goodwin presents an argument that proves this claim. However, Goodwin does not force the reader to agree with him, instead he presents a very intentional argument that allows the reader to take the information presented and form his/her own opinion.
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