Sometimes my posts just re-write themselves. This is me writing in May 2009:
Twenty years ago, a Stanford professor let me in on a little secret: In a Lake Woebegone-ish way, all the students at Stanford are above average. Truly. The faculty was not allowed to fail anyone, so much so that, if it looked as if a student was failing, up to and including the final exam, the student was just “dropped out” of the class. “A” grades were handed out like candy. After all, Stanford got some of the best students in America. You couldn’t let them, or their paying parents, down by giving them bad grades. The notion that it might be good for them to compete against others as smart as they were, so as to winnow out the best of the best, was anathema.
And this is the latest report on the grade scam in the Ivy Leagues:
Life is very, very good for the select few who gain entrance to Harvard University as undergraduates. Thanks to Harvey Mansfield, the very rarest of phenomena, an outspokenly conservative member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the world now knows that the average grade at Harvard College (the undergraduate portion of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences) is A minus.
Read the rest here, because Thomas Lifson has written a long, fact-filled, analytical post about the Ivy League (and comparable colleges) scam.