Grade inflation: a growing myth

I can’t go a single mid-quarter grade report without my dad moaning about the state of grade inflation in schools. Although high schoolers may get higher grades than they used to, it is in my opinion that grade inflation does not exist.

Even though I do get A’s, it doesn’t mean that I do not work hard to get them. Studies have shown that high schoolers now spend more time on homework than they did twenty years ago. In fact 12 percent of 17-year-olds spend more than two hours a night on homework.

It can be easy to call the number of high achievers are Benilde-St. Margaret’s the product of grade inflation, when all but around 70 of the graduating seniors made the honor rolls. We have to remember, though, that we do go to a college preparatory school, and, as such, we have students who care much more about their grades, than say at a public school.

Many high schoolers now feel that excellent grades are necessary to get into colleges. Striving to get higher and higher GPAs can be caused by the drive to get into the most elite of colleges. Even my mother (who would hate to admit it) thinks that going to Northwestern would be far better than any state school. Some high schoolers even feel that if they don’t graduate with honors, they won’t get into college.

Also, to be noted, merit scholarships at colleges can be a factor for higher grades. Now that college tuition is increasing and becoming far more expensive, the ever elusive merit scholarship is much more important to students. To stand out and receive it, students need to push themselves to get the highest of grades.

High schoolers aren’t the only ones who push themselves to get better grades. Parents and the government also are putting a higher emphasis on grades. Also, organizations like the College Board advise that students study for one hour a night for each AP class they are taking. Many BSM seniors are taking three to four AP classes which means they should be studying for three to four hours a night. That’s not even including homework.

Although more high schoolers are getting higher GPAs now, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t deserved. This drive to higher grades, however, could become harmful in the future, if students begin to focus too much on studying and homework, and not enough on the vitals, like sleep.

Anna Wyatt, staff writer