Examining Grade Inflation
In 1959 when the Ontario Scholar program was introduced, there were only 4,117 Ontario scholar and bursary winners. After the provincial exit exams (the "departmentals") were abolished in the late sixties, the number of Ontario Scholars began a steady rise. In the 1992-93 year, there were fully 21,072 Ontario Scholars - almost 20% of all secondary school graduates. We can't find any current statistics, but it's a safe bet that the percentage is now closer to 40%.
The grade inflation in Ontario high schools has consequences for Ontario universities. This Ivory Tower Blues posting discusses the pressure on professors to give good marks and the resulting culture of entitlement and disengagement among students at Ontario post-secondary institutions. Standards are dropping and, on average, Ontario university students are learning ever less.
Grade inflation is just as destructive to institutions of learning as price inflation is to the economy. The Bank of Canada does a wonderful job of protecting us from price inflation. Perhaps we need to establish an Examination Board to protect us from grade inflation.