19 February 2009

'A' for effort, 'D' for execution

Tomorrow is my birthday, and the New York Times must have heard about it, because today they gave me this. I love the idea that students think they should be graded based on their effort. That's like saying you should always be happy with your haircut because your stylist tried really hard. There are so many other good analogies for this I can't count them all: your mechanic worked hard but your car isn't fixed - pay him the full rate. Your electrician worked really hard but your lights don't work. Pay him the full rate. Your doctor gave maximum effort but you died. Tough luck for you, he gets an 'A'!

Mmm... Let's dive in...

“I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” [Professor Marshall Grossman] said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.”

Sounds good so far. If you meet the minimum requirements you get an average grade.

A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that a third of students surveyed said that they expected B’s just for attending lectures, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the required reading.

What? Seriously? A "B" just for showing up?

Jason Greenwood, a senior dumbass / poor bastard whose remarks may have been taken out of context kinesiology major at the University of Maryland echoed that view.

“I think putting in a lot of effort should merit a high grade,” Mr. Greenwood said. “What else is there really than the effort that you put in?”

Well, besides the "effort", there's a little something I like to call "quality of work". That's all you can put in that you can legitimately measure, because effort is intangible. Do the work, and your work is evaluated, and that's your grade. If you work really hard hopefully your work is good enough. Sometimes it isn't. That's life. Unless you're Jason Greenwood, or some other similarly misguided dipshit.

“If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point?” he added. “If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, then they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher’s mind, then something is wrong.”

Yes, something is wrong. What's wrong is that YOUR WORK IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH YOU BRAINDEAD IMBECILE. Hard work does not deserve an A. Good work deserves an A. See my comment in the first paragraph re: what a moron you are haircuts.

Mmm... happy birthday to me. I mean it.

Image courtesy and copyright Monica Almeida / New York Times. Don't know if Monica meant for me to add the callouts. Might have taken some artistic license there. Just wanted to highlight UCI's ethnically diverse student body. God that place sucks. Not because of the student body, but because there's no bars you can walk to.

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