Paul L. Caron

Friday, June 6, 2014

Virginia Inadvertently Reveals Grades, Class Ranks of All Judicial Clerkship Applicants

Virginia LogoVirginia yesterday inadvertently emailed to 160 student in a judicial clerkship email discussion group a spreadsheet containing confidential information about 155 clerkship applicants, including GPAs and class ranks (Virginia does not otherwise reveal the class rank of its students).  The data show rampant grade inflation at Virginia:

Top 5%:    3.792
Top 10%:  3.717
Top 20%:  3.620
Top 25%:  3.595
Top 50%:  3.405

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I was impressed by the recent grade inflation - "[I]n the present practice Grades A and B are sometimes given too readily -- Grade A for work of no very high merit, and Grade B for work not far above mediocrity." (Whoops - that's from the Harvard Faculty Report of 1894.)

Posted by: Henry Schaffer | Jun 6, 2014 6:14:17 PM

Seems to me, that a 'C' is supposed to be 'average'.
Average is what 3.405 is here.
As Voice of Clams indicates, perhaps you can justify an average of 3.0 as all of your enrolled students are 'exceptional'. I guess the math is too hard for today's professors.

Posted by: Don C | Jun 6, 2014 5:00:26 PM

What's actually happening here is the vendor is selling a product with a new packaging noting "20% more" in the package. It's a lie. The customers will leave the brick and mortar store that is so blatant.

Posted by: SenatorMark4 | Jun 6, 2014 4:56:15 PM

My how times have changed. Back in the day (the 80's), UVA Law had and enforced a B mean. A's were rare. So were C's. A 3.4 GPA would have put you in the top 10% of the class. A 3.0, not a 3.4, would put you in the top 50% of the class. Looks like the B mean has been replaced by the A- mean. Big mistake for the Law School. The B mean worked like a charm.

Posted by: Vox Clams | Jun 6, 2014 4:10:31 PM

And I thought my law school inflated grades . . . .

Posted by: HTA | Jun 6, 2014 7:16:09 AM

I haven't found a good site for law school/grad school specific grade inflation, but has tracked undergrad grade inflation at about 250 colleges, in some case going back to the 1950's. Pretty interesting resource. Did you know that the top four undergrad grade inflators are Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Duke?

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Jun 6, 2014 6:51:11 AM