Professor Removed for Though Grading

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker brings us this gem:

Grade inflation appears to have become policy at Louisiana State University, where Professor Dominique G. Homberger was removed from teaching an introductory biology course for giving tough grades. USA Today reports that the professor

… gives brief quizzes at the beginning of every class, to assure attendance and to make sure students are doing the reading. On her tests, she doesn’t use a curve, as she believes that students must achieve mastery of the subject matter, not just achieve more mastery than the worst students in the course. For multiple choice questions, she gives 10 possible answers, not the expected 4, as she doesn’t want students to get very far with guessing.

Kevin Carman, dean of the College of Basic Sciences, issued a statement, including:
“The class in question is an entry-level biology class for non-science majors, and, at mid-term, more than 90% of the students in Dr. Homberger’s class were failing or had dropped the class. The extreme nature of the grading raised a concern, and we felt it was important to take some action to ensure that our students receive a rigorous, but fair, education. Professor Homberger is not being penalized in any way; her salary has not been decreased nor has any aspect of her appointment been changed.”
Professor Homberger was using an ancient and honorable technique, shocking students into realizing how little they know, and how hard they will have to work if they want to become knowledgeable in a particular field. I am still grateful to my high school Latin teacher, Miss Williams, who taught me that grades had to be earned with hard work and endless memorization of verb conjugations. She was known as a holy terror, who whipped youngsters into shape. Whatever academic success I found later in life had something to do with Miss Williams giving me low grades on my first two Latin tests.

Read the whole thing here.


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