Grade inflation: A's are up, but SAT scores are down
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
More kids are getting straight A's than ever before, but many say today's A is yesterday's C.
To understand how rampant grade inflation has become you simply only need to look at the average GPA for incoming freshman at Florida Universities.
It's 4.3 at the University of Florida and 3.95 for Florida State University.
According to a new study by the College Board and University of Georgia, 47 percent of students now have an 'A' average. 20 years ago, just 38.9 percent received top marks.
"It's giving students a false sense of accomplishment," said Jason Robinovitz.
He's the CFO of Score at the Top Learning Center.
It's a charter school that offers college prep courses.
Robinovitz said many students don't deserve those A’s, and their college entrance exams prove it.
SAT scores plummeted.
The average SAT score today is 1002 out of 1600.
20 years ago, the scores were nearly 20 points higher.
That's such a great difference that Robinovitz said a student today would have a hard time doing the course work that was taught in the 80s or 90s.
The study also found grade inflation is a bigger problem in schools with large numbers of white, wealthy students.
Grades at private schools are also three times higher than public schools.
Robinovitz said teachers feel pressure from parents and from their bosses to hand out good grades.
He said, "In American culture, we've gotten to a place where we want everything to be special and to make everyone feel good about everything."
Judi Robinovitz is Jason's mother, and she literally wrote the first book on how to prep the for the SATs.
She believes tests like the Florida Standards Assessment is hurting our kids.
She said most teachers focus on FSA prep and not what's essential for college entrance exams, "I am totally, totally opposed to the FSA and teaching to the FSA because students are not being taught to think critically."
Since state funding and even a teacher's job security can ride on good scores, both Judi and Jason Robinovitz said principals are unlikely to reign in the amount of time spent teaching to the FSA and the abundance of A's being handed out.
CBS 12 Investigates asked the Palm Beach County School District to respond to the increase of A's and the decrease of college entrance exams scores.
But, superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa decided not to make a comment.
SAT scores are projected to fall again for this school year while GPA's continue to go up.