Grade Reform, Law School Deans, Law Schools

Harsh Curve: Competing Thoughts From Florida International and Loyola – Los Angeles

Sharp Curve.JPGLast year, moving away from letter grades was all the rage. Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School both dumped letter grading.

But now grade reform has spread to schools that are tinkering with their curves. USC Law decided to give students an extra .1 — you know, ’cause it looks better. NYU Law also made things a little easier for their students, academic rigor be damned.

Last week, we received word that Loyola – Los Angeles is also contemplating changing its curve to make things a little easier for students trying to get jobs. A Loyola tipster reports:

LLS is trying to push a grade change referendum to change the median grade from a 2.7 (B-) to a 3.3 (B+). … [P]erhaps if you post something, … [it will result] in a lively discussion on the issue, and our school will see how it’s such a bad idea to do this since it punishes the small number of us that actually did well at this mediocre school by making grades meaningless and giving distinction to those who don’t deserve it.

Loyola Law Dean Victor Gold told Above that Law that any change in the curve is at the preliminary stage:

Our students have asked for changes to the median grade because other local schools have already increased their medians. Some students have suggested a change as great as moving from B- to B+. I have asked the faculty grading committee to look at the issue, but it has not yet made any proposal. If the committee makes a proposal, it will come to the entire faculty for a vote. Any change will have to carefully balance several factors. We want to give our students the strongest possible position in a difficult job market while at the same time maintaining a grading system that is both fair and honest.

Do better grades lead to better jobs, even if those grades are inflated? Perhaps. But students at Florida International University College of Law hope that is not the case.

Details and a reader poll after the jump.

When you go to a large or well-known law school, the curve probably doesn’t matter as much. Employers can compare your grades to others from your same school. Students from smaller schools need their grades to be objectively competitive.

But Florida International is not rolling over to the calls for easier grades. The school sent out a letter to prospective employers. It’s sticking to its curve:
Florida International Letter Curve.JPG
The top ten averages a 3.4? The top? That must be one hellacious curve or … people really need to hit the library.
Where do you stand? Grade inflation for all, or a filthy curve? Take our reader poll below.

Earlier: HLS Grade Reform: Splitting the Baby Was The Only Call
Stanford Law School Approves Grade Reform: Rejoice?
Grade Reform at USC Gould School Of Law: Here’s a Free .1
NYU Law Grade Reform: Another School Changes Horses Mid-Stream

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