Politics and Grading

An interesting study on grading patterns – that differ markedly between Democratic and Republican professors (are there enough of them to get a statistically significant sample?). The most interesting thing is the racial disparity, but unfortunately there is no analysis of why – the differences are significant but not massive. For example, only 6.2% of the students of Republicans were given C- or lower (4% for the Democrats). There is some evidence of grade inflation there, for sure – only 6.2% of the students were below average?

It could be prejudice, to be sure. Or some other factors (while SAT scores were used to try to adjust for quality of students, it’s not clear how well that adjusts for all the factors relevant to success in college). Or more likely, some combination. Since I know many professors make some attempt to use objective measures even on subjective things (I use rubrics as much as I can even on essays), I wonder how that fits in. More questions than answers, I guess.

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