Monday, May 15, 2017
My view is that there were other things going on at the same time that probably contribute to grade inflation. A requirement was put in place for a mandatory every-5-year tenure review for all faculty means everyone faces the "is your passign rate high enough" threat as junior faculty. (The same was not required for university profs who have been teaching one course a year with no research as they push 70.) Grade inflation is always a result of that job threat, and the effects can be masked if later courses are also under the same pressure.
There was also a major redesign of all intro-level classes along with the developmental changes. My unprofessional read is that the lowest college-level math class we have now could have been passed by your son in 7th grade. They knew that students would be entering those classes without even passing Intermediate Algebra, and designed them accordingly. Shugart could tell you a lot more about the changes they made in sequence and content at his college, so you can see if ours was typical or not.
Let's be honest: this is really the goal. The right-wingers cut the budget, the government (in this case, the public higher ed system) can't function, then the right-wingers can point at problems and bay about how public money is being misspent. Lather, rinse, repeat until public ed is gone, and the Republican dream of ensuring that only the rich can educate their children becomes a reality!
Although the rich can pretty much buy access to any of the nothing-special private colleges that have minimal if any admission standards, they cannot do the same for access to a flagship state university. Most are much more selective than they were back in my day, and ones subject to performance funding routinely reject thousands, even tens of thousands, of applicants. Quite a few children of VERY well-to-do parents lack the necessary SAT scores and have to go through an AA degree to get to watch football games at their parent's alma mater. Right now the parents think these changes are no big deal, but they are wrong.
For example, we may not have admission standards, but we do have a budget. If we can't afford to open one more section, that kid can't even get into a CC if they slack off and don't pay their fees on time and someone else gets that class.