Monday, January 31, 2005
Princeton's new expectations posit a common grading standard for every academic department and program, under which A's (A , A, A-) shall account for less than 35 percent of the grades given in undergraduate courses and less than 55 percent of the grades given in junior and senior independent work. These percentages are consistent with historical grading patterns at Princeton for the two decades between the early 1970s and the early 1990s. For departments that have maintained these patterns over the last decade, the new policy will affirm established practice. For other departments, the new policy will mark a significant break with recent practice. Overall, implementing the new expectations across the University will, at least at present, set Princeton's grade distribution well apart from those of its closest peers.
[Thanks to Scott C. for the link. -Cb]
Saturday, January 29, 2005
[Princeton] University policy to combat grade inflation takes effect.At Tulane our policy (AFAIK) has always been to give the grade earned. There are, of course, some facutly who curve, but this is usually the case when the entire class has done poorly on an exam. Princeton is trying to deal with the fact significant percentages of their classes do not get any grade below an A. One report I read stated that at Harvard over 50% of their students received A's and 92% of their seniors graduated with Honors. I don't think their solution would be mine, but I can't say that I have one. I can tell you that in my classes you get the grade that you earn.
With Princeton University's exam period ending last week and the spring term starting Monday, the impacts of the university's new institution-wide policy to combat grade inflation soon will be felt.
The new grading policy first went into effect this fall. It establishes a common grading standard for every academic department and program at Princeton.
Under the new standard, A's shall account for less than 35 percent of grades given in undergraduate courses, and less than 55 percent of grades given in junior and senior independent work.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Meanwhile, the two sides continue battling. Proponents of nondiscrimination policies, including college administrators and gay-rights advocates, say Christian student groups that flout the rules should forfeit the subsidies that officially recognized groups receive.I know that at least one regular reader of this blog has dealt with this on Tulane's campus. What do Tulanians think about this issue?
However, the groups and their supporters say there is a higher principle at stake. Requiring a Christian-student association to admit non-Christians or gay people, "would be like requiring a vegetarian group to admit meat eaters," asserts Jordan Lorence, a senior lawyer at the Alliance Defense Fund, which is based in Scottsdale, Ariz. "It would be like forcing the College Democrats to accept Republicans."
The Institute for International Public Policy (IIPP) is seeking applicants for the eighth class of the IIPP Fellowship Program. Completed applications must be received by March 15, 2005 for the class that will begin in the summer of 2005.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
* Sophomore student, enrolled full-time at a four-year institution
* U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
* Minimum 3.2 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale)
* Strong interest in a career in international service
* Underrepresented minority: African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Asian American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
I've learned by reading Siris that the title of this blog is a mondegreen. Don't know what a mondegreen is? The term dates from 1954, when writer Sylvia Wright revealed that she thought the words to a folk song were
They hae slain the Earl of Murray,
And Lady Mondegreen.
In fact, after slaying the poor Earl, they "laid him on the green."
My favorite example he provides from modern Hebrew is:
Danny Frese mentions the case of a friend who wondered what mastomeret in Modern Hebrew meant — ironic, since the misheard phrase was mah zot omeret, "what does it mean"?
Round Table Today!
Round Table: Wednesday Jan. 26, 3:30 in Butler Lounge
Dr. Brent McKee, Prof. of Earth and Environmental Sciences - "To what extent should humans interfere with natural environmental processes, even if those processes lead to outcomes that we don't like, such as coastal erosion or the extinction of species?" Or "Where do those Christmas trees go?"
Monday, January 24, 2005
Oh, one more: "efforting." This is, I believe a new show-biz phenomenon. I primarily hear it when listening to ESPN Radio. Dan Patrick: "Showkiller, did you get Steinbrenner on the phone yet?" Phil the Showkiller: "Not yet. I am efforting to get him." Like nails on a chalkboard.
UPDATE: Once again Dilbert contributes to our discussion.
UPDATE #2: Ed Cook, a far better linguist than I will ever be, has commented on my rant at his blog.
Friday, January 21, 2005
We have a similar program and had students read The Color of Water last summer. It also dealt with racial tensions and was our most sucessful choice to date (the program is 3 years old at Tulane). We are in the final stages of selecting a book for this summer. This is my first time helping with the selection and I have been surprised with how dificult a decision this is.
So - Do you have any suggestions of a work that will engage in-coming students' minds over the summer without being overly burdensome; create stimulating conversations for our session during orientation and contribute to their preparation for academic life at Tulane?
Chapel Hill Picks Book on Race Relations for Summer Reading Assignment
By ERIC HOOVER
"The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will ask incoming freshmen and transfer students this summer to read a book about racial conflict in the South during the civil-rights era.
This year's selection, Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story (Crown Publishers, 2004), was written by Timothy B. Tyson, a professor of African-American studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In the book, Mr. Tyson, who is white, describes the aftermath of the 1970 murder of a young black man in the author's hometown, Oxford, N.C.
In a written statement, the university's Summer Reading Program Book Selection Committee said it hoped the book would 'inspire readers to confront the fears and emotions that often attend discussions of race and to engage in a secure and energizing dialogue informed by historical clarity.'"
Thursday, January 20, 2005
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Tonight was our first round table and in response to an email announcment a student understandably complained that the time conflicted with labs for many students. He offered some very good suggestions, different days, different times, a lecture series, etc.
So I ask you, dear readers, what are your suggestions? What topics would you like to see? When/where/food?!
Did Harvard President say, "women lack the ability to succeed at the highest levels of math and science"?
A student tipped me off to this story. I will only note that my recollection is that in the last three years most of the highest research awards in sciences at Tulane were won by women.
The New York Times requires a free registration. Well worth it, IMHO.
[Correction - Evan rightly pointed out, well not directly, but he pointed it out nonetheless, that Summers insists he did NOT say the above. Sorry for the confusion.]
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
So, without any further ado, two random quotes that have the word "honor" in them:
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
"It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them."
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
Let the conversation begin!
Christian M M Brady, D.Phil.
Director, Honors Program
Assoc. Prof., Classical & Jewish Studies