The empirically-minded are more astute: lowering standards a bit faster than they have to be lowered to keep the GPA afloat isn't a mark of success. A dieter who sets a 2000 calorie-per-day goal and has been eating 2200, is not better off if in a month, now taking in 2500 each day, he sets a new goal of 1500 daily calories. His plan isn't reality. And the title of a course does not determine the intelligence of the student enrolled in it, NAEP testing does.
A few excerpts to augment RP:
The NAEP review also found that the class of 2005 received about 360 more hours of instruction in high school than their 1990 counterparts and earned higher grades. On a zero-to-four point scale, the 2005 seniors had a cumulative grade point average of 2.98 points, or about a B, up from 2.68 points in 1990. But the benefits of such changes weren't evident in the results of NAEP reading and math achievement tests for the class of 2005.So we're paying teachers more, spending more money on and time with students, and decreasing class sizes. All the nostrums are being applied with vigor. Yet we're losing ground. Anyone want to guess why?
Reflecting demographic changes in society, the sorts of students taking the NAEP test have changed significantly in recent years. Hispanics accounted for 14% of all 12th graders in 2005, up from 7% in 1992. The scoring gap between them and white students has changed little since 1992.Using 2005 math and science NAEP results and data from international scholastic testing and IQ results from Richard Lynn's Race Differences in Intelligence, I came up with an average IQ of 93.3 for Hispanic eighth graders and 100.8 for white eighth graders. If a less intelligent group increases proportionally in size, the effect on the whole is predictable. And so here we are.