AFFLUENT STUDENTS HAVE major advantages when it comes to K-12 education: Among them, better teachers, more access to advanced courses, resources for counselors and a variety of extracurricular activities, which when combined can lead to higher high school graduation and college-going rates than their poorer peers.
Now those wealthy students can add to that list another advantage their less affluent peers don’t receive: grade inflation.
A new study on grade inflation published Wednesday shows that schools attended by more affluent students saw less rigorous grading than schools attended by less affluent ones. While median grade point averages increased in both school types between 2005 and 2016, it increased more in the more affluent schools.
“In other words, it’s gotten easier to get a good grade in more affluent schools, but not in less affluent ones,” says Seth Gershensen, associate professor at American University who conducted the research and authored the report. “The GPA Gap has widened.”