"Grading More Fairly":
Ms. Wissner-Gross need not fear grade deflation from the majority of today’s college instructors: poorly paid, job-insecure part-timers whose continued employment is usually determined by each semester’s evaluations by their students. Why would adjuncts, making only $3,000 for teaching a class of 25 or 30 students, grade low and thus ensure bad evaluations by angry students? As I used to tell my students in the years when I was a part-time professor, “B+ is the new C.”
An average grade in my class was an A-, and no administrator ever chastised me as long as the students were happy. When students complained about their grade, I didn’t argue but just raised the grade. Given my low salary and lack of benefits or job security, it was just too much trouble to invoke “standards” when the three or four colleges hiring me every semester didn’t seem to care about them.
RICHARD GRAYSON Brooklyn