Ivy League prof: Just give everyone an A

  • As students are impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, most colleges have moved to online learning.
  • One Ivy League professor says this is not enough and is calling on universities to just give everyone an A for the semester.

As colleges across the country are finding ways to ease the academic burden on students amid the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, one Ivy League professor has a simple solution: "Just give every college student an automatic A."

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Columbia University professor Jenny Davidson called on fellow professors to give all students As for the spring 2020 term.

"Strip down work expectations to the bare minimum."   

[RELATED:  UA students say finishing classes is 'asking too much,' demand passing grades]

Davidson that this is necessary because the move to online learning is simply impractical and presents "inequities in the ways that this will all play out for different students," adding that "grading as we know it is already over for the semester."

"It’s time to abandon our preconceived ideas about what needs to happen in a college class for a student to get credit for it," says Davidson.

Davidson urges professors to "strip down work expectations to the bare minimum." She insists that colleges should "introduce a mandatory pass-fail at the very least," and seriously consider giving all students "A grades as a default."

[RELATED: Northwestern makes finals optional due to 'incredible stress' from coronavirus]

In fact, Davidson says schools and professors should go ahead and "wrap classes up as quickly as possible" so that "students can turn their full attention to other pressing matters."

"Learning how to shift priorities in the face of new information and circumstances is an essential component of education," Davidson argued. "We are not prioritizing the right values when we focus so narrowly on academic matters while our students are experiencing a flood of other practical and emotional demands on finite resources."

Davidson wrote that she has already notified her students that she would assign all of them As. 

[RELATED: 'No Fail Yale': Ivy League lowers academic expectations amid coronavirus]

"...[A]nd as a tenured professor, I am in a position to make that decision on my own without fear of consequences for violating administration policy," Davidson explained. 

National Association of Scholars President Peter Wood reacted to Ivy League colleges their lowering academic standards.

“Ivy league students in general are among the first to complain about privileged people granting themselves yet more privileges.  When students at Yale demand pass/fail options in courses in which they would normally receive grades, they are doing exactly that. It would be encouraging for the country if we saw Ivy League students accepting the challenge to do their best under trying circumstances, rather than seeking to duck the difficulties," Wood told Campus Reform

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan




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Celine Ryan
Celine Ryan | Correspondent Editor

Celine Ryan is the Correspondent Editor reporting on liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. Celine was previously the investigative reporter, New Hampshire Senior Campus Correspondent, and California Senior Campus Correspondent for Campus Reform.

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