Response to a post on changing grades

If you can change one grade, why not change them all? If your calculations are so error-prone, why bother? I don’t get it. The only reason for a grade change to me is if your boss says change it or you’ll be fired and you have someone other than yourself to support. Then you cynically give all your students As all the time.

—– Original Message —–
> I, too, have been following this thread with interest. If I had read it one
> month ago, I would have had a different take on the situation. During all
> my years of public school teaching and while teaching at three area
> colleges, I never once had anyone ask for a grade change. I’m sure I
> would have attributed this to the clarity of feedback I give my students and
> my transparent and consistent approach to grading. Well, that was then and
> this is now.
> Last month, after I reported grades at a college where I had not previously
> taught, two graduate students contacted me to request grade changes. One
> came in the form of a pleading phone call while the other was a lengthy
> email plea. Both were intended to tug at my heartstrings (which they did
> very well). I have to admit that I was absolutely stunned to receive their
> requests! After I got over the shock, I checked my grade
> calculations and assured myself and, subsequently, them that I had indeed
> given them the grade that they had earned. I did not change either grade.
> However, I later learned that one of the students had his grade changed by
> another professor as the result of a plea he made there. He thanked me for
> my willingness to “consider” his plea.
> My take on this now is that there has to be an institutional consistency.
> It appears that students at the particular institution where this happened
> have seen grades changed in the past and know that pleading for a grade
> change has a likelihood of resulting in their desired outcome. As a result,
> they seem to see no harm in giving it a try themselves. I realize, however,
> that this could just be my unique experience.

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