Regarding the Aug. 31 news article “ UNC-CH adding context to grades”: The new transcripts at UNC-Chapel Hill, which include grade distributions in a course, are a welcome and long overdue enhancement to the student information data provided by the college. Employers and graduate schools will now have better information to rank students by more than a single number, the grade point average.
Having taught chemistry and advised large numbers of undergraduates over many years, I know firsthand that students are smarter today than in years past, but I have also observed they are more sophisticated today than ever before.
More students know how to take advantage of every possible means to enhance and protect high GPAs. This often means that students will withdraw from courses when things are going poorly and seek out classes that are not very rigorous.
Well done, Carolina, I hope its example is adopted by other UNC member schools, including my own.
Philip A. Brown, Department of Chemistry, N.C. State University, Raleigh