Issues behind grade inflation

As students completing our first year at Oberlin College, we disapprove of the accusatory tone directed toward American students in the editorial "Tarnishing the Honor Roll," May 10. The fact that an A-plus is not worth what it was 50 years ago is not the fault of students today; grade inflation has been caused by complicated social and political circumstances, not by an inherent lack of drive in students. Motivated students would work harder if teachers demanded more.

Obviously our school system needs improvement. Most students are not taught the importance of education by their families. The government also is responsible, as it tends to stress defense over education.

The country must dedicate itself to improving its schools and controlling grade inflation. The task of improving the system does not fall exclusively on the shoulders of any sector of society, and the public should be weary of adopting a "kids these days" attitude. This interpretation of the educational crisis will only breed inaction. Katherine S. McCall, Oberlin, Ohio Rebecca A. Gopoian

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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