John Kmech, editor of the University of Alberta’s the Gateway, weighs in on the grading dispute between math professor Mikhail Kovalyov and the university.
It’s unclear what the department gains from failing so many students or giving the class a final average of 1.79, little higher than a C-. It could be seen as maintaining “standards,” and it’s true that students should do poorly if they aren’t pulling their weight. But what “fail” means inherently depends on the difficulty of the coursework, something that only an individual professor can judge. While it’s currently the department’s prerogative to approve the final grades, if they can lower the marks by bulk like this, there doesn’t seem much point to professors handing out grades at all.
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