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More Reasons for the Decline in Educational Standards

The Opinion page article, "US Higher Education Is in a Downward Spiral," Dec. 27, should be of interest to all educators.

One area not covered in the article is grade enhancement. It is not a generalization to state that term-end grade evaluations have become generous in the extreme. As a result, students are dispatched into the "real world" with an inflated opinion of their prowess. It comes as a shock when often they do not measure up to what is expected of them.

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The rationale for this practice appears to be the power that students exert each semester in evaluating their teachers by secret ballot. Educators are loath to bite the hand that feeds them. And, in addition, a reputation as a "high grader" guarantees full classes.

Let's hope the '90s will mark a rebirth of classroom standards in higher education so that our system will attain its true potential. Alvin R. Wormser, West New York, N.J. Asst. Prof., Fashion Inst. of Technology

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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