On Campus

Alberta to investigate suspiciously high marks

Certain private schools may be boosting grades

The Alberta government says it will investigate after the Calgary Herald found wide gaps between final grades awarded by certain high schools and their students’ pitiful exam performances.

The newspaper’s data show that, in most courses, marks tend to drop about 10 per cent after final exam scores, which are worth 50 per cent of the grade, are added to the 50 per cent awarded at the teacher’s discretion. But in some private schools, grades dropped a lot more after the tests.

For example, in one class at the International School of Excellence (ISE), grades fell by 38.9 per cent after an exam, which only two of 19 students managed to pass. Despite the poor exam results, everyone in the class was given their credit on the strength of high marks from their teacher.

An investigation in Ontario last year uncovered apparent “credit mills.” At these private schools, students said it was much easier to get high grades than at public schools they had attended.

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