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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 12 2014, @08:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the this-will-not-be-controversial-oh-no-sir dept.

GungnirSniper writes:

"Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post has 'A message to the nation's women: Stop trying to be straight-A students.'

In her analysis of others' findings, she writes of a discouragement gradient that pushes women out of harder college degrees, including economics and other STEM degrees. Men do not seem to have a similar discouragement gradient, so they stay in harder degree programs and ultimately earn more. Data suggests that women might also value high grades more than men do and sort themselves into fields where grading curves are more lenient.

'Maybe women just don't want to get things wrong,' Goldin hypothesized. 'They don't want to walk around being a B-minus student in something. They want to find something they can be an A student in. They want something where the professor will pat them on the back and say "You're doing so well!"'

'Guys,' she added, 'don't seem to give two damns.'

Why are women in college moving away from harder degrees?"

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Daniel Dvorkin on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:07AM

    by Daniel Dvorkin (1099) on Thursday March 13 2014, @04:07AM (#15680) Journal

    The pessimistic answer is that yes, the tests themselves are failures ... and that's why bridges fall down.

    The somewhat more optimistic answer is that you can't practically test for the ability to carry out complex, long-term projects in a classroom setting, but you can test the basic skills that are prerequisites for those projects--and that grading on a curve is just an acknowledgement that those skills are a lot harder to demonstrate in an hour-long closed-book exam than they are on the job, when you (hopefully) have reference materials available and the time to use them. Which is somewhat supported by the fact that most bridges don't fall down, I suppose.

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