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Learning Has Gone to the Back of the Class

March 09, 2003

Re "College Freshmen Experts at Getting A's," Jan. 27:

When will the academic world start paying attention to its own research?

UCLA's recent study that revealed that grades have little to do with knowledge comes as no surprise to me. As the mother of three sons in elementary and high school, I have long been aware of and appalled by the obsession with getting good grades over the desire to get a good education. Parents are at the heart of this charade to produce straight-A students at the risk of shortchanging the depth of their child's learning. They complete their child's homework assignments and projects and encourage their average students to push themselves into advanced high school courses for the credits.

Universities, especially the respected UC system, are the only influence that can blow the whistle on this circus, since the grade race seems to culminate at their golden gates. UCLA should combine this recent study with the one that shows that the most successful adults were the average students. What those two studies add up to is the need to innovate a new process, other than a 4.5 GPA and 1600 SAT score, by which to access a student's eligibility or else this educational house of cards will collapse in the brave new world of tomorrow's generation.

Peggy Normandin

Costa Mesa

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