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Q: HS Student GPA's ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: HS Student GPA's
Category: Reference, Education and News > Education
Asked by: gotoblack-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 31 Jul 2005 08:16 PDT
Expires: 30 Aug 2005 08:16 PDT
Question ID: 550034
What is the distribution of cululative GPA's among US HS students
(9-12).  What % are A, what % B+, etc.

You can express by letter (A-F) or number (0-100)

Request for Question Clarification by omnivorous-ga on 31 Jul 2005 09:05 PDT
Gtoblack --

There is an excellent 2002 study, but because educators tend to
perform large studies and look at comparative numbers, the data is for
1982 vs. 1992.  And because of the way it's present (in a graph), my
numbers would be estimates.

However, it's very detailed -- with GPA, GPA in math, science and
English -- and it includes analyis by other factors (race/ethnicity,
mother's education, income, and school location).

Before formally answering the question, I wanted to make sure that it
meets your needs.

Best regards,


Clarification of Question by gotoblack-ga on 31 Jul 2005 11:48 PDT
Yes, thats fine if it is the most recent.  I'm looking for cumulative
gpa, not broken out.

Basically, I want to know what % of students fall into each category
Subject: Re: HS Student GPA's
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 01 Aug 2005 08:34 PDT
Gotoblack ?

A very interesting question, especially in the light of decades of
accusations of ?grade inflation.?

There have been 3 broad studies of U.S. high school students done sine
1972.  Each involved about 15,000 to 20,000 students on whom data was
collected during their whole high school experience.  They are:

National Education Longitudinal Study (1972)
High School and Beyond (1982)
National Education Longitudinal Study (1992)

The data is extensive, including a large amount of demographic
information, and there are dozens of analyses of it.  But there are
several frustrations in using it.  First, some call the 1992 report on
high school seniors NELS: 88, referring to the year that it started. 
Others call it NELS 1992, representing the year the study group

Second, the actual GPA data that you?re seeking doesn?t seem to be
clearly broken out in any of the Department of Education reports:

National Center for Education Statistics
?National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988?

However, we have a report from the Rand Corporation in 2002 did an
analysis of  grade point averages from the 1982 and 1992 studies and
it has some very readable graphs.  It?s only flaw: we have to estimate
percentages from the charts.

The Rand study is linked below, with the second link having the
detailed data that you?re seeking:

Rand Corporation
?Changes in High School Grading Standards in Mathematics, 1982-1992,?
(Koretz & Berends, 2002)

?Shifting Grades Over a Decade??

The grades are defined in the NELS database this way:

A, A+ = 4.0
A- = 3.7
B+ = 3.3
B = 3.0
B- = 2.7
C+ = 2.3
C = 2.0
C- = 1.7
D+ = 1.3
D = 1.0
D- = 0.7
F = 0.0

Percentages (approximate)

A, A+ 6%
A-   12%
B+  13%
B    15%
B-   22%
C+  13%
C    11%
C-   7%
D+  2%
D and lower: less than 1%

The study notes the following that may be of interest in summarizing grades:
?	mean GPA increased from 2.56 to 2.63 between 1982 and 1992
?	the percentage of students with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher went from
42 percent to 46 percent
?	those with a 3.3 (B+) went from 28% to 31%
?	changes in GPA were insignificant between males and females, Rand reports
?	GPAs increased slightly more for students with mothers who attended
at least some college courses, even as this group grew from 29% of the
population to 35% between 1982 and 1992.

The Rand report also breaks down GPAs in math, science and English
courses, should that be of interest to you at some point.

Google search strategy:
?grade inflation? U.S. ?high school?
?National Education Longitudinal Study?

Best regards,

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