A study by the American College Test (ACT) found that the grade point averages of high school seniors steadily rose between 2010 and 2021. At the same time, the National Assessment of Educational Progress recorded steady declines in reading, math, and U.S. history scores. ACT also reported worsening scores on its standardized test, which is similar to the College Board’s SAT.

What is going on here? The answer is grade inflation.

Grade inflation is the enemy of merit because it lowers standards to artificially improve grade point averages and graduation rates. If standards are lowered, so are expectations. Lowered expectations mean students do not get what they deserve and leave the classroom unprepared for what lies ahead.

We support returning academic accountability and merit to the classroom.