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Taxonomy of grading practices in the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, 1995-96 to 2015-16

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Published: 2021-05-03

Author

Horacio Matos-Diaz

University of Puerto Rico at Bayamon

Keywords: ading taxonomy; multinomial logistic models; easy and tough grading; Puerto Rico

Abstract

Faculty members and their corresponding academic fields at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón are classified with regard to grading practices over time. Based on the effects on the intercept of the equations that predict the GPA and the proportion of student withdrawals observed in each of the 39,337 courses offered during 41 consecutive terms, faculty members and academic fields are scaled from the easiest to the most difficult. Evidence points to the conclusion that the courses of the most difficult academic fields are offered primarily by the hardest grading faculty members and attended by the most academically able students, while the courses of the easiest academic fields are offered primarily by the easiest grading faculty members and attended by less academically able students. The conclusion of such self-sorting processes is reinforced by evidence from maximum likelihood models demonstrating that the probability that a randomly selected faculty member behaves like a high-grader or a low-grader is highly and significantly related to the cluster of academic fields to which the faculty member belongs. Such a probability is also strongly and significantly influenced by the heterogeneity of student academic ability distribution. Hence, faculty members are very responsive to signals sent by their students’ characteristics. This empirical result deserves further detailed analysis given that it implies a scenario in which faculty members and students engage in a shopping-around process in which both parties free-ride from each other, altering institutional norms and academic standards.

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Author Biography

Horacio Matos-Diaz

University of Puerto Rico at Bayamon

Horacio Matos-Díaz is a Professor of Economics and Statistics at the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, where he has taught and conducted research during the last 43 years. He obtained the B.A. (1976) and M.A. (1978) degrees in Economics from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras Campus, while his Ph.D. (2000) in Economics was granted by Kansas State University. His research has been published in journals such as Economics of Education Review, Education Economics, Eastern Economic Journal, Cogent Economics & Finance, EconomiA, this journal (EPAA), as well as in several Spanish journals from Puerto Rico and abroad.

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Published: 2021-05-03

How to Cite

Matos-Diaz, H. (2021). Taxonomy of grading practices in the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón, 1995-96 to 2015-16. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 29(January - July), 57. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.29.5845