Government 1 uses a quota system of grading that is "unfair and inequitable," alleged the chairman of the HCUA committee on examination grading Monday.
The quota system limits each section man to giving only an allotted number of honor grades in his section, said Thomas A. Timberg '64. He said that although other courses use a similar system, "nowhere is it so stringent as it is in Government 1."
"If a section man feels that more students in his section deserve honor grades than the quota allows, he must bargain for the honor grades of other sections," Timberg claimed.
By this system, Timberg said, students who happen to get into a particularly strong section are punished grade-wise. He said that grades should depend on "the quality of a student and not the quality of the student's section."
A section man in Gov. 1 substantiated the charge that a quota system is used, but he said that "all classes must set some sort of standard." He argued that the quota system "is not inequitable, but is for equity's sake."
"If it was left up to each section man to determine the number of honor grades for his section, an extremely inequitable situation would result," he contended.
"Some section men are soft and would give 40 per cent honor grades, and others tend to be tough and might give only 2 per cent," the section man said. "The purpose of the quota system is to equalize these differences."
He also emphasized that the quota system in Government 1 is "extremely flexible." If a section man can make a good case for giving more honor grades than the quota allows, he can bring it up with a review committee, which will usually consent to going over the quota, he said.
Although he did not want to reveal Gov. 1's quota for honor grades, he stated that it is "quite high" and has gone up in the past ten years.