Study: Professors Grade Differently Based on Their Political Stance

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

Most would like to think that their college professors’ political stance does not influence how they are graded. However, according to a recent study called “Partisan Grading” conducted by Talia Bar and Asaf Zussman of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, numbers show that Republican professors and Democratic professors grade differently. The university at which the study was conducted remains unnamed. The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Republicans welcomed inequality, handing out more very high and very low grades, and Democrats’ grades grouped more tightly around the average. Republicans also gave black students lower grades than their colleagues. In both cases, the researchers stressed, there was no way to know which approach better reflected students’ performance.

On average, Republican professors gave black students grades that were .2 of a grade point lower than their Democratic colleagues, or about two-thirds of the distance between a B and a B-minus.(Among eleven black professors in the sample, there were no Republicans, and the Democrats appeared to grade white and black students as their white-Democratic peers did. But there were too few black professors to make that finding statistically significant.)

…Republicans gave grades of C-minus or worse 6.2% of the time, compared with 4% for Democrats. And Republicans awarded the gold star of A-plus 8% of the time, compared with only 3.5% for Democrats.”

The study examined approximately 17,100 students in 3,300 courses from 417 Republican or Democratic professors. Students were from both the arts and science departments, and the study ranged from 2000 to 2004. Based on SAT scores, student academic talent was reported to be the same across the whole of the classrooms observed. Over 90% of the teachers declared themselves to be Democratic, and it is important to note that third-party members, independents, and professors from whom data could not be collected were excluded from the study.

This is a part of Ayvaunn Penn‘s Black And Making It Series. She is also a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s