For Whom the Bell (Curve) Tolls : A to F, Trade Your Grade Based on the Net Present Value of Friendships with Financial Incentives

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

3 Scopus Citations
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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-81
Journal / PublicationJournal of Private Equity
Volume22
Issue number3
Online published31 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Abstract

We discuss a possible solution to an unintended consequence of having grades, certificates, rankings, and other diversions in the act of transferring knowledge, zooming in specifically on the topic of grading on a curve. We conduct a thought experiment, taking a chapter (and some more?) from the financial markets (where we trade pollution, etc.), to create a marketplace, where we can trade our grade, in a structure similar to the interest rate swap. We connect this to broader problems that creep up when we attach ourselves to artificial labels. The policy and philosophical implications of our arguments suggest that all trophies we collect (including certificates, grades, medals, etc.) should be viewed as personal or private equity (borrowing another widely used term in finance) and that we should not use them to determine the outcomes in any selection criteria except those with a cutoff point—not for jobs, higher studies, or financial scholarships, other than for entertainment or spectator sports. We suggest alternate methods for grading and performance assessment and suggest the use of tests similar to the Turing test for intelligence for evaluation of teaching and learning.

Research Area(s)

  • MERIT-BASED AID, COLLEGE, IMPACT, MARKET, CREDENTIALS, ACHIEVEMENT, ENROLLMENT, STANDARDS, ECONOMICS, POLITICS

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).