I would like to invite you to join in our conversation, by posting a comment below about how you set grading standards in your class, and what you expect a student to do to meet each of those standards. The primary focus of our proposal to increase academic rigor in Dartmouth courses is to hold faculty accountable for the standards to which they hold students. By this we mean, what would a student have to do in your class to get each of the letter grades in the Dartmouth Scholarship Ratings. These standards will then be used in their promotion, tenure and merit raise evaluations, along with the grade distributions they actually give to students. In this way, faculty are held accountable for the rigor of their courses.
A very large part of our motivation is to simply spark the discussion of what do grades mean and how do you define them. We want people to think very seriously about questions like: What techniques (e.g., exams, papers, discussion, projects) do you use to evaluate students and what goes into judging their performance in these various techniques? What would a student have to do to fail your class, what would a student have to do to get a D or C or B or A in your class? If you work at another school (high school, vocational school, college, university), what grading system does your institution use, and how does this factor into grading decisions?