Leo, though, believes that the problem does not begin in college but is prevalent in high schools as well. He finds evidence for this in the record of the College Boards over the last 25 years. Leo says the system is trying to please too many people instead of giving a proper assessment of performance.
Leo's first assumes that because grades are higher, the only reason can be a failure of professors to make a proper assessment. In fact, if students are really learning better, grades would rise in the same way. Leo does not try to prove that students are not improving and simply assumes that this is not the case. Leo does not assess the other end of the spectrum to see how many students are failing at the same time, which would undercut much of what he says about grade inflation.
There can be other reasons why the competition for students means better grades, such as the fact that only the highest percentile of applicants is being accepted. If many of those who would have failed in the past are removed from the pool, grades overall would also rise unless a strict curve is demanded so that a balance is maintained between those who pass and those who fail. That would not be a fair system and would not reflect learning, only levels of competition. We may simply have better students than in the past and good reasons why this is so.
Competition is the lifeblood of American