## Some Sources

Check it out folks, and perhaps that'll get people moving in the right direction to start cleaning up this page. Joetheshmoe (talk) 22:55, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

## General Issues

As far as I'm aware, 'bell curve grading' is a colloquial term and is a very loose way of referring to any number of different ways of grading vaguely connected to a normal distribution. Very little is said in the article and what is there is of poor standard in my view. I think it would be preferable to expand on normative assessment within assessment. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt and not suggesting deletion only because it may be a legitimate attempt to get at something different. As it is, it does not appear to warrant an entry to me. Holon 09:28, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the first dot point has nothing at all to do with the normal distribution. It is certainly incorrect to refer to 'computing the curve'; the curve is a probability density function which can be evaluated for a standard score. The curve is not computed -- it is the graphical representation a function of the mean and standard deviation (i.e. normal distribution). I presume the point supposed to be made is that the normal distribution may be used as a theoretical basis for partitioning scores to obtain grades or standardized scores. However, this is only vaguely explained in the second dot point. I don't see that this article provides any useful information. It provides more confusion than explanation. I am not inclined to spend time attempting to clean it up because I am not convinced there it has anything to say worthy of an article entry. Holon 02:55, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Is it common to refer to bell curve grading in the US? If so, perhaps the most useful purpose of such an article would be to clarify misconceptions. Otherwise, I believe it should be nominated for deletion fairly soon. Holon 02:58, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
In my experience it is common to refer to "curving" grades but not to the "bell" curve specifically. Colloquially, people use "curve" to refer to any changing of grades from a pre-determined scale. So, for example, if the class average is 5 percentage points below what the instructor considers appropriate, he might add 5 percentage points to all students' scores; this is very commonly referred to as a form of "curving," even though it does not actually attempt to assign grades according to any frequency distribution curve (Normal or otherwise). In the US, true bell-curve grading is common only at the university level, and in any event people very rarely refer to "the bell curve", it is just "the curve." I think this article has the potential to be useful, but it is currently in very bad shape. If I have the time in a few weeks I will return and spiff it up. 216.186.103.82 04:53, 3 May 2006 (UTC)Ventifact

I am in the process of fixing this article. It should hopefully be in much better shape soon. Ventifact

I've taken the liberty of removing the cleanup tag from the article. 216.186.101.226Ventifact

Thanks for this work. It seems it is a legitimate topic if people use the term and there are myths about what it actually means, which I imagine is the case. I think we should proceed with merging the articles asap. There should be a link from grade (education) when this is done. Thoughts? Holon 10:29, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

This should definitely get moved to Grading (education). 166.170.33.50 (talk) 11:22, 26 December 2013 (UTC)

## Still needs work

This article needs to be fleshed out, and in particular needs citations. The only outside source cited (a website) actually contradicted the article text when I checked it. In particular, I changed "strict bell curve grading is pervasive at the elementary and secondary level" from "pervasive" to "unusual", per the outside source. Also, I have been involved in education for many years in the USA and have never seen strict bell curve grading anywhere except some university courses and law school. More outside sources need to be found, however.

I also don't see any mention of the relatively common practice of adding the difference between some predetermined average score (e.g. 70) and the observed mean among scores. That is, if the class takes an exam, and the average is 64, the instructor adds 6 points to everyone's score as a "fudge-factor" or correction to raise the mean to 70. 164.107.191.89 (talk) 18:06, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The section on shortcomings does not go far enough. IMHO grading on a curve is an abomination and misuse of statistics. A classroom is not a collection of random events. What grading on a curve says is that regardless of actual performance, a teacher has decided in advance how many students will get an A and how many will get an F. And yes, in answer to the above question, this practice is widespread in american schools at least in High School and possibly in middle school -- although middle school was too long ago for me to remember clearly.