The New York Times has an article about grade inflation that is worth checking out.
A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Irvine, found that a third of students surveyed said that they expected B’s just for attending lectures, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the required reading...This can lead to tension when students have old school professors:
James Hogge, associate dean of the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University, said: “Students often confuse the level of effort with the quality of work. There is a mentality in students that ‘if I work hard, I deserve a high grade.’ “
“I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” he said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.”As someone who was recently on both sides of the grading divide I can sympathize with both. As a student, I understood the intense pressure that getting good grades imposes. At the same time, as a teacher, I was baffled by the sense of entitlement and grade grubbing (as Jack Black put it so eloquently in School of Rock) among some students.
The go to source on this matter is gradeinflation.com, but it's bordering on being out of date. Luckily, a major update is scheduled for March 4th. I look forward to it.