NYLS Must Adjust 1st year's GPA for Evening Division Student in 2012!
It is hard enough be an evening division law student, but this graduating year (2012) we are about to be disadvantaged more than ever before! Please read the following message and decide for yourself.
To be in line with other law schools, in the Fall of 2009, New York Law School switched from a B- grading curve to a B grading curve. Theoretically, the new B curve allows professors to give out higher grades to more students than under the old B- curve. This theory is largely supported by grade distribution trends following the curve change. Distribution trends show a very real and a significant rise in higher grades since Fall 2009. This is not a coincidence!
The evening division students graduating this year were subject to the old B- curve for the Fall 2008, Spring 2009 and Summer 2009 semesters. Therefore, out of 86 credits required for graduation, between 23 - 27 credits (26.7% - 31.4% of our cumulative G.P.A.) were graded under the lower B- curve.
This is an issue because, for purposes of ranking and Latin honors, graduating evening division students will be compared to the day division students. The comparison will be based on cumulative G.P.A., despite the fact that 26.7% - 31.4% of evening division students' cumulative G.P.A. was subject to a lower B- curve; once again, graduating day division students were NEVER subject to the B- curve! Because the new curve statistically allows for an overall larger number of higher grades, day division students' cumulative G.P.A.s are statistically higher due to this artificial change. Therefore, it is unjust to compare the two divisions based on G.P.A. numbers without taking corrective actions.
How this affects us:
However significant, in 2012, the disparity in grading will be amplified tenfold (i.e. app. 60:608, day: night student ratio). It's widely known that NYLS enrolled an unprecedented number of students in Fall 2009. According to a New York Times Article, a total of 736 students were accepted, 171 more than the previous year. Out of these 736 students, 608 were accepted to the day division. With the evening division increasing by only 10 people, this 30% increase in the student body is mainly attributable to the day division with whom we are about to compete for rankings. The New York Times Article points out that, besides Cooley Law School, this is the largest entering law school class in the country.
In 2012, roughly 60 evening division students will be compared with the graduating "bulge" day division class, none of whom were EVER subject to the lower grading curve. Thus, not only will day division students benefit from 100% of their G.P.A. graded under the B curve, but the number of day division students with the higher “artificial” G.P.A. results in them being ranked ahead of evening division students.
What is being done about this?
New York Law School’s administration is reluctant to make any numerical changes to our first year's G.P.A. Not only did the administration fail to foresee this issue when the switch was implemented, but (to save face) the administration continues to deny the obvious fact (and the very reason the curve change was implemented in the first place) that our law school’s unilateral decision to switch from a B- to a B grading curve disadvantages evening division students when we are compared with day division students.
The position that was articulated by Dean Buckler is that a notation may be placed on our transcripts to acknowledge this disparity. Clearly, this will do nothing to remedy the effect on ranking. Moreover, in the midst of denying any adverse effect, the administration solicited proposals on how to rectify this situation, thereby shifting the burden onto the students to remedy the administration’s lack of foresight. Needless to say, all proposals submitted to the administration were met with stark opposition. After some of us brought this issue to light, the administration is unwillingly considering it, but it's unlikely that anything will be done.
NYLS must take corrective action!
All students should be treated equally! Adjusting our first year’s G.P.A. is the only acceptable method of equating us with the graduating day division students this year. NYLS administration must treat the evening division students on par with the day students. Otherwise, the school should be subject to public reprimand!
We ask you to:
If you agree that equity requires adjusting evening division students' first year's G.P.A., please sign this petition. It will be forwarded to the administration when a significant number of signatures is collected. This issue is extremely time sensitive. Please participate as soon as you are able.