The reason is simple, and it’s been explained in my classes time and time again by teachers at my school when lazy or incompetent students complain about not being able to get a 50% on their tests or papers and still pass.
The reason is because you are expected to know at least 60% of what they’re teaching you. Why would they give you a good grade for only knowing 50% of the material, or only handing in 50% of the work? You’re not participating in that class, therefore they have to assume you are not learning what you are supposed to be learning.
It’s not unreasonable to ask perfectly able students to learn at least 60% or more of the material. It’s not unreasonable at all to ask students to hand in all of their work. Hell, at my school you need a 59.5% or higher to get at least a D- and you can’t get an A to an A+ ( 92.5-100% unless you go above and beyond doing all your work (correctly) and handing it in. It’s called habits of work. Unless you participate in class, conduct yourself respectfully, and go beyond what’s expected of you you have absolutely no chance of getting an A+ (98.5-100%).
And I hate seeing posts from people from other countries on here that are like “omg how do american students survive??!?!?” The truth is the people you see complaining about their grades are failing because they didn’t do the work. It’s not because it’s too hard to get a passing grade, and you don’t need straight A’s to be seen as a good student here.
And I’m probably more willing than a lot of people to come out and admit that whenever I got a shitty grade or failed a class it was simply because I didn’t do the work. Either I didn’t like the work or I didn’t like the teacher. I could have easily passed those classes with an A but I just didn’t. And that’s true for just about everybody. If you just did all of your work, even if you did a shitty job, you’re likely to still get a passing grade in the US.
So in short, getting a passing grade in the US is not as difficult as many students that use this website say it is. If they’re failing, it’s most likely a problem they could fix on their own by doing the work or asking for extra help in class.
The US grading system isn’t the problem. There’s nothing wrong with expecting more out of your students, especially since there are obviously people who are capable of pulling off A’s, even with the grading system at my school where you’re expected to not only do the work but be an active part of the class.