It is up to the teachers — and the administrators who support us — to structure the courses so there is nothing magic about getting to the best grades. It's actually great that the students care about achievement, and it's fine that they want grades that will help them get things they want. It's also fine that they analyze their situation and do what is efficient to get what they want. The teacher must to set up the exam or other coursework so that efficient, ambitious students will have to do what needs to be done to learn what the grade represents.
Now, the linked article irritates the hell out of me because it is teachers bitching about the students and their whiny entitled attitude.
"Many students come in with the conviction that they’ve worked hard and deserve a higher mark," Professor Grossman said. "Some assert that they have never gotten a grade as low as this before.”Take responsibility. You teachers are making the students act like that. Don't blame them and don't blame their parents. Set high standards and apply them. And don't let them ask for a grade change. In law school, we have a rule against changing the grades. I grade my students — anonymously — based on an exam that is designed to require real engagement with the class and to prevent shortcuts, and once those grades are entered, that's it. I'll talk to you about your exam, but it will be clear that nothing that is said can possibly change your grade, and my school backs me up on that with a rule. Teachers, if you don't like your students, change yourself.
He attributes those complaints to his students’ sense of entitlement.
“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.”
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.
“I noticed an increased sense of entitlement in my students and wanted to discover what was causing it,” said Ellen Greenberger, the lead author of the study, called “Self-Entitled College Students: Contributions of Personality, Parenting, and Motivational Factors,” which appeared last year in The Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Professor Greenberger said that the sense of entitlement could be related to increased parental pressure, competition among peers and family members and a heightened sense of achievement anxiety.