We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Turns out that an A is the most common grade given at Harvard College. Clearly, then, only an A+ would signal somewhat exceptional achievement. The elite schools are all "A" schools now except in math and the hard sciences. After all, you pay lots of money for these distinctions.
However, I do understand the challenge of grading six or seven very smart, avid kids in a Chaucer seminar, each one of whom contributes interestingly and each one of whom memorizes verses in Old English and writes a fine, inventive, well-structured, and perfectly-grammatical essay on some aspect of the Canterbury Tales or The House of Fame.
Of course, any demanding prep school would expect the same.
Conversely, I can imagine a class with a nasty content that is all about the horrific influence of dead, white males populated by student slackers who write pathetically ungrammatical papers all about their own narcissistic resentment. So everyone in that class should get a C-, right?
Harvey "C-" Mansfield has been fighting the good fight against grade inflation for a long time now at Harvard. His solution was to give two grades: the "ironic" grade on the transcript and the actual grade shown face to face to the student. The truth hurts.
What you're saying then is that an "A" at Harvard means no more than an "A" at Your State College. Surely, there are top students at Your State College who could have gained admission to Harvard and hence, even if they would have produced what Mansfield would deem "C" quality work, would be awarded a Harvard "A". By failing to distinguish between bright kids (Harvard C's) and incredibly bright kids (Harvard A's), Harvard leaves one wondering if the "A" student they are considering is really a Harvard C (which is no better that a Your State College A).