I hope the OP didn’t sign. I agree with Amos that one should ocassionally stand up for ones integrity and I doubt he would’ve been fired for not signing.
But grade inflation is not strictly a Taiwan issue. It’s standard practice in the US. Supposedly a “C” means average, “B” means good and “A” means excellent, right? How often do you think teachers in the US, Canada or Europe hand out grades that resemble a standard bell curve, with mostly Cs, then an equal number of Ds and Bs, then a small number of As and Fs. Pretty rare.
I taught a basic writing class for a couple of years in a US university and while I didn’t strive for a perfect bell curve in my grading, I didn’t want to hand out all As and Bs, and I know some of my students were pissed off with my tough grades. Probably the worst writer in my classes was a black girl who was nice enough and seemed to try hard, but was barely literate. I recall one paper she wrote about how poverty can be overcome which she titled, “Proverty can be help.” I had students read aloud in class their best paper, she read that paper and none of the students understood what she was saying. Students had to earn a C in my class to complete all college writing class requirements. I couldn’t in fair conscience allow this girl to graduate without further writing instruction, so I gave her a D, despite her efforts. She hated me, but she did sign up for another writing class (with someone else) the next year. She earned a C in that class and completed her writing requirements, though she could barely write at all.
That girl should not have even graduated from high school. Teachers should have recognized many years earlier that she was barely literate and should’ve worked with her to improve. Instead, I’m sure all the teachers before realized what a pain in the ass it is to try to help someone to write better, they didn’t want to make the effort and they didn’t want to discourage her by flunking her or giving her extra requirements, so they passed her through the system, probably with As and Bs. :s
Oh well, one doesn’t want to discourage students with really bad grades, but inflated grades are equally bad. It’s tough being a teacher and doing the right thing.