No-zero policy in Schools
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    Posting Addict mom2robbie's Avatar
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    Default No-zero policy in Schools

    This has been a big topic locally. Teachers are not allowed to give a 0 to student who does not hand anything in. The lowest grade they can receive is 25%!!!

    Latest article:



    The Edmonton Public School Board will debate a motion to review the controversial ?no-zero? grading policy Tuesday.

    And suspended physics teacher Lynden Dorval expects the motion to pass.

    The debate comes after Dorval was suspended with pay from his post at Ross Sheppard High School when its grading policy demanded Dorval use comment evaluations like ?unable to assess? when students failed to turn in work.

    Dorval opted to continue giving students zeroes and was suspended for insubordination.

    Dorval believes the wide-spread debate about the policy that was sparked by his suspension will lead to a critical administrative review of the ?ineffective? policy that he fought and may lose his job over it.

    ?It?s certainly beginning to feel like my gesture of standing up to it was worthwhile. I?d feel better about it if it passes,? Dorval said on Sunday.

    The motion, brought forward by Ward F trustee Michael Janz, recommends the Policy Review Committee look at policies related to student assessment to ensure ?clarity, consistency, and to ensure that students are held to high standards.?

    Janz said trustees have been flooded with e-mails and letters about the ?no-zero? policy, which gained national media attention after Dorval?s suspension.http://www.edmontonsun.com/2012/06/2...-to-be-debated
    Earlier article:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...-sheppard.html
    Margaret (44)
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    Bailey (April 2, 2011)


    "The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." Caroline Myss

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    Posting Addict mom2robbie's Avatar
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    This makes me so mad! We are not teaching teenagers anything by not having consequences to their actions. You don't do the work, you don't get the grade. In life if you do not work, you do not get paid (and more likely fired). I really think this is a disservice to our future.

    I hope that the school boards does away with this policy, and I did write to my school trustee about it.
    Margaret (44)
    Sean (38 )
    Robbie (8 )
    Bailey (April 2, 2011)


    "The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." Caroline Myss

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    Quote Originally Posted by mom2robbie View Post
    This makes me so mad! We are not teaching teenagers anything by not having consequences to their actions. You don't do the work, you don't get the grade. In life if you do not work, you do not get paid (and more likely fired). I really think this is a disservice to our future.

    I hope that the school boards does away with this policy, and I did write to my school trustee about it.
    I have mixed feelings on the issue. I've changed my policies and style so next year I am just not going to not accept work. You are going to do it. Period. Either in class, at home, or at lunch/after school. It's going to get done. I actually started a month ago and it made a big difference. I held a student to my word that he was going to turn in the assignment by the morning of his promotion (last day of school) or he would be in my room from 7:18 - 8:45 doing the assignment. He turned it in! (Yes, I can still change grades that late.)

    That said, it's difficult...many of the F students will be F students anyway. "Giving" 25% is just going to mean they have 35% instead of 10%; it's still an F.

    My sister likened the issue to debt. If my friend owed $10,000 they might just write it off as not worth ever paying anything. But if the creditor cut that down, they might see a way of digging out of the hole. Is it better to get $2500 or nothing? Many students will make the decision to just quit once the Fs are there. If 10 zeros will ensure the F for the semester, why bother doing the 11th assignment? I have had students ask me, "Can't I just take the zero?" Umm...no.

    The message has been made clear to us: You do not teach responsibility by allowing irresponsibility.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ethanwinfield View Post
    The message has been made clear to us: You do not teach responsibility by allowing irresponsibility.
    However, at the same time you do not teach responsibility by allowing them to do whatever they want whenever they want... that is irresponsibile. If they are given a deadline for an assignment then that's the deadline. They should be allowed to deduct x-number of marks for every day late... and if the student gets a "0", then so be it. If they only do 10% worth of the work, why should a teacher give them an extra 25%?? Makes no sense. Maybe they'll learn that next time they need to turn it in when it's due. In the real world you don't usually get exceptions made. You have a job and you work 9-5, then you'd better be there 9-5. If you saunter in at 10 or 11 or whenever it suits and also leave whenever it suits, you won't have a job very long. We're hardly preparing young people for *real life* but catering to them and letting them away with things. I honestly wish there were more teachers like this one out there.

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    The idea makes me a little ill. Why would they want people to learn that they can still get partial credit despite not doing anything? Do you get paid for 25% of the work you were supposed to do if you didn't do it? What a terrible lesson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wlillie View Post
    The idea makes me a little ill. Why would they want people to learn that they can still get partial credit despite not doing anything? Do you get paid for 25% of the work you were supposed to do if you didn't do it? What a terrible lesson.
    Well, technically, you would get paid. If you were hired and did a really crappy job that they fired you after 3 hours, they would still owe you wages for those 3 hours.

    The idea is to take away the power of the zero. If you earned an A on one assignment and an F on another, that averages to a C. If you have an F in one college class and an A in another, your GPA would be 2.0.

    However, if instead of an F it is a zero, it doesn't matter what your A is. Your grade is an F. It takes something like 14 perfect scores on a test of equal weight to make up for one zero. Would you give a student an A based on the score of just one test? So why would you give them a grade based of an F for missing one assignment?

    The idea is not to reward students for not doing assignments - they still have to do them. The idea is for it to not kill your grade based on missing assignments. In the end, it doesn't matter much for most students. If you evaluate them solely on the work they have completed, few students have a huge discrepency in their grade.

    We're moving toward not counting missing assignments when calculating grades. If a student has taken 4 tests out of 5 - 99%, 98%, 93%, 97%, and zero and then gets 94% on the final, what should that student's grade be?

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    You would still need to be there to get paid for the three hours. I disagree completely with that line of thinking. The score should be the average of the 5 tests no matter what he makes on each of them. And obviously if they aren't turning the assignments in (which it seems like happens) and are getting a 25 anyway, they are getting rewarded for not doing them. You shouldn't evaluate students only on stuff that is completed; you should evaluate them on the things that were/are due!

    If I go to court for neglect and tell the judge that I consistently feed my kid really healthy food 6 days this week out of 7, he shouldn't care that I forgot to feed him that 7th day, right?

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    If I go to court for neglect and tell the judge that I consistently feed my kid really healthy food 6 days this week out of 7, he shouldn't care that I forgot to feed him that 7th day, right?
    Where are you getting the no one cares whether students did the assignment or not? In your scenario, you would really be okay with a judge taking a child from a home because he/she didn't eat for one day? Why not intervene with help, guidance, and follow up?

    Negative consequences should not outweigh positive consequences at the rate of 14:1.

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    I'm not sure how I feel about this. It seems to reward constant problems. When I was in school, we typically had 1 assignment we could miss without penalty and if you missed more it was an Incomplete. You could turn in a few days late but each day would dock 10 points or something like that. So if your homework was a 100 but it was a day late it was a 90. (Sick days not counted) That seemed to work better because the students who care about bringing in their homework had some slack if they did forget 1 or 2 times but the slackers didn't get rewarded with any points if they never brought it in.

    I don't see how giving someone 25% is helpful at all.
    Mom to E and C

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    The school board voted to review the policy, so we will see what happens.

    I know that grades are not a motivator for everyone but with consistently passing kids on to the next grade or rewarding no work being done is just wrong. Kids need to learn that there are consequences. I do not think this is bad teaching that makes this problem. The teacher in the story taught my husband and you have to do a lot before he rewards the zero, he gives many chances and will work one on one with students.

    I think we need to look at the bigger picture and fix what is ailing in the school system.
    Margaret (44)
    Sean (38 )
    Robbie (8 )
    Bailey (April 2, 2011)


    "The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind." Caroline Myss

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