Fired for giving a kid a zero!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by blazer, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Apparently this is very common in my home state. Ridiculous.
     
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  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I have worked at schools that made us adhere to that policy. The reasoning is if kids got their act together and decided they wanted to pass, they could not come back from a zero. With a 50, they would not feel quite as helpless and might find the motivation to do better.

    My experience has been that the students receiving a 50 were no more motivated than if they had a zero.
     
  5. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    I believe in not giving zeros. I just think that some US states are so stuck in using averages or weights to calculate grades that this 50% policy seems the only way to create a no zero policy. There are way better no zero policies. I don't average grades. I grade by standard using 1, 2, 3, 4 and then look at what they most consistently and most recently demonstrated.

    As for the teacher, if her story is true, she wasn't fired for giving a 0. She was fired for failing to follow policies as laid out by her school - which is a perfectly understandable reason. Moreover, there are parts of her story that make me question it (like her years experience and being probationary - why would you leave a non-probationary position for a probationary position in a district whose policies you didn't agree with?) Also her description of the assignment does not sound to me like a well designed assignment. If they had 2 weeks there should have been check ins and consequences (like phone calls home, detentions, etc) if the student did have their prior steps done. If kids have nothing to hand in after 2 weeks of working in my class, that's on me.
     
  6. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Full disclosure: The school board disputes the assertion that she was fired for having given zeros.
     
  7. irishrose

    irishrose Rookie

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    "If kids have nothing to hand in after 2 weeks of working in my class, that's on me." LOL. If other people do not do their work, then that is my fault...
    o-kaaay...
     
  8. irishrose

    irishrose Rookie

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    "...no-zero grading policy, written in red in the school’s handbook, stating, “NO ZERO’S – LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%.”

    Tirado says this sends the wrong message.

    “If there’s nothing to grade, how can I give somebody a 50 percent?” she asked."
     
  9. Joyful!

    Joyful! Habitué

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    Locally, they have had teachers from the school quoted as saying that giving a zero gives the wrong message because if they have 3 zeros they can never come back (in the realm of grades, so to speak). They also state this has been the school's policy for years.
     
  10. irishrose

    irishrose Rookie

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    Maybe they should have thought of the possibility of getting zeros before not turning in the work. Teaching kids they can do absolutely nothing and still get some kind of credit most definitely sends the wrong message. The teacher in question was taking a stand against such a policy in general. I wish I could shake her hand.
     
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  11. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    If a child puts in no effort and turns in no work, this is the ultimate in irresponsibility. I don't see how this should equal anything but a "0". I understand (although not always agree) rewarding effort, turning at least something in, making mistakes, etc...but no effort and turning nothing in? I don't think any teacher should be made to give points for that.
     
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  12. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    blazer, you're fired for posting a thread when the same thread is running a few posts over!
     
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  13. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This is why I accept late work though. If a student wants to scramble last minute and do a ton of work, fine, I'll take it for reduced credit. I'm even okay with a minimum fifty percent if the assignment was at least attempted. But no work should equal no credit.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Exactly! 50% of 0 is still 0!
     
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  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You are an incredibly sensible person. I wish I worked with you as a colleague as I think you and I would get along great!
     
  16. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You give me hope for America!
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    That’s why you turn it in. Shocker! And then you don’t get zeros. Wow, imagine that. (To the students, not you, of course.)
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Full disclosure: The school lied about its own policy. It is bolded in red in their handbook that zeros are not permitted and they then told the press that they don’t do that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  19. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Surely I should get at least 50%?:D
     
  20. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I also think the people who argue for not giving zeros really ought to start arguing instead for not using the 100 point grading scale. Especially if an entire school building is not allowing zeros, that school district really ought to consider switching over to a 4.0 scale instead! I think this would be less likely to be dismissed by others as it allows giving 0s without them being as devastating to the grade.
     
  21. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Companion

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    It's a school policy NOT a district policy. And in the same handbook it shows an "I" as incomplete which equals a 0.

    From ABC Action News:
    "When asked specifically about the wording of "no zeros" on the West Gate student and parent handbook, Padrick said:

    "Some classroom teachers and school faculties have discussed the range of points for work submitted in each grading category.

    This scale outlines a 10-point range for each letter grade:
    A = 90 to 100
    B = 80 to 89
    C = 70-79
    D = 60-69
    F = 50-59

    A zero is noted on the scale for work not attempted or work that is incomplete.""
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  22. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Either way, the district implied the school does give zeros and the school clearly does not.
     
  23. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I worked at a school once that let us enter grades as zero or the actual score, but anything lower than 20% was calculated as 20% in the average. I didn't mind that. It did keep students from becoming hopeless, but still a 20% is not near a passing grade, so it wasn't giving them an advantage over those who tried, but couldn't do it. It also didn't discourage kids from trying and doing all of their work.
     
  24. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    50% of 0 is u. or C.
    (Which then, does that mean that you get a C if you get 50% of a 0?)
    *walks away slowly*
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2018
  25. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    This seems to be getting to "fancy math" territory.
     
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  26. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Very funny. Har har, lol!
     
  27. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Well, Rick Wormeli has something to say on this matter:
     
  28. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Ugh...he's the worst. We had to sit through an 8 hour presentation from this guy last year. It was quite bad.
     
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  29. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Hey, if the district wants to spend some $$ why not implement Saturday school where the kids can sit there all day and do all the work they refused to do in the first place so they don't earn a 0. Yes, they EARN 0s by not doing the work. The teacher doesn't GIVE them a 0.
    Anyone want to work on Saturdays with these angels?
     
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  30. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    You are a breath of fresh air, do you know that?
     
  31. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I would have to revamp my entire grading if my school adopted a policy like this. It wouldn't be too difficult to do, just time consuming. I'd make every assignment have a 50 point base. You write your name at the top - 50%. But the actual assessment would look radically different. There wouldn't be any more "easy" points available since they were just given 50 for their names. I wouldn't allow the policy to make my LETTER grades inflated.

    I would expect to have more failing students, though. Because the kids would know they didn't have to do their classwork or practice so they wouldn't be as skilled when it came test time.
     
  32. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Well, if the lowest a student can ever get is a 50%, then it is inflating grades. Any time points are allocated for non-merit, grades are being inflated. Kind of like when every student get an additional 10% from say, a 62% to a 72%, to raise the average 10%.

    And I think getting an automatic 50% for writing your name is the easiest number of points you can ever get. Imagine if you got an automatic 800/1,600 on the SAT just for putting your name.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
  33. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    Hate to break it to you, but the lowest possible score is 200/600 for each section. ;) (I know, different situation, and essentially it just makes 200 a '0', but still had to point it out :p )
     
  34. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I already knew that. That isn’t new to me, lol.

    My point is that you get half of ALL possible points just for writing your name, which is ludicrous.
     
  35. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    He says such nonsense. "In the real world you are able to be late more than not." Really? We had a great teacher whose contract wasn't renewed after being late less than 1/3 of the days that year. I had an important transaction I had to get done at a bank one time and I showed up one minute after closing time. I wasn't let into the bank. Try showing up late for an interview or turning your taxes in late. Will there be a penalty? You bet! I know I am preaching to the choir here, but this guy is just wrong.
     
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  36. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Yeah after 8 hours of listening to him talk down to us in a hot crowded auditorium, it really left a bad taste in my mouth. A couple of staff members tried some of his ideas last year (regarding redos and retakes and so on), and they all stopped this year because it was too much of a headache and students were just taking advantage of it. You don't even want to know how much they paid him to come.....
     
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  37. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I imagine!
    Yes, that argument makes no sense. If I pay my bills late, I get a late fee. Work turned in late should receive a "late fee" as well.
     
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  38. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    To the above three respondents, now you all be careful with that logic stuff. You’re making too much sense and it might confuse some people, lol!
     
  39. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    200/800, actually.

    This used to make sense, when there was a guessing "penalty". You would get 200 points for your name and a blank paper, but if you put your name and got all the questions WRONG, you'd get (theoretically) a zero. They've eliminated the guessing "penalty", however.

    * it was never actually a penalty in reality, though. It was always designed simply to not reward pure guessing by subtracting a quarter point for a wrong answer on a four-choice multiple choice question.

    Honestly, to a lot of people this is a pretty pedantic discussion which makes teachers look petty. If a kid gets a zero they flunk. If a kid gets a fifty they flunk. Why don't you argue for allowing negative scores -- if they do badly enough, it takes away from their NEXT test?
     
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  40. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    I don't agree with you that it's pedantic, regardless of which viewpoint one has.

    Overall, a student with a 0 at the end of the year flunks, and a student with a 50 at the end of the year flunks. But think of it more in the mindset of individual assignments. Randomly, take 10 assignments equally weighted (simply for ease), where one kid gets a 0 for two assignments and gets an 80% average on the others, vs. the 50 for two assignments and an 80% average on others. One student ends up with a 64% overall. The other ends up with a 74% overall. Obviously an "out there" example, but decisions like this do affect overall grades, not to mention the mindset that kids have. As educators, that's exactly the discussion we need to be (respectfully) having.

    (And if you were referring at all with the pedantic-ness to the SAT scores - I was just having a little bit of fun messing with mathprof in the moment, nothing more.)
     
  41. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I must admit, it was pretty funny and almost a counterexample. I thought it was clever.
     

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