I have pretty dismal class averages this year. Mostly it's due to missing work, because the majority of my kids just don't do homework or don't keep their work. There are a few who are doing just fine. The level of work isn't too much, and they're excelling with A's, they stay organized, and do the modicum of studying required to do well on my assessments. But it seems the priority for a large number of them is sports, socializing, video games, and other things which aren't homework at home. Some of them have good excuses, like they have siblings they need to tend to at home, but it seems like most of them just refuse to be organized despite my frequent beseeching to use a planner, a notebook, an app on their phone, ANYTHING to record their homework (even their skin if they have to, though I try to dissuade them from that). They refuse to. They've outright told me that they don't care about the homework and all the other things take precedence. My current mentality on this is just my class averages are what they are. I'm not going to ease up because they refuse to do work or that would dishonor the effort my A and B students put in. I'm leaving next year so I don't really care how it makes me look to my admin. I sneaked a peek at my predecessor's gradebook one time at the beginning of the year and was shocked to see so many Fs in it. I get it now though, I really do. In science, it's not just about the content. I have to assess them on how well they write lab reports, conclusions, and analyze graphs. We do most of this in class, but they have to finish it off at home because of time constraints. Some work on it in class, others waste time. I believe that if the students really worked the entire class period, they would be able to leave without any homework, but so many of them just waste time. Because of the heavy skills component I can't just be like "well if they're passing the quizzes, I'll pass them" because the process is as important if not more so than the content. I'm just wondering if you were in a similar situation, would you "pad" grades? i.e. grade easier, remove assignments that most of them didn't do, etc.? Or would you stick to your guns. Since I've been sticking to my guns, some of the kids have been realizing I'm not going to let up and have been getting some of their late work in, but I'm pretty tired of grading late work after I've already graded the work that was turned in on time, and they're very egotistical about it, accusing me of never grading because I didn't immediately put in an assignment that they turned in 3 weeks late. To which I respond "If you don't turn it in on time, why should I grade it on time? I'll get to it when I get to it."