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Beach Glass's Message:

A friend sent this to me. Found this article food for thought.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Cobalt65 01-09-2019 07:59 AM

I prefer to assign the student the grades he/she earned, even if that is a zero. The students and the parents need to see what no effort looks like. I believe if you give the 50, the student thinks they only have to do a little more work to reach 65, when in reality that little bit of work is still a failing effort.

My policy is to encourage my students by telling them that if they complete all of the work that I ask them to do, they will pass the class. If they failed do to missing assignments, they can show me that they want to pass by not missing anymore work. If their performance has improved by the end of the year, but they still need the extra points to pass, I will give them the needed points at the time.

Bottom line, prove to me that you want to pass.

joetendo 05-15-2018 07:16 PM

We went through this argument at my school last year. Fortunately we have a principal who will let us argue with him and he comes to a consensus.

He started with, no zeros. Just because I didn't take a quiz or complete a worksheet, doesn't mean that I have 0% knowledge of the topic. Surely I picked up something... 20%? 25%? 50%?

We countered with, that's too open to abuse. I hate Kevin, so I'll assume he knows 10%, but Brian brings me coffee, so he knows 60%. Plus, there is the whole responsibility and positive reinforcement of negative behaviors thing....

The compromise was, 0's can stand, but you must give a student a chance to make up any 0 any time. It doesn't have to be for a 100 or even a 60, and it doesn't have to be the original assignment (score for those who hate it when lazy students wait for worksheets to be passed back out after grading and they wait to copy someone's) or even on the original topic. But if you offer the chance, let parents know they can make up zeroes and they still don't, then it's on the student. So, I can live with that!

nyteacher29 01-29-2018 10:56 AM

I try and maintain strong parent contact. If a student has a 0 and it is hurting their grade, especially to the point of failure, I reach out and make sure the parent is aware. If the child still does not have something in, it is a 0. (I teach 7th grade for what it is worth). I send home monthly progress sheets and parents have access to my grade book so they can see what grades their child is earning. If a student fails a test and usually scores high 90s, I will conference and see what is going on. As Lakeside mentioned, did something traumatic or eventful happen that day or week?

I cannot help but wonder if the author of the article reached out to the parents or sought advice from the guidance counselor. Was there something preventing the student from completing the work at home? We are also encouraged, however, to not fail a student during the 1st marking period as it may result n the student giving up. The lowest grade we can give on a report card is a 50% but I try and round that up to a 60% so the child still can redeem hims/herself.

Lakeside 01-29-2018 03:57 AM

I'm not for all zeros being 50s, but I am for dropping a zero if it's an anomaly. Look at these two sets of grades:


Both of these sets produce an average of 82, but they represent very different students.

The student on the right is a B student. The student on the left is an A student, who had one bad night and didn't do a homework assignment. (Maybe their hamster died, maybe their little sister broke her arm and they spent the night in the ER, maybe...whatever.) A zero drops the student a whole letter grade, which represents an inaccurate picture of this student's ability. (A 50 would drop the average, but only to a 90.)

dutchgirl 01-28-2018 08:08 PM

I’ve read that article and still believe in zero. I also strongly believe in dropping a low score or not counting some missed work for a student who is truly trying. In the past, I would use the 5o% instead of 0 for some. But when it is the norm and everyone knows you can’t fail, many middle schoolers decide to just coast and not make an attempt.

We’ve been forced to use this grading system for several years, and the downward spiral is evident to teachers. Kids get passing grades, but have not learned. When they hit 9th grade, where traditional grading is used, kids fail. When they get to the local junior college, many need a year’s worth of remedial classes before they can start actual college credit classes.

We have lost the option of deciding who needs a break, and just give them all a “passing” grade. When all kids have to do is pass the vocabulary quiz, what motivates them to try harder?

Beach Glass 01-28-2018 02:17 PM

A friend sent this to me. Found this article food for thought.

tmbg 01-28-2018 01:52 PM

I am not a fan of giving numerical values to work that is not even is not fair to the students that try their best but still end up with a 50. I try to just give them what they earned. Our division is becoming a "let them keep trying the same assignment over and over until they have an A" type place, so I am hoping to retire soon.
I have adopted sort of a "D for Done" philosophy since we are discouraged from failing anyone for any is not worth the trouble.

dutchgirl 01-15-2018 07:44 PM

My district has its own version of standards-based grading up through 8th grade. In middle school, the state requires letter grades and percentages, so the district came up with a way to cross over.

No assignments can count for anything. Kids should be allowed multiple opportunities to demonstrate understanding of a “standard” written the district’s way. So they can test over and over. If they know one standard of a topic (a group of goals), they get a 0.5, or a 55%. Two is a 1.0 or a 60%. If they couldn’t pass anything, they get a 0, which is a 50%. It’s really easy to pass with D’s. It’s appalling and a disservice to our students. I’m looking forward to retiring!

So, to answer your question, I think it’s ridiculous and insane (except in special circumstances like nerdteach mentioned.)

Flaggerdoot 01-15-2018 07:04 PM

I do not agree that a student can get away with not doing homework and still be able to achieve 50%. It just doesn't make sense to reward someone that has done nothing a 50% grade compared to the student that completed all assignments getting a 100%, it lowers the value on the 100%, which will in turn make the students less adamant about doing their homework. I do however agree that if it is a special circumstance student that maybe they had been open with you about negatives in their life that have affected them at school with proof that it has affected them in other areas including homework then maybe I would be lenient. That would be the only way if ever I gave a student 50% when he/she did none of the work.

NerdTeach 01-08-2018 04:15 AM

I have done this. But only under very special circumstances.

For example----I had a student who, for the first quarter, was struggling heavily with mental health issues. They were depressed, anxious, no attention span, and sought out help and therapy. We had a very extensive meeting with the family and other teachers. We decided as a group to make the F's for first quarter 50% so that if the student improved for the rest of the year, they could still pass with a decent grade. However, if improvement did not occur, they would not pass.

It was a way to give that student a chance. It wasn't their fault that their mental health was not good.

So I've done it, but very rarely. It should more the exception to the rule rather than standard procedure, in my opinion.

Guest63 01-05-2018 07:07 AM

Lord, they had started doing this 30 years ago when I taught in inner city Dallas, and I am APPALLED that the idea is still around and gaining traction I guess. It means your students have to do very little work to pass. Teachers should fight this.

kahluablast 12-21-2017 09:35 AM

I don't teach high school. However, how are you able to know students who actually score 50% from those who don't turn anything in? How do you get an actual average that is accurate? It doesn't seem like giving 50% give kids too much incentive to watch not turning things in. I also haven't played with averages, but it seems like students could recover a lot easier from a 50% than a 0 and still be able to pass a class.

Oh, yeah - I forget that is the reason some places don't let teachers give 0's. Pity the poor kids who don't do their work. How ever will they pass a class if half of their assignments are not turned in and they got 0's?

newteacher9 12-21-2017 04:07 AM

I know there is a lot of debate on this topic, but I was wondering what some of your thoughts were on the idea of putting a 50% in for missing assignments instead of a zero.

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