No zero policy is a system of grading that believes that no student should be given less than a 50 percent grade in a test or assignment. This policy has sparked a huge debate amongst scholars and society at large.
Yes, no parent wants to see a zero on the report sheet of their kid(s) but would they rather prefer their kids getting a credit score in a subject they know little or nothing about all for the sake of pushing them forward?
Schools like Ross Sheppard High School in Edmonton, and in districts like Philadelphia and Fairfax County have adopted the no-zero policy to the extent of punishing teachers who go against the rule.
There is this story of a certain Physics teacher who’s fond of handing zero to students who failed to submit or complete their assignments and what he got on his desk next was a suspension notice for going against the school’s policy. This generated a huge debate in the school and on the internet as many students and even teachers called for the reinstatement of the physics teacher.
The argument behind the creation and adoption of the policy is that it gives every student the chance of succeeding even if it is undeserving. With this policy, students are allowed to sail through because of the numerous chances to complete their works and pushed forward to the next stage of their education. But the huge question is, are students actually being favored with this policy or it’s just encouraging mediocrity?
Those in favor of this policy claim that zero grades don't dictate the level of a student's knowledge and make students lose interest in that particular subject and worse, in education entirely. They further stated that zero grades kill any sort of motivation in students and most times, the zero faults are mainly on the teachers and not on the students. This is arguably true in the sense that if a teacher is good at what they do-teaching- they'd know what method works for each of their students. As a teacher, the poor performance of your students should be a thing of shame for you.
As a result, it’s recommended that teachers should, instead, find ways to improve the knowledge of their students on a particular subject and with the assistance of the school board, devise means that will carry every student along as that would be a better solution than handing over zero grades.
An assignment or subject detention hall is one of those proposed movements for helping students who are lagging in their studies. At these halls, teachers can have a personal interaction with the faltering students and discover their problems. Although this might be stressful for teachers, however, it is a topic for discussion during board meetings.
On the other hand, teachers report that students determine which tasks are needed to graduate since the policy was applied in their school systems. Educators report a loss of student achievement since the implementation of the policy, and the students worry that owing to the policy, they will not be able to work for deadlines anymore (Balingit et St. George 2016).
Grades have always been part of schooling for most of us. Tasks were always assigned, accomplished and a score representing our efforts and knowledge would be given to us. Such scores were gathered at regular intervals and submitted to our parents or guardians on school reports to inform them of our development.
Throughout the years, grades have become a tradition of education that the majority of pupils, parents, educators, and administrators anticipate as a measure of development.
For all the benefits of this policy, in many schools and districts, it is a tough proposal to simply neglect the essence of qualified grades. No matter the situation, parents understand the essence of such grades; their importance and the messages they contain are strongly expected.
One of the major problems of no zero policy is a limited degree of accountability for students — a thoroughly needed functional skill every student needs to be successful.
Life is filled with time limits and commitments that have real consequences if not fulfilled. Students need to build the right strategy, management and technical skills necessary to carry out assignments.
With the removal of zero and other qualifications below 50%, students are eligible for undeserved credit scores. Although students may recover from the poor grade next in the future, they still give the notion that a genuine lack of commitment stays rewarded.
Generally, the satisfactory solution to this rather contradictory situation is for teachers and school authorities to make sure no student gets a 50% score for doing nothing. As it has been suggested in this article, teachers should discuss with the school board during meetings on how to help students who deserve zero or scores less than 50 in their assignments, find out the reason behind their failings as most might be due to social, family, or even personal issues and so on.
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