Pop quiz time, parents. Did your kid actually earn the grade he got on his last test? Are you sure? Maybe this will help you decide: a high school teacher has been suspended from his job for actually giving kids a 0 if they didn't turn in their homework or skipped a quiz.
Lynden Dorval is a physics teacher -- scratch that, was a physics teacher -- who has been labeled "unprofessional" and been kicked out of the classroom because he's been “negatively impacting student achievement.” Huh. So, the way the school's administration looks at it, it's Dorval's fault that kids didn't turn in their homework or take their necessary quizzes. That makes ... absolutely no sense at all.
Is it any wonder kids are increasingly plagued with a bad case of me first and the gimme, gimmes? School administrators are quite literally telling kids they don't have to do any work.
Dorval's battle with the school board over the 0s is going on up in Canada -- he works in a district in Edmonton. But this problem is hardly isolated to our neighbors to the north.
Just last weekend I sat down with a group of local teachers and was shocked to find out one school does not allow its educators to give any grade lower than a 50. Period. It doesn't matter what the child has done -- or hasn't done -- they can't get a grade lower than that. Another district has a similar "nothing lower than a 50" in place for the entire first marking period. After that teachers are actually given leave to, gasp, grade honestly.
I was only slightly comforted by the fact that the ridiculousness of this faux grading system wasn't lost on the frustrated educators. They want to push their kids to work, but they aren't allowed.
Their only hope is that we, the parents, realize our kids are slacking off and hold their feet to the fire. And we should! Ultimately what happens to our kid is our responsibility, and we are partners with their teachers in their education. But it's not exactly easy to tell your kid isn't handing in her homework if the teacher isn't allowed to give her a 0 for it, is it?
Hey, but that's not the school administrators' problem, is it? We're the ones who have to take care of our kids when they graduate from high school knowing absolutely nothing ...
Should kids be allowed to fail or get an inflated grade?
Image via Justin_D_Miller/Flickr