Should students get credit for late work?

There were some interesting comments on yesterday’s blog about what should happen when students turn work in late.

More and more teaches say principals and other officials have pressured them to accept late assignments and to give students full-credit for the work. (I imagine more of these conversations are going on as we near the end of the school year.)

It used to be students would get penalized – they would get a zero, be docked a few points or face a sliding scale of depreciated grades depending on how late they were turning in the work.

I’ve had some principals say the focus should be on students doing the work and learning the material. Giving students less credit for late work, some principals say, could turn off kids from completing any assignments.

Many teachers say that isn’t fair to students who follow instructions. They wonder how kids will learn to respect deadlines, explaining that adults get penalized when they are late.

What should happen when students turn in work late?

85 comments Add your comment

Fred

May 14th, 2009
9:12 am

My one and only problem with giving zero’s is the damage they do to an average in a 100 pt grading scale. My school is on an 8 pt scale A( 100-92) B(91-84) and so on, but then a student does not turn an assignment in and gets a zero. I would prefer for schools to go to a 5 point scale where the difference between passing and failing isn’t as large. for example an A would earn 5pts, a B, 4 pts and so on. Then a student could still be penalized with a zero (which I do feel they deserve / earn when no work is turned in) without completely destroying the students average.
Someone made the point yesterday that mastery based learning without penalizing a student for late work is more like the real world, and like yesterdays poster, I have to ask what world is that? Hold a student accountable, Yes, Take away all hope of passing with a 0 in the average, NO

Stan

May 14th, 2009
9:19 am

I think it should be left up to the teacher for the most part. Minor Guidelines for the system are fine. I also dislike the 0 for late work that IS turned in within a reasonable amount of time, but points should be docked.

Kim

May 14th, 2009
9:25 am

Why don’t the little darlings just do what they’re supposed to and turn the work in on time? Enough of this pandering to spoiled brats. What about the teachers who then have to check all of this late work? Grades have to be turned in on a schedule so report cards can be printed out. Let’s just make everyone wait while these lazy kids with their sense of “entitlement” decide to get off their butts and turn their work in.

dbow

May 14th, 2009
9:40 am

We currently use a 20% formative and 80% summative format. We are discouraged from giving out zeros, but we all know what that realy means. Next year we’re eliminating the formative category altogether and going with 100% summative grades. In effect, they have taken away the only method we have to show a students work habits(or lack there of). Why would any teacher bother to assign homework anymore if it no longer counts towards anything? As I’ve said in previous posts, I have asked administrators how this applies to the “real” world and they hate that. When I ask if I can be given the same accomodation as the students, of course they say no. I have to get graded assignments back to students within a given amount of time, this is called a deadline. Students don’t have a deadline though for any work they have. I don’t get it.

VOICE

May 14th, 2009
9:41 am

What about student ACCOUNTABILITY? What are we teaching them? What are they learning? Just turn it in whenever they decide. Deadlines really don’t matter. We are suppose to be educating them, not just on subject content.

The debate can go back and forth, but this is another example of why our country is in the wreck that it currently is in.

V for Vendetta

May 14th, 2009
9:44 am

If it’s not turned in on time, the student should get no credit. End of story. By highschool, if they can’t figure that out then they don’t need to graduate.

dbow

May 14th, 2009
9:49 am

Hey Voice, I’m with you. I scream at the top of my lungs every year about the lack of accountability on the part of the students and more and more on us(the teacher). Instead of implementing some real world consequences, the “leadership” has disposed of the issue altogether. In effect they have taken it out of our hands to decide what’s right. No late work at all, ever because it doesn’t count anyway.

chuck

May 14th, 2009
10:02 am

Late work is the bane of my existence. As a long-time middle school social studies teacher, I understand that children are not perfect. The problem is that we can’t help them get better if we reinforce bad habits. I want all of my students to pass, but I think it is more important for them to grow as human beings. The only means that we have available to us is the grade. We can’t keep them after school because parents won’t pick them up.

Should there not be ANY CONSEQUENCES? I mean, I know we are living in Obamaland now and the left is in charge. I know that ONLY the rich and Republicans should have consequences in Obamaland, but I thought the whole idea was to do what is best for the KID…NOT what makes us feel good about ourselves.

Harper's Mama

May 14th, 2009
10:11 am

I simply don’t think that it is feasible to accept assignments, tests, and quizzes at any point. It is not possible to grade assignments in a timely manner. There has to be some kind of time limit. This does not help students in any way. All it does is allow them to think that they will be able to be late for the rest of their lives.
It’s not realistic, and it is not fair to the students.

Reality 2

May 14th, 2009
10:17 am

What’s the point of a letter grade students get at the end of the term? Shouldn’t it indicate the mastery of the subject matter? If so, why shouldn’t teachers accept late work?

I suppose a lot depends on the nature of assignments, too. I don’t think (everyday) homework should ever be included in the calculation of final grades. Students should not be rewarded for doing what they are supposed to do – study. On the other hand, if students’ don’t do homework yet still show their mastery of the subject matter on exams and other forms of assessment, then they should not be penalized for not doing the busywork (for them).

Harper's Mama

May 14th, 2009
10:26 am

Maybe there is a disparity in what we are discussing. Is it all late work, or is it simply homework? I can understand accepting late homework, but formal assessments must have a time frame.

VOICE

May 14th, 2009
10:36 am

Chuck, You really should understand that a lot of this crap came down with NCLB, whlie we were living in Bushland. No accountability for the rich and Republicans was the hallmark of that non-administration. The same is true for students and parents. While I agree with you about reinforcing bad habits, it didn’t just start.

Dbow, if we keep screaming, a positive change will take place. Teachers are already held to a high standard of accountability. Administrators, students and parents are next in line. But, we will start with the administrators.

dbow

May 14th, 2009
10:41 am

Harper’s Mama, that’s exactly the problem. In my district, any work regardless of what it is is to be accepted. Formal assessments can be handed in ANYTIME!!

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
10:46 am

“Why would any teacher bother to assign homework anymore if it no longer counts towards anything?”

Umm – I would hope you are assigning homework to enhance the child’s education. If you are only assigning it for a grade then please don’t assign any. It is a waste of everyone’s time.

we have to ask ourselves if we are here to collect and distribute grades on a basically arbitrary scale or are we here to educate children? If it is merely the former I say we go ahead and close up shop. As far as the ‘real world’ argument goes, school was never designed to be the ‘real world. It should be a place dedicated to learning and growth for children, not a place where a child can be zeroed out of the game. Do work habits etc need to be taught and reinforced? Absolutely. Does this need to be done in an overly punitive way that a student cannot learn anything from or bounce back and grow from such as the almighty zero? Absolutely not. It is about learning and the mastery of concepts, not being bound to the arbitrary grade scale.

Teacher, Too

May 14th, 2009
10:46 am

Late work is late work, whether it’s homework, an essay, a classwork assignment. How does the teacher know if the student actually completed the assignment? It the work is two or three weeks late, is the teacher not supposed to return graded assignments until all the students who decided not to do the work on time finally decides to turn it in?

If the teacher passes back the assignment, what to prevent the student from copying someone else’s work?

How is giving a zero or late points not real world? Doesn’t the IRS assess a monetary penalty for late taxes? Don’t you get penalized if you don’t pay a bill on time (late fees, ect.. on credit cards, mortgages, electric bill, phone bill). Don’t you get penalized if you bounce a check?

Why shouldn’t students be penalized if they can’t meet a deadline? What incentive is there for a student to turn work in on time if there is no penalty?

Reality

May 14th, 2009
10:51 am

Sure. Teach kids that deadlines don’t matter. That is a great lesson.

The IRS doesn’t care about deadlines, right? Your boss doesn’t care about deadlines, either. Work at McDonald’s? There is no deadline for making that Big Mac, right? You can take 4 hours to make it if you want.

Students in my class must not only do the assignment, but also must turn it in on time – period. There are many reasons for my policy. Students DO need to learn deadlines. In addition, I need time to grade assignments – I cannot just let them trickle in throughout the semester. Also, as the teacher, I need to review the answers with the class – should students REALLY be allowed to turn it in AFTER I go over the answers? Give me a break!

Since I have this firm policy and I really do stick to it – the kids quickly realize the meaning of a “deadline” and they do turn their work in on time. I can easily see how problems arise if kids are allowed to slide. The ONLY time I make exceptions is for excused absences.

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
10:52 am

Are you honestly equating the overall importance of teaching and learning with late fees on credit cards and bounced checks?

Sad and shortsighted IMHO.

Reality

May 14th, 2009
10:53 am

dbow – what school system do you work in? I will want to avoid that one like the plague!!!

dbow

May 14th, 2009
10:57 am

Principal Teacher, I guess my sarcasm wasn’t getting through in my post. Homework should be used as a reinforcer, not as a punitive tool, but to not have a deadline or at the very least a suggested due date is insulting to those of us that know better. as the to the statement that school are not designed to resemble the real world, I whole heartedly disagree. I make my class as real world as I possibly can. These kids are eventualy going to be in the working world facing unbelievable comepetition. We are doing them a disservice by not teaching them that there are deadlines and consequences for not meeting them. In the grand scheme of life, homework is not a big deal, but the greater issue here is one of accountability and personal responsibility as a future member of society. Right now we have too many people with an entitlement menatality as it is. Do we really need more of them?

reality 3

May 14th, 2009
11:03 am

I’m going to avoid Principal Teacher’s school like the plague. Okay, Prinicpal Teacher, what about college professors and how they run their classes? Students get 1 copy of a syllabus at the beginning of the semester, are expected to keep up with the scheduled reading on their own time, and turn in a paper ON A DEADLINE. Do you think a college professor is going to accept a paper WHENEVER IT’S CONVENIENT for the student? How are we preparing students for that “real world” example?

Teacher Teacher

May 14th, 2009
11:27 am

I am definitely interested in this topic. I believe high school students should be held to deadlines. They are the closest to the real world and should be treated as such. The SAT/ACT tests have deadlines to pay for and take tests . . . they don’t allow students to complete the test “whenever”. What concerns me the most is the scenario where a student should be allowed to turn in an assignment whenever, as long as it meets the standards . . . Um, I am currently grading 75 research papers (that take minimum 10 minutes each – oh, and at home because I am teaching during the day), creating my exams for next week, creating two final assessments . . . when do you think a teacher has time to grade these major assignments if they just can trickle in all semester? I have a deadline to get all these grades in by 4 pm on the last day of school. Sounds like some policy makers are clearly out of touch with the demands of the classroom today.

Reality

May 14th, 2009
11:49 am

Principal Teacher – I would not want to teach in a system where anything can be turned in any time. I would not want my child to attend a system like that either – it teachers the wrong values.

I think that administrators that enforce such a policy (such as no zeros, etc.) are simply trying to avoid confrontations and put more of a burden on teachers that are already doing their job. The administrators don’t want to confront parents that will complain. They don’t want to confront the truth in the failure rates.

However, they will be confronting the standardized test scores that will come in way below average. These same students have likely figured out that they don’t even have to pass the CRCT to get promoted to the next grade level.

Yeah – that’s a great policy to have for a system.

dbow

May 14th, 2009
12:02 pm

My post got lost in the shuffle somehow. I guess my sarcasm wasn’t as obvious as I thought it was. Homework should be used to reinforce lessons taught and not as weapons for revenge, but it is also useful in teaching the lesson of responsibilty and accountability. Students are being short changed in this area under the misguided idea that tey will learn without it. Where in the real world can you hand in something late without penalty? If there is such a place I can’t think of it. I worked as an administrator and I can tell you that this is a tool used by higher ups to avoid confrontation before it starts. This is not about what’s best for students, it’s about what’s best for the bottom line. Fewer parents complaining and the easier it is for adminstrators to do their job. Teacher’s don’t count in this equation because we’re all thankful just to have a job and we’re going to do what we’re told regardless of what we feel. Sad, I know, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. This is yet another attempt to avoid the reality that we are failing our students.

ShoeShee

May 14th, 2009
12:03 pm

As a corporate training designer, I am amazed at how over the years, the “assignments” is give to team members to bring information to meetings and discussions have fallen on deafer and deafer ears. I actually have people in their late 20’s who come to the meeting with their laptop and proceed to do their “assignment” – during the meeting! This is the end result of school systems lack of discipline. (And these are all college graduates, so it must be happening there as well.) Businesses need to step up and let school systems know what they require from workers. The more the years go by, the less productive (lazy and not serious) the teams I work with have become. Sometimes I feel like I’m a preschool teacher.

dbow

May 14th, 2009
12:04 pm

I guess my original post didn’t get lost afer all. My spelling is atrocious and I type too fast to care.

HB

May 14th, 2009
12:11 pm

Personally, I don’t think turning an assignment in late should result in a zero, but points should be docked. By junior and senior year, I remember teachers telling kids who were clearly scrambling at the last minute to think about what would hurt more — turning in a sloppy paper (say, D work) on time, or taking one more day to do a better job knowing they would lose one letter grade (maybe B quality, resulting in a C)? That’s really not a bad thing for a student to try and figure out. Usually, late assignments lost one letter grade per day late. There was a point when the assignment would be an F, but not a zero unless it wasn’t turned in at all. An F is bad, but a 50 will hurt the kid’s average far less than a zero, so it still was worth turning the work in. The idea that full credit would be given whenever a student gets around to doing the work is ridiculous, and kids who think that is the norm are going to have a rough time in college or in a job.

Jeanette

May 14th, 2009
12:11 pm

**Reality 2**@10:17. I am wondering …You say if students can pass the assessments which indicate mastery, then they should not be penalized gradewise if they choose not to do homework and/or other assignments. Does it then follow that students can do ALL homework and other daily/weekly assignments, yet fail the assessments which show mastery, they do not pass? In my school, both of these scenarios come up quite often. It is quite a dilemma.

Harper's Mama

May 14th, 2009
12:14 pm

Principal Teacher, I think that the point you are making is valid. I do not hink it is possible to load that amount of work on a teacher and expect him or her to meet his or her deadlines. It is simply not possible. It takes about 5-10 minutes to grade a 3 page essay. If I had 100 students turn in their essays to me a week before grades were due, there is no way that I could accurately assess them while teaching and grading final exams and other essays. It simply can not be done. If I only took 5 minutes to grade this, it would take me an entire work day (8.3 hours) without stopping to grade them. If I took the time that they deserve to really investigate whether the student has met the standards, then it would take me 16.6 hours without stopping.
I, however, am required to get all grades in within two weeks of assignment. How can I do both?
Again, I understand accepting late homework, but if I assign a paper in September, and the student turns it in in December, I don’t think that the student is learning to accept responisbility for his actions. Does it really take 3 months to write a 750 word essay? If so, then we have much larger fish to fry with this young scholar.

Harper's Mama

May 14th, 2009
12:21 pm

Reality 2,
Graades ARE the indicators of mastery…A 100 means that 100% of the standards were met or exceeded. If a child does not turn in an assignment, how are we to know whether he has mastered the content???

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
12:31 pm

Some of you umped to a few conclusions there. I never said no deadlines or no homework or less accountability. I said homework should be meaningful and relevant and that our current grading scale is overly punitive and arbitrary and does not provide for fair accountability. I also never said ‘turn it in anytime’ As far as the ‘prepare them for the working world’ idea goes I don’t see it that way. Actually I see this mindset as one of the reasons GA is always in the cellar nationwide in education. We don’t value education correctly. If the goal is only to be a good worker then send them all to training camps. If the goal is to produce an educated and enlightened population then that is a different story altogether. Standardized tests are idiotic, plain and simple. The college professor argument is tired. There is no compulsory attendance law for college. You pay your money and you agree to the terms. K-12 is not the same animal – apples and oranges. If your workers aren’t producing, fire them and hire someone with the correct work ethic.. Whining about the schools not preparing them for your exact requirements is a fool’s errand at best.
I do agree that some administrators use portions of this argument as a crutch to be ‘lazy’, just as I believe some teachers use the opposing argument as a crutch for the same. Perhaps if everyone wasn’t so focused on the us vs them of teacher vs administrator (as many of you at least seem to be) then we could all work together in the best interest of the children and supporting a society that fosters learning and growth and innovation over the production of little worker bees?

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
12:36 pm

Oh, and just for the record, I’d personally rather take on an irate parent than an irate teacher any day of the week. ;-)

And mama you are very right – teachers in our schools are WAY overburdened by the sheer numbers!
I do maintain however, that our current grading scale is pretty much subjective and self defeating.

Math Teacher

May 14th, 2009
12:42 pm

OK, Let’s look at this from a different perspective… (I’m a high school math teacher, so this perspective might not have much relevance for other subjects)

Let’s say you teach a class with a weighted average, and that homework (HW) is weighted at 10% of the final average (Remember, we are not counting Classwork here at all). For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you give out 40 HW assignments over a semester(about 2 per week, which isn’t much for a math class). This means that each HW assignment ONLY counts .25 points toward their final average! (And that is only if they do the entire assignment correctly). If a student chooses to never do HW (and fail themselves), odds suggest that they did not perform well on the formal assessments given throughout the semester (quizzes and tests). If they did do well on quizzes and tests, then you could make an argument for their mastery of the material. If they didn’t do well on the quizzes or tests, what is the argument about? They DIDN’T understand the material!

It appears to me the argument isn’t whether it’s ‘fair’ to prepare students for the real world, but whether it is the teacher’s responsibility to do considerably more work re-grading (while trying to do all the work already required at the end of the school year) which does not radically change a student’s grade. Is this really our responsibility after we have already provided them that opportunity?

Irony, Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
12:46 pm

So schools are not real life, nor are they meant to be. HOWEVER, teachers are to make real life lessons and units. Explain that, please. Why would students want to learn real life examples in a place that is completely removed from reality? Choose one, please and get back with me.

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
1:03 pm

Irony – Why do I have to choose? ( I also never said ‘removed from reality’ ) – If you want to be that ‘real’ just repeal the child labor laws and compulsory attendance laws and put ‘em to work! Can’t a school be a place for children to learn and come to value their education in an atmosphere that supports them in this instead of scaring them to death about failure at every turn? When one speaks about real world examples (lessons and units) in the context of teaching and leaning we are speaking about attempting to make the learning relevant and meaningful to the world the student interacts with outside of the school walls in order to help them connect to the topics and learning opportunities presented, not necessarily just training them to go and do. We should be guides in helping these people learn to deal and interact with their world in an educated and rational way not merely a reactionary and punishment avoidance capacity. No, schools are not real life but they ARE places to learn about real life in a supportive environment. Unfortunately we often seem to create just another hostile environment in our schools for them to wade through. I hope that makes sense.

high school teacher

May 14th, 2009
1:09 pm

I posted yesterday that I have two grades for all assignments – one in a standard category and one in a work category. I do have a deadline for late work. I give my students grade reports every 2-3 weeks. If they have a missing assignment, they have 5 school days to get that assignment to me (our school’s standard policy). If given to me within the five day window, I will grade the assignment and give it full credit (if it is worthy) in the standard category. The highest that they can get on that assignment in the work category is a 50. If they don’t turn in the assignment, they keep their zero in the work category, but there is no grade for that assignment in the standard category – I have no way of knowing if they have mastery of the standard if I have no work, so I don’t assign it a grade.

I started this system in part because of the disparity between a student’s semester average and EOCT scores. I teach gifted kids, so they usually blow the top off of the test, but they are also lazy, which is why many of them have less than an “A” average. Now that I have a category for “work,” I can show that while Student X has demonstrated mastery in writing (96 average in that category), Student X has a poor work ethic (56 average in the work categroy because very few assignments are turned in on time). It basically covers me when test scores come back.

One more comment – if your child came home with a 66 on an essay, you would probably be concerned about your child’s writing ability. However, quite possibly your child is a good writer; she just can’t turn things in on time. A 66 could reflect a 30 point deduction for turning in a paper 3 days late. In my class, an essay is scored twice: in teh above scenario, your student would receive a 96 in the writing category, and a 70 in the work category, reflecting that it was 3 days late.

I hope that this isn’t too confusing. I am typing fast and in between classes.

Reality Check

May 14th, 2009
1:26 pm

Principal Teacher – “then we could all work together in the best interest of the children and supporting a society that fosters learning and growth and innovation over the production of little worker bees?”. Wait…let me throw up! This is the very reason jobs are going oversees and the American brain drain is well underway in corporate America and elsewhere. The Ivory Tower notion of learning for the sake of learning doesn’t exist in most schools. The work ethic of the American high school student is, for the most park, a joke compared to that of comparable students in other countries…especially developing ones. I feel sorry for American businesses who have to hire from our pool of workers. I’ve been in education for 17 years and am continually disturbed by the expectations placed on schools and not on the rugrats that show up every morning for social hour and warm fuzzy day.

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
1:27 pm

Irony – Why do I have to choose one? (and I never said ‘removed from reality’ – what an absurd conclusion) Can’t school be a place where children learn and test things out? When we speak of relating lessons and units to the real world we are talking about making them relevant to the real world students interact with outside the school walls on a daily basis in order to interest and invest them in the learning provided, not merely training them for what we may perceive as the ‘real world’ of IRS and credit cards. If we want to be that ‘real’ why don’t we simply repeal the child labor laws and the compulsory attendance laws and send the little buggers to work? That would fix the economy and budget right up. Tax those little suckers!

Of course the lessons we teach need to be grounded in some real world applications. They also need to expose our children to worlds outside their own wouldn’t you say? Or is that too removed from reality? For me that is the purpose of providing education in the first place. You are really selling yourself, our children and the power of education short if you see the two as mutually exclusive. School years are the time for people to find their strengths and challenges BEFORE going out into the ‘real world’, not the time to be shoehorned and pushed into molds. These years are best used to try on different hats if you will, and prepare a broad enough common base so that we may be able to leverage that education into becoming a participatory and contributing citizen. As a society we need to realize that this is where we are currently failing our kids. They are NOT adults and need the time to mature in a structured and somewhat risk free environment so that they will be prepared to tackle the real world (whatever that may be for them).

dbow

May 14th, 2009
1:39 pm

Hey Math Teacher. The problem with your weighted average senario is that in my district we are not allowed to weigh anything. That’s another reason they’re going to a 100% summative grading system. I attended a math workshop the other day and I mentioned this new grading system to the GDOE lady and her eyes got huge. I asked her what her opinion was, and all she would say was “Interesting.”

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
1:40 pm

Reality Check — I’m sorry that you believe that. If you actually take time to do some research you would find this is not the case. Jobs are going overseas because owners can pay less for the work and reap greater profits, not because the workers are more competent. This country is still the greatest and most productive on the planet. Why do all the folks in India and elsewhere go to great lengths to get visas to come here and study at our universities? Because the way in which we approach learning is above and beyond anything else in the known world.

If our students do not have the work ethic of others (a claim I don’t believe for the most part) it is more due to the fact that they are not invested in the reasons to obtain the education or have been overly discouraged. That is our fault as adults, not theirs.

This kind of negative fear mongering is what is damaging our great country, not the abilities of our children! My biggest fear is that attitudes towards our country and our children such as you seem to put forth in your post will one day actually become a self fulfilling prophesy.

Harper's Mama

May 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

I think that we are still talking about two different things: homework and major grades. Homework should not make or break a student. Major grades should. Not turning in a homework shold not make a student fail. However, not turning in a major grade should have a dramatic impact on his grade. And major grades need to have deadlines. There is a reason that we have the deadlines; we have to get the assignment, project or test assessed and turned back to the student so that they can improve their writing, reading, and critical thinking skills for the next assignment.

Teacher Teacher

May 14th, 2009
2:05 pm

I would like to know if Principal Teacher is a career teacher or if he/she has corporate world experience. I find it highly ironic that schools are willing to pay and recruit corporate career people to come in and teach math and science, but then only want to use the knowledge of the subject, not their real-world experience that would involve, oh, say, the creative use of their knowledge to solve a problem so the company can meet a deadline the client wants. In this fast-paced, global society, Principal Teacher, you are doing a disservice to the students (and teachers, but that’s another story) to enforce the idea that it’s learning for the sake of learning and not just to acclimate yourself to the big bad world out there that runs on deadlines. The corporate world values those that can use their knowledge to find creative solutions. Read Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers, for one.

In addition, I need to take issue with your quote: “If our students do not have the work ethic of others (a claim I don’t believe for the most part) it is more due to the fact that they are not invested in the reasons to obtain the education or have been overly discouraged. That is our fault as adults, not theirs”.

But Principal Teacher – come on, how am I wrong with enforcing a deadline in my class because a parent doesn’t do their job and help their student have a healthy respect for attaining an education? I get some kids face challenges far greater than I ever will, but that’s not always the case. It’s not fair to place a burden on the teacher for a student that can’t/won’t meet deadlines. I think you need a wider perspective.

By the way, High School teacher – LOVE your idea about work vs standards mastery. You made a great point and I think I may have to swipe it! Same thing for the math theacher . . .

Tony

May 14th, 2009
2:34 pm

And houses and cars should be repossessed on the first day after the payment is due. Surgeries should be undone for not paying the doctor.

Sometimes some of you hardnosed people make absolutely no sense. There should be appropriate penalties for late work, but there is no way to make hard and fast rules that apply to all situations. Principals should not declare “No Zero” policies, either. Both extremes are ridiculous.

From my teaching years, the point of homework was to make sure students were learning. It was a small portion of the grade. Tests counted more for the final grade. Missing tests had to be made-up, but there were no penalties for being late. Only deductions for wrong answers.

dbow

May 14th, 2009
2:39 pm

Teacher Teacher, I have not read Outliers, but it’s the book that my principal has quoted when describing the plan to allow any student into advanced classes without using any criteria. How is that fair to students that actually deserve to be there? I know this is off topic, but I’m angry that we have no say in the process. My current advanced students have all figured out that this stinks and are rightfully ticked off.

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
2:53 pm

Teacher – Teacher – I don’t think ‘ironic’ is the word I would use ;-) . I am not at all in favor of bringing in people from the business world who have not had the basic background pedagogy. They teach subject matter, not kids far too often for my tastes (not all – some do make outstanding teachers)
My view is that a true teacher is focused on the successful learning of the child – whatever it takes. Each child is different. You have to at least attempt to figure each one out to be truly effective. I do concede that this is a very hard task and not for the faint of heart. I also realize it is a bit of the ideal given the odds most teachers are presented with day to day.

Again, not saying you are wrong to set deadlines. I just believe that the deadlines shouldn’t be the main focus.

And to answers your questions – I have owned and operated a successful business, worked in the ‘real world’ of customer service and now work in education. There are several t-shirts in the closet.

My experience tells me that a school is not a business just as a business is not a school.

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
2:56 pm

dbow – I heartily agree about the AP issue – it is a travesty!

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
3:01 pm

“The corporate world values those that can use their knowledge to find creative solutions.”

My point exactly – our current antiquated grading system stifles this ability!

I’m also sorry you see trying to reach or work with that child who does not turn things in because of background situations as a “burden” . That is what teachers d,o isn’t it? maybe I misinterpreted (I hope so).

jim d

May 14th, 2009
3:19 pm

I think y’all should just hand out all “A’s” and not worry about it.

Principal Teacher

May 14th, 2009
3:23 pm

The corporate world values those that can use their knowledge to find creative solutions.”

My point exactly! – Our current antiquated grading system stifles these type of skills!

I find it unfortunate that you find trying to reach or work with the student who may have trouble with a deadline as a “burden”. Isn’t that what teachers do? Try to teach children and guide them through to valuing and knowing how to do the correct thing and explain why it is important to do so? I hope I have misinterpreted your comment here.

concerned teacher

May 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

I’m confused about the debate between real world vs. school. If school is not the real world, then what is it? It is the students’ biggest priority for 9 months of the year, and it is their only responsibililty (until they are old enough to work, of course). As for meeting standards, in most courses (and definitely between grade levels), the standards build off what was learned previously. Students can’t progress until they’ve mastered some of the early material, and there’s only so many days in a school year. No deadlines is not a feasible option. The people who think that one 0 (even on a major assignment) automatically prevents a student from passing are wrong. In most systems, no one grade can be worth that much.

I wholeheartedly agree with the early post about students simply doing what they’re supposed to do. How hard is that to do?

jim d

May 14th, 2009
3:38 pm

Principal Teacher,

i hate to break it to you but yes indeed education is business, –big business. Gwinnetts budget for next year is pushing $2,000,000,000.

I know i know–just a bunch of zero’s –right? but putting it into perspective that would be 2 billon dollars. which ain’t exactly chump change