Essential Question: Does giving learners no lower than a 50 percent as an overall grade, even when they have not done anything, helping or hurting the learner?
In a few states, the no zero grading policy has been making some tremendous waves.
Teachers and parents have been wondering if this policy really helps the child or does it hinder. The district leaders have said it gives students “a chance” to succeed but does it really? Hmmm, inquiring minds would like to know.
I think the grievance that teachers have, is if a student does absolutely nothing in their classes, the student would still receive a 50 percent as an overall grade instead of what they truly deserved. This further supports their argument that if a student receives a 50 percent first quarter, then does enough in class to earn at least a “C” second quarter, and receives a passing grade on the final exam, they could still pass the class with at least a “C”. This fact enrages some teachers for many different reasons.
Reason 1 – Students are receiving credit for doing absolutely nothing.
Reason 2 – This is not preparing students for reality because community colleges, and universities STILL give students what they really earn, not a 50 percent for doing nothing.
Reason 3 – When a student enters the workplace, they will receive feedback based on their work performance and will not be given anything other than their work performance.
Reason 4 – How would it appear if teachers decided to work 50 percent of the day but STILL expected 100 percent pay? It would be safe to assume they would not have a career in their professional for very long.
The other thing to consider is that there are cases where students still do not pass the class after receiving a 50 percent, so the no-zero policy is not always a win-win situation for learners.
In retrospect, it is about principle
Giving a grade without having to earn it is an ethical issue because it essentially is saying that it is ok to do nothing and still receive something.
For example, a student that earns a 53 percent by actually turning in work, while another does nothing and earns a 50 percent.
Does this seem ethical? By doing this, is our educational system preparing learners to go as further or preparing them to only go as far as their true intellect?
As education moves forward, what will happen if this no zero grading policy continues? Will it help or hurt our learners? Will it create the Dunning-Kruger Effect in some of these students, where they feel more qualified than they really are?
Giving a grade without expecting work, is like giving a cart without wheels. The cart itself may seem like a beneficial resource at the time, but without the wheels it will become more difficult to use as it becomes full.
So does giving learners no lower than a 50 percent as an overall grade, even when they have not done anything, helping or hurting the learner?