Something for Nothing?

Diane Tirado is a long-time teacher with many years of experience. Earlier this year she took a job at Westgate Middle School in Florida. For many years, she gave a grade of zero to students who did not hand in an assignment. One student said, “You have to give me 50%, even if I don’t hand in anything.” To that, Ms. Tirado responded, “Not in my class.”

It turns out that her new school has a policy stating that the lowest grade a student can receive is 50% or 50 out of 100 points. Ms. Tirado took a stand and would not change the grade. Within days, Ms. Tirado was fired.

Joe’s Perspective: I agree with Ms. Tirado on two points: (1) I think that students who don’t hand in work should receive zeros. Why should a kid who does absolutely nothing get a similar grade to someone who gets half the answers wrong? It doesn’t seem fair. It also seems to reinforce a “something for nothing” belief system. (2) I also applaud Mrs. Tirado for taking a stand. She believed the policy was wrong and she took an ethical stance, even though it cost her her job.

Your Turn: After viewing this post, (1) do you think a student should receive half credit for not turning in an assignment? 2) If you disagreed with this school policy, would you be willing to take a stand, even if it meant that you could lose your job?

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