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Thread: Zero teacher fired

  1. #1

    Default Zero teacher fired

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmont...ero-fired.html

    This is a contentious topic. Everyone I know and whose opinions I respect is firmly in the pro-zeros camp, and would likely express how appalled they are that the EPSB has sacked L. Dorval.

    A termination is a terrible thing, and it is obscene to gloat over anyone losing their job, especially when there may have been other issues as well. Let's frame the thing purely not about the ex-teacher, but about the zeroes he handed out.

    On reflection, I think school zeros totally miss the point. They show the teacher is as lazy as the students being flunked, they do not promote any sense of responsibility on the part of the student, and if they are someone's usual grade, it just means that person should drop out.

    I was going to say I went to a school that handed out zeros -- god knows it was "academic" enough -- but actually thinking about it I cannot recall getting a single zero for any assignment I didn't submit on time. Homework was nightly in every subject, by the way, and sometimes I failed to do it. Like any student. The school had other means of getting us to do the stuff. Eventually the parents would be called, there would be after-school detention -- the only point of which was to have the students do their homework supervised, and as soon as they finished it they were free to go -- and so on. And flunking students would be asked to repeat a grade or to leave.

    This all may go over well in some "elitist" environment, you'll say, but how about the public schools which are supposed to take everyone... Well, in fact it's not everyone. It's only compulsory to sixteen, which would be about grade ten or so. And there's a reason for that. Leaving school that early is no major problem, when one can apprentice and learn a trade. And if trades require a high school certificate... I see no reason at all why they should.

    The zeros you get and will get in university are a different matter altogether, because you are already an adult. But anyone who's actually done university studies knows that almost all the weight of the final grade is on the exams, not the homework -- and that's how it should be: homework is just practice.

    And as for "real-life" consequences of failing to finish work on time, let's be realistic. Anyone who has worked knows there are two kinds of due dates: the floating ones and the fixed ones. Most work is NOT finished on time, ever, without termination-level consequences -- nor should it be. And when the occasional hard deadline does come up, it's all-hands-up and everyone works, including the teachers, er, supervisors and management. And should the deadline be missed, the supervisors and management, pay for it with their jobs before the line-workers.

    Zeros instil no responsibility. They are about something else altogether.

    I predict that public outcry will give Dorval his job back soon. But even when it does, the outcry will not be about Dorval as a teacher fit to teach or about the sense-of-responsibility that will be on everyone's lips. It will be about our basic impulse to dole out punishment. It will be about the joy of knowing someone got a zero, the catharsis of seeing someone put down to a place as low and as impotent as the one you are at. It will be the hockey school of toughness translated into schooling. Blood for blood, mashed brains for brains: beat the bastards down, how dare they! It will be the direct consequence of our society's least attractive and most enduring, most basic trait.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 15-09-2012 at 12:02 PM.

  2. #2

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    I am going to approach the reply with the teacher removed from the discussion.

    Zeros are not punishment, they are fact. If you do not do the assignment it is zero.
    - If it is late you will get a grade
    - If it is incomplete you will get a grade

    I do not know where about you Ashetsen, but anywhere I have over the last 30+ years if an duty was to be completed by a set time and date it had to be done or there would be consequences. If the timeline for completion was unreasonable that would be addressed ahead of time.

    In the world I live now there are many parts of my job if not completed and successful, never mind the consequences to me, the consequence to the facility could cost people jobs, projects cancelled or operational losses that could lead to closure.

    If you don't show up for work in the real world the consequence is zero pay.

    Zeros are all about responsibility and school is the place to start learning that.

    It is not elitist, as zeros for non performance are not a reflection of race, creed, colour, sex, or sexual orientation. Zeros are what you get if you do nothing and in school if you do nothing you deserve nothing. As I stated.
    - If you submit the assignment you get a grade.
    - If you submit the assignment late you get a grade
    - If you submit an assignment incomplete you get a grade
    - If you submit nothing you deserve nothing...a zero as a reflection of your performance.

    It is not punishment...it is a direct reflection of YOUR performance, period

    Not giving them when the assignment is not done is a punishment to those that do the assignment and follow the rules, a reward for failure. Not something we need to be promoting.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  3. #3
    grish
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    AShetsen, very well written.

    Zeros are at the end of the day not reflective of abilities. I have absolutely no problems with no zeros being awarded for missed work. At the end of the day, the teacher has the option of stating "unable to assess" if enough work is missed.

    There are many different types of assessment. Some assessment is designed to provide more information to the student, not the teacher. Giving out zeros on those has no sense whatsoever. The value of homeworks and projects is not the grade, but the learning during those projects. Zero or any other grade for that matter does not really reflect this purpose.

    Other assessment–the end of unit/ term assessment–is more about providing information to the school/ province/ future employer about one measure of the state of student knowledge. It is not perfect, but there it is.

    Thomas:
    If people and governments feel that students need to learn responsibility and time management, then lets put that into our curriculum outcomes and create a separate measure of this work ethic. Have each teacher assign a, say, letter grade that reflects attendance and project completion. I actually do not mind this solution.

    As for the teacher, unless his appeal succeeds, he is not coming back. Public opinion here does not mean a thing.
    Last edited by grish; 15-09-2012 at 12:10 PM.

  4. #4

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    To Tom Hinderks: A zero IS a grade. By your logic a zero should be given only for an assignment which IS submitted and which is totally wrong.

    You seem to want a non-grade grade for work that is entirely missing. It exists: it is called "incomplete" and is as I understand it exactly what was NOT handed out in this case.

    As regards real-life work.

    --- Not showing up for work is not the same as not completing a task. We are talking about not completing a task, not failing to show up for it.

    --- Extensions to deadline are negotiated. Teachers do not, in general, not to my first-hand knowledge, negotiate with students. Even if they do, the requirement to ask for an extension is an "adult" requirement: not an adolescent one.

    ----

    To Gregory B: Thank you. I think his appeal will succeed. In the end it goes to the trustees -- and the trustees are elected, and will therefore bow to public opinion. The public opinion, as I have already said, has nothing to do with the fired teacher.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 15-09-2012 at 12:25 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    To Tom Hinderks: A zero IS a grade. By you logic a zero should be given for an assignment which IS submitted and which is totally wrong.

    You seem to want a non-grade grade for work that is entirely missing. It exists: it is called "incomplete" and is as I understand it exactly what was NOT handed out in this case.

    ----

    As regards real-life work.

    --- Not showing up for work is not the same as not completing a task. We are talking about not completing a task, not failing to show up for it.

    --- Extensions to deadline are negotiated. Teachers do not, in general, not to my first-hand knowledge, negotiate with students. Even if they do, the requirement to ask for an extension is an "adult" requirement: not an adolescent one.

    To Gregory B: Thank you.
    Submission of an assignment deemed totally wrong is still graded and assigned a mark for the effort.

    A zero is for nothing

    A zero is reflective of not having the responsibility to even attempt

    Not showing up for work (except in a case of illness, injury or emergency where you are expected to advise your employer) is reflective of not having the responsibility of meeting your commitments.

    Extensions are granted at all grade levels for many reasons and at the high school level late assignments without and extension are graded, sometimes with a late penalty, and a mark assigned.

    And how does an adolescent become a responsible adult, not by giving rewards for avoiding responsibility.

    Having a child in grade 2 and one in University I am very well versed in the system.

    Grish

    Responsibility and time management are and always have been taught in the school, it does not require new policy or curricula.

    I will agree the teacher in question will not get his position back, I believe even under appeal. In my opinion public opinion has no effect against those that fear a loss of power, prestige or position more than the public outcry.

    The more and longer I am involved in the modern education system and administration the more I am disappointed and disgusted by it.

    In my highly biased personal opinion
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 15-09-2012 at 12:31 PM. Reason: spelling, single word added

  6. #6
    grish
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    Tom:

    When a student applies to a job and, say, shows her transcript that reads 71% in Physics, can you tell whether the person is extremely tallented but has absolutely no work ethic or whether she pulled that 71% through some incredible hard work?

    Bottom line is this: currently, grades are meant to represent knowledge. See http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/program.aspx for various programs of study and the "achievement indicators". We would like to think that grade also represent the ethic, but they do not. If we need a measure of effort, lets create one.

    There is a profound difference between "the person does not know it" and "the person did not submit". One is a state of knowing (or not knowing), the other is behaviour. These should not be confused.

  7. #7

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    Tom

    You are back to responsibility.

    I have nothing more to say about how responsibility works in the real world.

    Grish has said everything about what I failed to say earlier, which is the real reason zeros mean nothing.

    The zero marks not the student but the people who are responsible for him.

    The same people who like to impress responsibility on others.

    The student's teachers, parents, and fellow citizens.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Tom:

    When a student applies to a job and, say, shows her transcript that reads 71% in Physics, can you tell whether the person is extremely tallented but has absolutely no work ethic or whether she pulled that 71% through some incredible hard work?

    Bottom line is this: currently, grades are meant to represent knowledge. See http://education.alberta.ca/teachers/program.aspx for various programs of study and the "achievement indicators". We would like to think that grade also represent the ethic, but they do not. If we need a measure of effort, lets create one.

    There is a profound difference between "the person does not know it" and "the person did not submit". One is a state of knowing (or not knowing), the other is behaviour. These should not be confused.
    Grish we are not going to agree so I will end with this...

    I've hired/dismissed many people over the years when I require proof of Education, for whatever reason, I don't ask for the transcript I ask for the report with the teacher/instructors comments.

    20 years ago they were a great tool, they have devolved to generally no comments at all and now, while I continue to ask for them I also rely heavily on past employment records or calling supervisors.

    AShetsen

    In my opinion you are passing the buck and trying to create a victim out of a person's own actions.

    We will end this on a civil note

  9. #9

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    You are wrong. I am not passing the buck. And I am not making anyone out to be a victim of anything.

    I am only saying that giving the zero is the easiest way out -- so easy it says nothing about the person getting it and everything about the people giving it and demanding it.

    We agree a zero is the ultimate failure.

    Assigning people to the class of failures solves nothing. Extracting them from failure is far too much work. Even though it is precisely that work teachers voluntarily dedicate their lives to.

    Who has really failed when a zero is given, to someone who is not yet an adult?

  10. #10
    grish
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    Tom,
    I will also end my side of this debate through an appeal to the popular Hollywood storyline. Just think of some of the popular hero-teacher films of the past. They all have the same theme: the teacher does not let the student get away with quitting. It is always seen as the easy way out. The teacher hero always goes out of his/ her way and gets the troubled youth to complete that assignment.

    That storyline is surprisingly common. I don't expect Hollywood to serve as key authority on education, but when people watch these movies, they tend to agree and identify with the qualities of the protagonist teacher.

    Grish.

  11. #11

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    Ah, Grish, thank you for pointing out I was arguing movie morals. I'm not ashamed to do so, for once.

  12. #12

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    How is a teacher who gives out a zero lazy? If a student submits on time, it should be graded accordingly. If it's late, then that should be reflected in the grade. If it's not handed in at all, then that is a zero. A student who doesn't do their work on time should not be compared equally to someone who does...that is unfair. And just because you're not an adult, doesn't mean there are not rules and consequences, but thats why society is in the mess it's in. Just a continuation of the pussification of our society.
    mandel is a cry baby

  13. #13

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    A teacher who gives a zero is lazy because the teacher is responsible for the student. By becoming a teacher the teacher has accepted that responsibility.

  14. #14
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    Public outcry will undoubtedly have an impact as the school board examines the no zeros policy. But this will have no effect on whether Dorval gets his job back.

    Dorval can appeal his termination to a Board of Reference as follows: "The Board of Reference is composed of one person assigned from a list of arbitrators as approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. All evidence placed before it is given under oath. The school board must first state its case and register the supporting evidence. The teacher then has the opportunity to rebut the case, usually by introducing witnesses to counter the testimony led by the board. Both parties are usually represented by legal counsel. The Board of Reference may make any order it deems appropriate to the case. Such orders could include support for the board’s termination, support for the teacher’s appeal, payment of salary or recovery of salary. The order is registered with the Court of Queen’s Bench and is appealable only to the Alberta Court of Appeal." Source: http://www.teachers.ab.ca/Publicatio...-school-boards

    Dorval was not terminated because he disagrees with the no zeros policy. He was terminated for failing to follow the lawful directives of his superiors, insubordination, failing to grade student exams, failing to immediately return school property when directed to do so, and being on school property without authorization.
    Last edited by East McCauley; 15-09-2012 at 01:30 PM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    A teacher who gives a zero is lazy because the teacher is responsible for the student. By becoming a teacher the teacher has accepted that responsibility.
    Disagree completely. The teacher is responsible to come to school everyday and teach, providing an education for _many_ students. A teacher has the responsibility to provide extra help to students who put in effort but still struggle. A teacher is not responsible to babysit and coddle students who have no interest in putting forth any effort in their education. All that does is take valuable resources away from students who do put in effort. Look at the complete failure of 'no child left behind' in the US.

    It is the parents responsibility to ensure their children have the willingness and responsibility to put forth effort in their education, not the teachers.

    Why does no one have any personal responsibility any more? If you do not put in effort to do the work, you get a zero, as that's exactly what you deserve. Simple.
    Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...

  16. #16

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    Ashetsen/Grish

    As a parting comment:
    I come from a family full of teachers, Father, Uncles, Aunts etc. so I have seen both sides...and yes while most educators are ok, some are fantastic and some are inadequate.

    That said
    Tom,
    I will also end my side of this debate through an appeal to the popular Hollywood storyline. Just think of some of the popular hero-teacher films of the past. They all have the same theme: the teacher does not let the student get away with quitting. It is always seen as the easy way out. The teacher hero always goes out of his/ her way and gets the troubled youth to complete that assignment.
    and when all that fails then it's time for a zero...in the movies it's the youth that ends up dead in a gunfight or other criminal act setting the point home.

    It is the responsibility of the parents, the teacher and most of all the student to make sure the work is done. If all else fails in the end it's the student and they are not a victim if they do not make the attempt.

    Done

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  17. #17
    grish
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    Tom:

    I am a teacher.

    Grish

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Tom:

    I am a teacher.

    Grish
    Great

    My point was not to dis you or other teachers, my point was my opinions and thoughts do not come from a vacuum on the topic having seen the inside of a teacher's world and as a parent.

  19. #19
    grish
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    Tom:

    I understood that you wanted to let me know that your opinion does not come from nowhere. I wanted to reply in kind.

    One of the legislated teacher responsibilities is to assess student knowledge. There is nothing on attendance or effort.

    I used to give out zeros. It was done when I was a student and so I found all sorts of reasons why I should agree. Then I thought about it some more and I stopped. I just cannot justify giving a grade for knowledge based on work ethic. If a student is able to more than adequately demonstrate skills and abilities at the end of the term–the student deserves the grade for knowledge. The student who does not put in the work does not get a reccomendation from me if I'm asked. I indicate the lack of effort on any formal reporting that I have to do. That is the extent to which work ethic can currently be reasonably assessed.

    I don't plead with students to complete assignments, but I do extend multiple opportunities to try as I believe various tasks and assignments have more of education value than evaluation value. So many parallels are made with "real life"... Here is how I see school work fits in:

    The homework assignments and various projects are similar to time management benchmarks. They are artificial and set by the teacher aiming at the masses in the class. This is similar to intermediate project timelines.

    In "real life" (whatever that means), you don't lose the job when you don't hit the individual benchmarks within a project. The target dates are usually set to provide a time management structure and are more guidelines and reasonably projected guesses about how the project should unfold. You lose the job when the final project isn't done.

    In evaluating student knowledge, you don't fail the student when individual assignments are not done. These assignments provide a structure for learning and represent reasonable guesses about how the majority of students will come to develop skills and knowledge. You fail the student (well, actually, the student fails him/ herself), when at the end of the year the student does not have the skills and knowledge.

    Grish

  20. #20
    grish
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    A post scriptum to my previous post:

    Several studebts and people in general have offered a comment about the fairness of not giving out zeros. Since when are we such a vindictive and jealous society that we are so bothered by other people getting the recognition for what they know based on how they come to know it?

    The fair thing is to give the student who knows at the end of the year the things we wish for them to know a good grade.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Tom:

    I understood that you wanted to let me know that your opinion does not come from nowhere. I wanted to reply in kind.

    One of the legislated teacher responsibilities is to assess student knowledge. There is nothing on attendance or effort.

    I used to give out zeros. It was done when I was a student and so I found all sorts of reasons why I should agree. Then I thought about it some more and I stopped. I just cannot justify giving a grade for knowledge based on work ethic. If a student is able to more than adequately demonstrate skills and abilities at the end of the term–the student deserves the grade for knowledge. The student who does not put in the work does not get a reccomendation from me if I'm asked. I indicate the lack of effort on any formal reporting that I have to do. That is the extent to which work ethic can currently be reasonably assessed.

    I don't plead with students to complete assignments, but I do extend multiple opportunities to try as I believe various tasks and assignments have more of education value than evaluation value. So many parallels are made with "real life"... Here is how I see school work fits in:

    The homework assignments and various projects are similar to time management benchmarks. They are artificial and set by the teacher aiming at the masses in the class. This is similar to intermediate project timelines.

    In "real life" (whatever that means), you don't lose the job when you don't hit the individual benchmarks within a project. The target dates are usually set to provide a time management structure and are more guidelines and reasonably projected guesses about how the project should unfold. You lose the job when the final project isn't done.

    In evaluating student knowledge, you don't fail the student when individual assignments are not done. These assignments provide a structure for learning and represent reasonable guesses about how the majority of students will come to develop skills and knowledge. You fail the student (well, actually, the student fails him/ herself), when at the end of the year the student does not have the skills and knowledge.

    Grish
    I appreciate that Grish

    And through the quoted post I get the impression that you do what I see as the right things with a student in relation to assignments.

    Where we will continue to disagree is on the importance of the assignments. To me, being able to do and deliver the assignment on time is part of the learning process...like using the right formula in calc to get the right answer...the process.

    It not only shows the progress in acquiring the knowledge but also the responsibility and time management skills to have it done...the formula so to speak.

    A post scriptum to my previous post:

    Several studebts and people in general have offered a comment about the fairness of not giving out zeros. Since when are we such a vindictive and jealous society that we are so bothered by other people getting the recognition for what they know based on how they come to know it?

    The fair thing is to give the student who knows at the end of the year the things we wish for them to know a good grade.
    It is not vindictive or jealous to give a zero when the student gives you no choice.

    The fair thing is to give the student the grade they deserve for what they know including the process to achieve the grade.

    The higher the grade the more the responsibility goes to the student and not the parents or teacher...the process.

    Nuff you know what I am getting at.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

    We part amicably while differing

  22. #22

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    "The fair thing is to give the student the grade they deserve for what they know including the process to achieve the grade."

    I wish you could read Makarenko. But I don't think you can.

    So this wiki article will have to do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Makarenko

    He never, ever, failed anyone, and pulled out of failure the very same people you are so happy to condemn.

    Of course he was a commie. As though that matters.

    PS. I was wrong. You can read what he wrote. Read the links. Especially "lectures to parents".

  23. #23
    grish
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    Tom:

    I believe you are assuming that teachers as well as researchers in education have discovered the precise sequence and formula in learning. That is the only way to explain your belief in the value of teacher-created assignments.

    At this point, we have no sure formula for learning. Assuming otherwise is naive. We do have some history and experience, but to think that what we know of learning is all there is to know is actually dangerous. We would then never be receptive to new ideas or ignore new evidence or change our practice. The present change in our approach to awarding zeros is one part of the changing landscape in education. It did not come out of some random decision. There is enough thought and rationale that had gone into making this policy and it is based on a lot of actual hard data.

    The time management is an important practice, but it is not the intermediate result, but the end that is important. Same with the "right formula" idea. Yes, there are certainly well-established formulas out there, but chances are there is more than one path to the end result. And while following a prescribed formula will no doubt lead you to successful resolutiuon of a problem, following a different formula–the one that you had built for yourself–is what we call progress.

    We admire people who are capable of finding novel ways in doing things. And while we admire this, for some reason we expect of our children to follow a procedure thinking that it will cause them to learn. Not only that, we use grades to punish those who do not follow. That practice is not fair and it is time it stops.

  24. #24
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    "The fair thing is to give the student the grade they deserve for what they know including the process to achieve the grade."

    I wish you could read Makarenko. But I don't think you can.

    So this wiki article will have to do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Makarenko

    He never, ever, failed anyone, and pulled out of failure the very same people you are so happy to condemn.

    Of course he was a commie. As though that matters.

    PS. I was wrong. You can read what he wrote. Read the links. Especially "lectures to parents".
    ...don't assume a random c2e contributor is not fluent in languages other than english...

  25. #25

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    The concern I have with this whole ongoing issue has less to do with the teaching environment specifically but in the way that management occurs in current days.

    On one hand here we have a principled teacher of 35yrs that presumably knows his stuff, has been a lifelong educator, has a passion for it, and students that back him and say good things about his teaching. A guy that by his own accounts was standing up for his principles.

    Was that the problem? Or is it a problem when todays era of managerial "decision making" demands blanket adherence, absolute conformity, "zero tolerance" (excuse pun) and setting the tone for a condition of employment where everybody has to 100% complicit.

    I'm sure this teacher has seen a fair amount of administrators in his 35 yrs of teaching. I'm sure he's disagreed with a fair amount of them through the years and run his own classroom as he's seen fit. I'm reasonably sure none of them fired him for it.

    Its this day and age of absolute managerial intolerance that is creating this nature of situation. Theres no need for a school, or schoolboard to be issuing blanket 100% missives to its trained and skilled staff who I'm sure are competent and can think for themselves. This is the worst form of micromanagement and overreaction and a respected employee fired for disobeying a blanket directive that doesn't need to be made.

    What is it in this day and age about managers demanding blanket adherence?
    Supervisors should manage staff, not demand blind adherence and purge when its not happening.

    Are these schools or kingdoms?
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    And as for "real-life" consequences of failing to finish work on time, let's be realistic. Anyone who has worked knows there are two kinds of due dates: the floating ones and the fixed ones. Most work is NOT finished on time, ever, without termination-level consequences -- nor should it be.
    This is an odd point that you make in light of a teacher in the real world being fired on the basis of non completion of one assigned objective.

    I can't imagine how the school would demonstrate just cause in a court of law.

    Insubordination? lol

    Through its own directives the School, and school board created predictable "insubordination" with their own brand of zero tolerance, need for strict adherence, and extreme micromanagement of the classrooms.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  27. #27
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    Replacement, we don't know if this was an isolated instance of insubordination or not.

    Who among us hasn't had the urge to quit a job in a great blaze of glory or on some great point of principle? I'm only a few years younger than Dorval and I've had the urge once or twice. Generally we don't act on these urges because we know it affects our future job prospects. But as we approach retirement doing so tends to have progressively fewer consequences for our financial security.

    I've been in a supervisory position several times in my checkered career. Terminating someone is the supervisor's most agonizing decision. It's especially tough in a unionized workplace because there can be serious consequences if you haven't dotted all your "i's" and crossed your "t's". As a supervisor, faced with the kind of insubordination and outright defiance exhibited by Dorval, I would have made the same call as the school superintendent.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Tom:

    I am a teacher.

    Grish
    OMG of what???????????????????????????????? that's the million dollar question.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  29. #29

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    I teach in post-secondary system. If a student doesn't do an assignment, he/she gets a grade of zero, and it is calculated in their final grade.

  30. #30

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    There is a huge difference between the high school and what follows.

    The latter teaches adults, the former, adolescents.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    Ah, Grish, thank you for pointing out I was arguing movie morals. I'm not ashamed to do so, for once.
    Wow, this mutual admiration between you and girsh, interesting but creepy at the same time. Your not doing your old trick of working in tandem are you grish, same side kick only he has a different name.
    Anyway, you must be feeling you are losing the argument as you are clouding the waters with movie memorabilia. Here is some music memorabilia. Remember that old song that goes 'Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.............' Well, that's kinda like getting zeros for work not getting done.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  32. #32

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    In order for adolescents to become adults, we need to prep them to that direct. When failed to do so, mentally, they remain at that level. This is the primary reasons many post secondary students exemplify weak English skills.

  33. #33

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    In working life you don't get zero's for not doing your work, you just don't get paid or worse yet, you get fired. No matter what profession in life you choose there has to be results shown for your labor. Even people with their own businesses have to produce to be successful. It seems some schools want to call an assignment that is not handed in anything but a zero. Call it incomplete, late, dog ate it but for heavens sake don't give it a Zero because that's a four letter word.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  34. #34
    grish
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    Gemini, you confuse end of year exams or end of unit tests with assignments, projects, etc.. The theory of end of year exams and unit tests is that it provides a summative assessment of what had been learned. That is primarily what is communicated to post secondary or to employers. The other tasks and assessments are often described as "for" learning. As in these represent opportunities for students to test out their thinking and to practice their skills. As it is, it should not be graded let alone be given zerio when incomplete.

    When a final exam is not written, then it is an entirely different story. The student does not finish the course unless, of course, there are extennuating circumstances and other evidence of knowledge is available. When unit tests are not written, students tend to write alternate examinations or, in extreme cases, the weight of the unit test is transfered onto the final–whatever is reasonable.

    Grish.

  35. #35

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    Going from A to B without clouding the issue:

    No work done
    No mark given = Zero

    Add a couple of tall brows from the school board to initiate an unproven system = Flustercluck.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  36. #36

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    No work done
    No mark given = Zero
    This is, of course, a convenient fiction and nothing else when applied to the "real world".

    Delayed software projects and bugs, construction delays, delivery over-runs, shorted shipments, slouching on the job, and all the rest are seldom grounds for monetary penalties let alone termination.

    Don't be so naive as to argue otherwise when everyone honest knows this is how things work.

    Unless -- and this is a big unless -- the slouch is a no one and can be dumped on easily.

    Exactly like the people who want to hand out zeroes to students.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 15-09-2012 at 09:28 PM.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    No work done
    No mark given = Zero
    This is, of course, a convenient fiction and nothing else when applied to the "real world".

    Delayed software projects and bugs, construction delays, delivery over-runs, shorted shipments, slouching on the job, and all the rest are seldom grounds for monetary penalties let alone termination.

    Don't be so naive as to argue otherwise when everyone honest knows this is how things work.

    Unless -- and this is a big unless -- the slouch is a no one and can be dumped on easily.

    Exactly like the people who want to hand out zeroes to students.
    I'll disagree with that... Once or twice, yes; but continuation of under performance= layoffs or your fired!

  38. #38
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Going from A to B without clouding the issue:

    No work done
    No mark given = Zero

    Add a couple of tall brows from the school board to initiate an unproven system = Flustercluck.
    no, jumping to conclusions without any evidence is the cause of any Flustercluck. The system is as proven as you can have before you actually implement it in broad sense. Ample evidence exists. Look for it. The school boards already have it.

    No work done=no work done.

    Teachers rely on available assessment tools to assign a student a grade based on student's abilities. Ability to turn work in is not one of the criteria. Should it be? Perhaps, but as a separate category:
    Here is your grade on knowledge and here is your grade on attendance, completion, etc..

  39. #39

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    ^Talk the talk but the problem in question lies with the student and not the teacher.

    You can also add your 'now adult working in the real world' list.
    Asshats working on school boards trying to justify their pay cheques by implementing unproven methods on dazed school staff.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Tom:

    I am a teacher.

    Grish
    OMG of what???????????????????????????????? that's the million dollar question.
    Lets argue the topic not the poster.

    Grish, by his procedures and policy posted, has shown that he has the interests of the students and educating them at heart.

    We may never agree on the methods, but that is the debate not his ability as an educator.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    There is a huge difference between the high school and what follows.

    The latter teaches adults, the former, adolescents.
    The point is to become responsible contributing adults which high schools is supposed to prepare them to become.

    And how can we sit back and give adolescents adult privilege (driving and others such as choosing to drop out of school) but not expect them to accept adult responsibility.

    High School students are not children. They are young adults.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AShetsen View Post
    And as for "real-life" consequences of failing to finish work on time, let's be realistic. Anyone who has worked knows there are two kinds of due dates: the floating ones and the fixed ones. Most work is NOT finished on time, ever, without termination-level consequences -- nor should it be.
    This is an odd point that you make in light of a teacher in the real world being fired on the basis of non completion of one assigned objective.

    I can't imagine how the school would demonstrate just cause in a court of law.

    Insubordination? lol

    Through its own directives the School, and school board created predictable "insubordination" with their own brand of zero tolerance, need for strict adherence, and extreme micromanagement of the classrooms.

    Exactly! Are they ALL idiots? The teacher, the principal, the Board can't solve the problem without extreme anti-social, irrational behaviors on all their parts. Moreover, they MUST see the irony and hypocrisy of it all.

    By the way folks, beyond any biological considerations, what is an adult? Every society arbitrarily provides definitions of it (age 15, 16, 18..., post highschool, post puberty, etc.) but we all know people (children) that well before reaching "adulthood" evidence all the characteristics we ascribe to adulthood - and we all know people that in adulthood never ever attain those characteristics.
    Last edited by KC; 15-09-2012 at 10:38 PM.

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Going from A to B without clouding the issue:

    No work done
    No mark given = Zero

    Add a couple of tall brows from the school board to initiate an unproven system = Flustercluck.
    no, jumping to conclusions without any evidence is the cause of any Flustercluck. The system is as proven as you can have before you actually implement it in broad sense. Ample evidence exists. Look for it. The school boards already have it.

    No work done=no work done.

    Teachers rely on available assessment tools to assign a student a grade based on student's abilities. Ability to turn work in is not one of the criteria. Should it be? Perhaps, but as a separate category:
    Here is your grade on knowledge and here is your grade on attendance, completion, etc..
    Sounds like you have drank the cool-aide.
    What happens to a student that has 20 papers to do and hands in 12 of them. You mark those papers and the student gets above average marks. Does the teacher summize the other 8 papers would be the same and give him a score accordingly. Or if papers are not handed in how does a teacher know the student is learning new material or if they are having problems. A student who does not hand in papers I should also imagine is a student who would not tell a teacher he is having problems. This no zero policy seems to be the dumming down of education that other tall brows seem to be talking about.
    By the way, what do you teach and what grade.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  44. #44
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Sounds like you have drank the cool-aide.
    and that's when meaningful conversation ends...

  45. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Sounds like you have drank the cool-aide.
    and that's when meaningful conversation ends...
    Fair enough but don't end the conversation without letting us know what you teach and what grade you teach. It is a genuine enquiry and I'm sure you would not mind answering it.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  46. #46
    grish
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    I now teach college math as well as other social science type courses. I used to teach math in high schools.

    The thing about papers handed or not handed in... the point is not to "spread them around". The point is to not let the student get away with doing less than is required and expected. The idea of the current system or the policty at Shep is to tell the students that the teacher has high expectations and that all 20 papers are required to be handed in. Quite frankly the real reason teachers used to often hand out zeros is due to the logistical nightmare late papers present. Keeping track, creating alternate versions, re-creating the answer key if needed... it is very tedious to do. A zero in the grade book is oh soooo appealing most of the time. But that is not the right message particularly for the youths who are used to adults in their lives giving up on them.

    The message is that the teacher does not see grading late papers as a worthless effort. If the student is willing to put in the work, the teacher is willing to recognize that work. The no zero policy is about not letting our kids get away with doing less. It is placing higher expectations on them that they are capable of finishing the work however late. Kinda like finishing a race dead last. The achievement and the effort are still recognized and celebrated. Perhaps that feeling of success will translate into better work ethic down the road. There is actually evidence that some initial measure of success positively reflects on self esteem and translates with better educational outcomes overall.

    The pursuit of completion is not based on the threat of zero. Zero is ultimately not given as it is a grade based on skill and knowledge. Consequences for not turning in the work are ultimately the communication with the parents and, under extreme circumstances, an "unable to assess" at the end of the year. That "unable to assess", by the way, would drive the principals up the wall as the school is funded based on minimum allowed attendance and a minimum allowed grade (25%). When a student does not achieve either, the principal loses some money in the budget.

  47. #47

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    I am not at all a teacher, but I've been at student at every level, with altogether varying degrees of success.

    I'll only repeat my high school experience -- at a private school that was proud of its uncompromisingly traditional curriculum and methods of education.

    When I started writing my first post, I intended to say how that place gave out zeroes liberally to everyone who deserved it.

    Except that I realized it didn't do that. When I spoke of detentions and parent-teacher conferences, I was thinking of my first troubled year there, before I adjusted to the truly more rigorous expectations than the ones in the schools I had attended until then.

    I was the perfect candidate for zeroes -- more than one of them. Instead I was hounded into actually doing the work.

    Which I think is the professional attitude of the other person on here arguing against zeros -- and I respect him for that.

    As for the near-adults argument. One is either an adult or is not.

    If you are not prepared to offer someone full responsibility for drinking, driving (there's now a two-year probationary period after 16), or voting, do not place the failure of a zero on them.

    Especially when in real life there are all sorts of ways to negotiate your way out of a zero. Most of which involve actually doing the work. You know, however late.

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by East McCauley View Post
    Replacement, we don't know if this was an isolated instance of insubordination or not.

    Who among us hasn't had the urge to quit a job in a great blaze of glory or on some great point of principle? I'm only a few years younger than Dorval and I've had the urge once or twice. Generally we don't act on these urges because we know it affects our future job prospects. But as we approach retirement doing so tends to have progressively fewer consequences for our financial security.

    I've been in a supervisory position several times in my checkered career. Terminating someone is the supervisor's most agonizing decision. It's especially tough in a unionized workplace because there can be serious consequences if you haven't dotted all your "i's" and crossed your "t's". As a supervisor, faced with the kind of insubordination and outright defiance exhibited by Dorval, I would have made the same call as the school superintendent.
    I've spent years in supervisory positions myself. I don't conduct myself in staffing interactions like everything I state needs to be 100% adhered to. I don't conduct blanket policy, I don't micromanage, and I allow the people I hire on good faith to conduct their own employment on trust and good faith. I intervene as necessary on a case by case basis.

    Once people in management start levying blanket inflexible policy (for no real discernible reason) this is basically setting the tone for possible transgression, resistance, disagreement, work to rule, what have you. It creates a very hierarchical topdown atmosphere when this is not necessarily advisable.
    My own take is this became a power struggle, but it became that as a result of management setting inflexible policy in stone when it didn't need to be that. By setting specific policy this teacher had not been exposed to in a whole lifetime of teaching. Based on some soup du jour notion of what now HAS to be 100% adhered policy.

    Do people not recognize how kneejerk that is. To take a new directive, that hasn't been the case before, and suddenly make it immutable law for all teachers. Thats so reactionary and naive to make entire 360 runs on policy and expect everybody to comply with no hesitation.


    I hope the teacher finds a good lawyer and fights this all the way. Insubordination in this instance was created in a longtime employee that for all we know had a spotless prior record before this round of inflexibility and intolerance was applied to him.
    Last edited by Replacement; 15-09-2012 at 11:26 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  49. #49
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    Reading the comments previous I wish to pose these couple questions. First of all, if just say we have a 17 year old student in high school doesn't do a assignment and then we have a 19 year old in university that doesn't do an assignment should the 19 year old be treated differently than the 17 year old? Secondly if you have a 15 year old student in jr. high that continually doesn't do assignment, that skips class regularily, who has be talked to on numerous occasions, where the teacher and school has sat down with the parents to find a solution on a number of occassions and has been given numerous occasions to complete the assisgments or other work to make up the grad but still neglects all these chances, should that student still not be given a 0?
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  50. #50
    grish
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    The difference between the university and the high school student...
    At university,
    1. homework assignments are not graded. What is graded are written papers in social science and arts type courses, labs in science type courses, midterms and finals. All of these represent summative assessments. University tends to not do formal formative assessment, although various instructors take a different approach from time to time and make themselves available for their students to provide intermediate feedback on student progress with a paper or an assignment.
    2. University does not have the same "in loco parentis" parental responsibility to their students as the students are considered legally adult and mature students. In particular, university professors are prohibitted from disclosing information about their students to all others including parents.
    3. There is no similar act describing assessment responsibility of university professors as there exist for teachers. Teachers are required by law to assess student's knowledge and skill. At Universities, professors can take great liberties in conducting assessment as has been the case with high profile incidents in the past where university professors had given out all A's. For example, I know U professors who ask students to select the grade that they wish to get. If you select a grade of B, the prof then gives you the minimum amount of work that is required to meet that grade.
    For all these reasons students who miss assessments at university tend to be graded with zeros.

    Fair or not–I am not sure. It just is. It is very different. Although profs should consider some measure of responsibility. It's just that they have no capacity of authority to refer the student anywhere to get help.

    The case with a 15 year old is as difficult as can be with a defiant or troubled or stubborn teenager. I am sure everyone knows what I mean when I say that. Teachers, parents, councilors, sports team coaches, role models, big brothers/ sisters, grand parents, siblings, aunts and uncles–there are many resourses out there. We must try and try and try... The idea is not let them get away with not doing work. No well adjusted, happy teen would be that belligerent and stubborn. If they are, there is something else going on. The incomplete assignments then tend to be a symptom of a larger problem.
    Reach out to all resourse possible to make sure work gets done. Identify yourself as someone who really cares about the future of the teen. If at the end of the day even parents cannot ensure the student completes work, it is not reasonable to expect the teacher alone to. If there are other issues such as identity crisis, bullying and other abuse–giving zeros and saying "I don't care. You just had to get it done" is one of the worst thing that one can do. Teens tend to do bad things to themselves when they think the world is too harsh and no one cares.


    EDIT> ADDED THIS:
    As I said it before, giving out a zero is a bad solution to a very difficult problem. Sure the teacher would have to put in a LOT of additional work, but that work is worth it. I don't want to place all the resposnibilities on the teachers, however. Our capacity to be the caring educators we aspired to be when studying to become teachers greatly diminishes when we get no support from the government (class size is HUGE here but additional training is too), administrators and school resourses, parents, and medical (physical and mental health, addictions experts) professionals.
    Last edited by grish; 16-09-2012 at 12:18 PM.

  51. #51

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    Grish, i commend you for having a strong principle in reaching out for students. At the same time, i truly believe that by not asserting some toughness-zero grade- will only encourage students to be lazy. Certainly, you give them chances prior to final grading of the specific assignments, but if the renewed chances are reneged, a zero must be considered. I think your beliefs will only open up pandoras' box. These teenage kids are quite intelligent when it comes to manipulation. If assignments are not factor as pertinent to grading, an alternative solution has to be considered. Perhaps grading should only include test and quiz only. The whole objective in setting timeline is to also prep them for real life adulthood. The current young generation of work force is beyond lazy as it; i can't help but believe the next wave will supercede what i have currently been witnessing.

  52. #52
    grish
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    citizen,
    Consider the alternative point of view. I think we have gone way over board with reward/ punishment mentality. I have heard numerous times students talking about how their parents pay them for things they do around the house. Dishes, garbage, cleaning of the room. These chores are not something that parents should employ the their children to perform. It is part of living in the household. When chores aren't done? Yep, punishment. No allowance. Parental equivalent of getting a zero. Actually, go to you room and no dinner for you is probably the closer to zero thing.

    No wonder the kids come to schools looking for something extra like a reason to do the things they should be doing. Learning is a personal process. You cannot and should not bribe or blackmail children into learning. Whetever happened to the good old fashioned power of persuasion? The children need to learn that education and learning is their path to becoming better human beings, to discover talents that they have and to developing the skills that they will need. Blackmailing students and threatening them with zeros is the wrong path. It is the easy one to take, but wrong nevertheless.

    One of the things that employers frequently lament (or praise) is initiative. You admire people who take it and you dislike those who do not. How are we to teach our students and children that valuable skill if we train them into expecting reward/ punishment at everything they do or do not do?

    Not letting children/ students get away with not doing their chores such as dishes, completing homework, and brushing their teeth I believe is one way of signaling that some things in life are just have to get done. Not because there is going to be a $50 spending cash for the week or because your grades that should reflect the amount of your knowledge will be falsified with a zero. Simply because this is what you do when you learn or keep your household. This is the highest form of high expectations.

    Like Thomas H says: "This is my highly biased, personal opinion."
    What do you think? Do you still not see a merit in taking this stance of no zeros for knowledge when no work is handed in with respect to grading and assessment?

  53. #53

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    The whole zero debate is about ideologies i find.. A certain generation did things a certain way and they feel that is the best way to move forward.... Others feel there are different and better ways of doing things.

    I'm sure there are plusses and minuses to both systems.

    My only real cancer is is. I am looking at going back to university and I have serious concerns that the marks I received 15 years ago don't get adjusted for the way marking as scoring have chaned in that time

    Thanks
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  54. #54
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    If you go back as a mature student, I'm pretty sure your high school grades are irrelevant.

  55. #55

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    ^ ish... I get mix replies to that question. A lot of mature students seem to have to "upgrade"
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    If you go back as a mature student, I'm pretty sure your high school grades are irrelevant.
    When I returned back to school a couple years ago the university still looked at my high school grades and if I hadn't had the sufficient grades I would have had to upgrade. I've had some some friends that have had to take upgrading classes because they didn't have the required grades.
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

  57. #57

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    Zero teacher fired

    Poor guy, went from hero to zero.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  58. #58

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    I'll be making a point of voting out whoever sits on the school board in my ward next go around. Unless they fix it. Which they won't.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  59. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    citizen,
    Consider the alternative point of view. I think we have gone way over board with reward/ punishment mentality. I have heard numerous times students talking about how their parents pay them for things they do around the house. Dishes, garbage, cleaning of the room. These chores are not something that parents should employ the their children to perform. It is part of living in the household. When chores aren't done? Yep, punishment. No allowance. Parental equivalent of getting a zero. Actually, go to you room and no dinner for you is probably the closer to zero thing.

    No wonder the kids come to schools looking for something extra like a reason to do the things they should be doing. Learning is a personal process. You cannot and should not bribe or blackmail children into learning. Whetever happened to the good old fashioned power of persuasion? The children need to learn that education and learning is their path to becoming better human beings, to discover talents that they have and to developing the skills that they will need. Blackmailing students and threatening them with zeros is the wrong path. It is the easy one to take, but wrong nevertheless.

    One of the things that employers frequently lament (or praise) is initiative. You admire people who take it and you dislike those who do not. How are we to teach our students and children that valuable skill if we train them into expecting reward/ punishment at everything they do or do not do?

    Not letting children/ students get away with not doing their chores such as dishes, completing homework, and brushing their teeth I believe is one way of signaling that some things in life are just have to get done. Not because there is going to be a $50 spending cash for the week or because your grades that should reflect the amount of your knowledge will be falsified with a zero. Simply because this is what you do when you learn or keep your household. This is the highest form of high expectations.

    Like Thomas H says: "This is my highly biased, personal opinion."
    What do you think? Do you still not see a merit in taking this stance of no zeros for knowledge when no work is handed in with respect to grading and assessment?
    I have no issue with giving allowance for chores. I raised two adopted children at the age of 24 alone - commence ages 5 &2.5- and i used that opportunity to teach them about discipline. If you are a responsible individual, allotting allowances to your kids can be positive through means of teaching job procurement, banking, personal spending, housing etc. I took that opportunity and spent quality time with them and showed them how responsibility must be respected when they are on their own. No committment= no job, no advancement, no food, no shelter. At the end of the day, these young students will have to endure those responsibilities; but, how do we guaranty the possible best outcome when we teach the message, 'you don't have to be responsible for yourself.' We know concessions in real life are not like this, so why start it?

  60. #60
    grish
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    citizen,

    chores like cleaning a room or vaccuuming are not optional. they are shared responsibilities in maintaining a household. they are what you do. nothing to extra needs to be added. extra things like building something that's nice to have rather than must have is a different story. paying for chores signals that "you are not really a member of this house, but just an employee". Want your children to learn vaue of earned money, ask a neighbour if they need some small thing done. encourage your child to get a part time job in the summer.

    allowance is not a payment for work. it is a means to support your child. it is very much a safety thing–a means to get home, for example, or a means to get food. you can teach value of money from that perspective just as well as in "would you spend your emergency money on a non-emergent package of twinkies?"

    I don't know what exactly you had done with your children and I absolutely take your word for what had transpired with them, but in general I disagree that payments for chores relate to responsibility. A responsible youth or any household member pulls his/ her weight out of the sense of responsibility and duty, not an expectation of a paycheque. As I said previously, work ethic, initiative (and now add responsibility) are extremely valuable traits. Teaching youth that doing things is only a means to avoid getting the stick (in the form of a zero or a reduction in payment) is not a path towards either of these...

    To counter your personal anecdote, I will use one of mine. Neither my brother nor I or any of my cousins or any of my wife's siblings and cousings had ever been paid an allowance for chores completed.

    I would claim that we did not turn out irresponsible in any way. We work and we keep our various households. I attribute it to our parental role models. Perhaps the case with your children is similar. They learned responsibility from you. You would have to be a responsible person to take on being an adoptive parent. I would predict that cash for chores simply did not interfere with what would have happened anyhow.

  61. #61
    grish
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    the reason I participate in this thread is this. too many people have assumed that the policy has no base. that no thought had gone into it. that the school boards or the principal don't know anything and somehow we, the lay people of the internet, are better equipped with making such decisions. all of this is an extreme case of back seat driving. The sun comments board is full of calls to fire the principal or the trustees.

    i know that we have all gone to school and have some idea what education is like particularly from the student perspective. however we don't know the full scope of responsibility of being an educator. teacher concern goes beyond the simple remembering of what was done to us and how great we turned out. and so, may I suggest that for the most part calls to fire the principal or the trustees are symptoms of a complete lack of understanding of the responsibilities of a teacher and the education system.

    The fact is there are many very good reasons for asking teachers to not grade missed work with a zero. I have tried to communicate some of them. Whether or not I was articulate enough or whether or not people had read them and given them any thought is a different story.

    At the end of the day, leadership in any organization has to make a decision. The only time that decision is wrong is when the decision has no foundation, is unethical, or the decision makers do not offer support in making sure their directives are met. At the very least here the decision is both ethical and has a foundation. Whether or not Mr. Dorval was given enough support (information, reduced class size to account for increased responsibility, training in alternative assessment procedures, etc.) is not public knowledge. He would be a victim of the process only if he was failed in that regard.

  62. #62

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    I have the utmost respect for teachers! People in general failed to recognized the difficulties and complexities you all endure. My contribution of discussion is, hopefully, to help expand your thoughts and perspective as you have done for me. As well, yes, my children are very responsible and respectful in all aspects, but that is all due in large that i believed, supported, exemplified, and led them to where they needed to be. I don't believe money should be used to bribe children as well, but since I allotted them money on a weekly basis, i killed two birds with one stone. I explained how my job was and intimated all realms of expectations to that job; expounded how that job rewarded me with paychecks which afforded food, shelter, necessities, savings, and miscellaneous expenditures... I personally set up bank accounts for each of them and showed them how their allowances should be divided up etc. by the time they commenced ages where they were matured enough to do jobs you mentioned they should have done, they showed no abatement in regards to responsibilities. The underlining issue here, i think, is that the contribution of responsibilities should derive from all corners- not solely from teachers, students, or parents- and must all move symbiotically with each other.

  63. #63

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    What should happen when kids skip classes?

  64. #64
    grish
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    What should happen when kids skip classes?
    in general, they should be told not to.

    specifically? figure out the reasons for the behaviour and then figure out what to do on a case by case basis.

  65. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    ^ ish... I get mix replies to that question. A lot of mature students seem to have to "upgrade"
    I applied (SFU) as a mature student when I was 25 or so. HS marks were not considered for actual admission/acceptance, but you did need to satisfy prerequisites for specific courses, which may or may not require upgrades.
    Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...

  66. #66

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    Can we take away the entire '0' argument.

    Wether you agree with no Zeros or not, the reason why this guy was fired is because he didnt follow the rules his organization laid out for him.

    Plain and simple. If you dont agree with a policy at work you are not allowed to go against it.

    Imagine if every employer did that. 'Well I dont agree with my boss so im going to do this instead.' Your damn right he got fired.

    It doesnt matter what he was protesting. It was the fact he wasnt doing what the person who pays him $$ told him to do.

    In every job I know, that gets you fired.
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  67. #67

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    ^At my company if an employee realizes something doesn't work, they take it to management, it gets changed, and the employee is lauded for their efforts.

    Only in bureaucratic institutions like governments and public unions does this kind of factless cronyism work. Private companies excel because they don't fall into this trap. They utilize research and facts to make decisions, of which none has been done on the effectiveness (or rather complete lack of) of no-zeros policy.

    Mr. Dorval may have been insubordinate, but that's simply because there was no way for him to stand up and make it right, other than martyring himself.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    the next time you fill out your education tax directive select the Catholic School board
    Eventually that old dino epsb will get a message
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    the next time you fill out your education tax directive select the Catholic School board
    Eventually that old dino epsb will get a message
    are you certain the separate boards do not or will not have the same policy?

    did you ask?

  70. #70
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    Komrade,
    I believe that it is the right thing to stand up against something you believe not to be ethical or moral. Change in policy to require teacher to only give grades describing skills and knowledge for skills and knowledge and not as a punishment for behavior is not unethical or immoral.

    The only way Mr. Dorval is in the right is if the school administration and the board failed to provide necessary training and other support in implementing this policy. If that is the case, I am with Mr. Dorval. Not because I agree with his position about grading, but because he needs to be trained and supported in changing of his practices.

    Otherwise, and if Mr. Dorval was given the support to change his practices and sufficient warning but he simply chose not to, I feel that being fired is the natural and logical consequence of his actions.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Private companies excel because they don't fall into this trap. They utilize research and facts to make decisions, of which none has been done on the effectiveness (or rather complete lack of) of no-zeros policy.
    correction. you are not aware of any. that is not the same as there not being any or the school boards not having had considered them prior.

    this is the perfect example of back seat driving without a clear view of the road.

  72. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    the reason I participate in this thread is this. too many people have assumed that the policy has no base. that no thought had gone into it. that the school boards or the principal don't know anything and somehow we, the lay people of the internet, are better equipped with making such decisions. all of this is an extreme case of back seat driving. The sun comments board is full of calls to fire the principal or the trustees.

    i know that we have all gone to school and have some idea what education is like particularly from the student perspective. however we don't know the full scope of responsibility of being an educator. teacher concern goes beyond the simple remembering of what was done to us and how great we turned out. and so, may I suggest that for the most part calls to fire the principal or the trustees are symptoms of a complete lack of understanding of the responsibilities of a teacher and the education system.

    The fact is there are many very good reasons for asking teachers to not grade missed work with a zero. I have tried to communicate some of them. Whether or not I was articulate enough or whether or not people had read them and given them any thought is a different story.

    At the end of the day, leadership in any organization has to make a decision. The only time that decision is wrong is when the decision has no foundation, is unethical, or the decision makers do not offer support in making sure their directives are met. At the very least here the decision is both ethical and has a foundation. Whether or not Mr. Dorval was given enough support (information, reduced class size to account for increased responsibility, training in alternative assessment procedures, etc.) is not public knowledge. He would be a victim of the process only if he was failed in that regard.
    I've bolded some of your post where I disagree.

    First, its not helpful to respond to comments from the Sun which are not being made here. This serves the purpose apparantly for you to denigrate opposition to this firing by using bad examples. Nobody here, certainly not me, is saying anybody should be fired in this instance. But that means anybody, and including the longstanding teacher.

    Second, "asking"? Are you serious with that? This isn't asking, its 100% topdown demand for complicity and we'll fire your *** if you don't comply. I don't know if they were that direct in prior threats but certainly in action this is not "asking" this is not consulting, and this is seemingly not involving staff in decision making.

    Finally, firing a longstanding skilled teacher of 36year tenure on frivolous grounds is arguably "unethical". Which may still be determined in a court of law.

    This whole situation was not handled very well.
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 02:43 PM.
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  73. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Komrade,
    I believe that it is the right thing to stand up against something you believe not to be ethical or moral. Change in policy to require teacher to only give grades describing skills and knowledge for skills and knowledge and not as a punishment for behavior is not unethical or immoral.

    The only way Mr. Dorval is in the right is if the school administration and the board failed to provide necessary training and other support in implementing this policy. If that is the case, I am with Mr. Dorval. Not because I agree with his position about grading, but because he needs to be trained and supported in changing of his practices.

    Otherwise, and if Mr. Dorval was given the support to change his practices and sufficient warning but he simply chose not to, I feel that being fired is the natural and logical consequence of his actions.
    Its the highest sanction any employer can take with any employee and with often legal consequences, damage, and credibility risk involved for all. Rather than being logical it is the single worst option in dealing with many situations. Firing should only be used as last recourse where all other options have failed or in the case where the actions and conduct of an employee may be dangerous to themself or others.
    On the contrary in this instance the firing of the teacher seems to be a preconceived conclusion.

    I'll offer one alternative. What was to stop the administrator from simply checking the records of the students assigned to this teacher and simply omitting the few zeros from the record and averaging outside of those few not completed assignments?

    What prevents the school from simply stating to the teacher you can believe this all you want, we'll superceded those zero gradings, but we still respect your contribution as a teacher, and you will still be in our employ.

    Or to indicate to the teacher that they do not sanction his zeros, indicate to the students and parents that they can challenge any zero and get it struck from the record and make this known.(as they have done anyway by this escalating into a public matter and with deleterious accusations made about the teacher.) Involving students and parents in the process has the added advantage of people's wishes for students being reflected in this. i.e. the students and parents having a say. Whats wrong with that?

    It doesn't take me being a school administrator, a teacher, or a schoolboard member to see how poorly this situation has been handled.

    Absolutely no discernible reason why this behavior had to lead to a firing. What a hopelessly draconian measure in dealing with a simple and isolated issue. Which had nothing to do with the persons competency to perform their job role.
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Otherwise, and if Mr. Dorval was given the support to change his practices and sufficient warning but he simply chose not to, I feel that being fired is the natural and logical consequence of his actions.
    You have bolded the wrong part. I would have bolded the following:

    and if Mr. Dorval was given the support to change his practices and sufficient warning but he simply chose not to,

    like you, i believe that this is a measure of last resort. I don't know the details. So, if he was given opportunities to change, to learn, and he was supported, yet he chose to act differently, then the end result is what we had seen.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    I've bolded some of your post where I disagree.

    First, its not helpful to respond to comments from the Sun which are not being made here. This serves the purpose apparantly for you to denigrate opposition to this firing by using bad examples. Nobody here, certainly not me, is saying anybody should be fired in this instance. But that means anybody, and including the longstanding teacher.
    actually, there had been comments that amount to letting go of the principal, members of the board, and divesting money from the EPSB. I am sorry you had missed those.

    Second, "asking"? Are you serious with that? This isn't asking, its 100% topdown demand for complicity and we'll fire your *** if you don't comply. I don't know if they were that direct in prior threats but certainly in action this is not "asking" this is not consulting, and this is seemingly not involving staff in decision making.
    yes, asking. the same manner of asking that any boss would make of any employee. If you prefer the word "telling", fine. That is not at issue here.

    Finally, firing a longstanding skilled teacher of 36year tenure on frivolous grounds is arguably "unethical". Which may still be determined in a court of law.

    This whole situation was not handled very well.
    we know what we know. I highly doubt we know everything. Assuming we do is not grounds for continuing this debate.

  76. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    I've bolded some of your post where I disagree.

    First, its not helpful to respond to comments from the Sun which are not being made here. This serves the purpose apparantly for you to denigrate opposition to this firing by using bad examples. Nobody here, certainly not me, is saying anybody should be fired in this instance. But that means anybody, and including the longstanding teacher.
    actually, there had been comments that amount to letting go of the principal, members of the board, and divesting money from the EPSB. I am sorry you had missed those.

    Second, "asking"? Are you serious with that? This isn't asking, its 100% topdown demand for complicity and we'll fire your *** if you don't comply. I don't know if they were that direct in prior threats but certainly in action this is not "asking" this is not consulting, and this is seemingly not involving staff in decision making.
    yes, asking. the same manner of asking that any boss would make of any employee. If you prefer the word "telling", fine. That is not at issue here.

    Finally, firing a longstanding skilled teacher of 36year tenure on frivolous grounds is arguably "unethical". Which may still be determined in a court of law.

    This whole situation was not handled very well.
    we know what we know. I highly doubt we know everything. Assuming we do is not grounds for continuing this debate.
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry I missed it, but responses to fire anybody in this is kneejerk in nature. Consultation, feedback, exploring solutions, yes.

    Glad that you share the opinion that firing should be last resort only but this was not conveyed in your posts. Or in this context being about a non critical issue that should have lead to any other result.

    Theres a huge difference between "asking" which is consulting and involving, vs "Telling" which is topdown rule. First of all if I'm an administrator of goodstanding employees with 36yrs of tenure I'm erring on the side of consultation. Which I think quite clearly wasn't the case here.

    Sure we don't know all of the story. But we know the essentials. A teacher fired, for "insubordination" with one reason given, not complying with the new no zero manifesto. To which I offered easily workable solutions that would preclude any such action. It took 30 secs for me to think about an alternative solution.

    Is there enough information to formulate a general picture of what transpired here? I would say that there is.
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 03:32 PM.
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  77. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Otherwise, and if Mr. Dorval was given the support to change his practices and sufficient warning but he simply chose not to, I feel that being fired is the natural and logical consequence of his actions.
    You have bolded the wrong part. I would have bolded the following:

    and if Mr. Dorval was given the support to change his practices and sufficient warning but he simply chose not to,

    like you, i believe that this is a measure of last resort. I don't know the details. So, if he was given opportunities to change, to learn, and he was supported, yet he chose to act differently, then the end result is what we had seen.
    How is one supported to go against their longstanding methodology, philosophy, and practice, of 36 yrs? By firing them?

    On agreed statement of facts in the media the degree to which Dorval was supported was in being admonished for his handing out zeros and had the "support" of escalation of the situation to a board level that handed out a foregone conclusion in favor of the administrator. Hands up who was surprised at that result.
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  78. #78
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    ^ I agree that it is extremely difficult to break habits particularly habits formed over a 36 year career. That is why I expect full support from the board to communicate the new policy and to support the teacher. I have said so several times in this thread:


    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    The only way Mr. Dorval is in the right is if the school administration and the board failed to provide necessary training and other support in implementing this policy. If that is the case, I am with Mr. Dorval. Not because I agree with his position about grading, but because he needs to be trained and supported in changing of his practices.
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    At the end of the day, leadership in any organization has to make a decision. The only time that decision is wrong is when the decision has no foundation, is unethical, or the decision makers do not offer support in making sure their directives are met. At the very least here the decision is both ethical and has a foundation. Whether or not Mr. Dorval was given enough support (information, reduced class size to account for increased responsibility, training in alternative assessment procedures, etc.) is not public knowledge. He would be a victim of the process only if he was failed in that regard.
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    As I said it before, giving out a zero is a bad solution to a very difficult problem. Sure the teacher would have to put in a LOT of additional work, but that work is worth it. I don't want to place all the resposnibilities on the teachers, however. Our capacity to be the caring educators we aspired to be when studying to become teachers greatly diminishes when we get no support from the government (class size is HUGE here but additional training is too), administrators and school resourses, parents, and medical (physical and mental health, addictions experts) professionals.

  79. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Mr. Dorval may have been insubordinate, but that's simply because there was no way for him to stand up and make it right, other than martyring himself.
    Which is exactly what this is about.

    This man has been teaching for a long time. He knows the proper channels to challenge decisions/policies. Hell he probably even did challenge this policy properly.

    But when the policy remained we have a teacher who a) was going to stand for his 'beliefs' at all costs and b) knew it would get him fired to begin with

    Let me ask you this. Who do you think phoned the papers to get the media attention first? EPSB or Dorvall?
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  80. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    ^ I agree that it is extremely difficult to break habits particularly habits formed over a 36 year career. That is why I expect full support from the board to communicate the new policy and to support the teacher. I have said so several times in this thread:


    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    The only way Mr. Dorval is in the right is if the school administration and the board failed to provide necessary training and other support in implementing this policy. If that is the case, I am with Mr. Dorval. Not because I agree with his position about grading, but because he needs to be trained and supported in changing of his practices.
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    At the end of the day, leadership in any organization has to make a decision. The only time that decision is wrong is when the decision has no foundation, is unethical, or the decision makers do not offer support in making sure their directives are met. At the very least here the decision is both ethical and has a foundation. Whether or not Mr. Dorval was given enough support (information, reduced class size to account for increased responsibility, training in alternative assessment procedures, etc.) is not public knowledge. He would be a victim of the process only if he was failed in that regard.
    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    As I said it before, giving out a zero is a bad solution to a very difficult problem. Sure the teacher would have to put in a LOT of additional work, but that work is worth it. I don't want to place all the resposnibilities on the teachers, however. Our capacity to be the caring educators we aspired to be when studying to become teachers greatly diminishes when we get no support from the government (class size is HUGE here but additional training is too), administrators and school resourses, parents, and medical (physical and mental health, addictions experts) professionals.
    Seen and noted, I've read all your responses, which are well expressed.

    Where we disagree primarily is in the matter of the school introducing the "no zero's" policy as an actionable directive.

    This seems more like expediting than supporting a tenured teacher.

    Lets be honest here as well. An administrator in a school involving any open communication should be well aware of his most tenured teachers opinions on a matter before issueing such a no tolerance directive.

    This was escalation as soon as that no tolerance directive was invoked and I would imagine with foreknowledge.

    I'd have less problem with a school saying we're "no zeros" and encouraging and supporting that policy. But making it a directive, enforceable, and with no tolerance for other action, as seen here, I take umbrage with.

    Anyway, we won't agree on this but thanks for the discussion and replies. I enjoy well thought out posts contained in threads like this. A pleasure to read the commentary in this thread for the most part.
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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  81. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Komrade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Mr. Dorval may have been insubordinate, but that's simply because there was no way for him to stand up and make it right, other than martyring himself.
    Which is exactly what this is about.

    This man has been teaching for a long time. He knows the proper channels to challenge decisions/policies. Hell he probably even did challenge this policy properly.

    But when the policy remained we have a teacher who a) was going to stand for his 'beliefs' at all costs and b) knew it would get him fired to begin with

    Let me ask you this. Who do you think phoned the papers to get the media attention first? EPSB or Dorvall?
    But why should a longstanding and previously acceptable "belief" result in the firing of a longstanding employee?

    Where the slippery slope is here, and isn't being noted, is that this does disservice to anybody with experience and basically infers that what they believe in, have always believed in, and has always served them well, is of no value and needs to be extinguished.

    Lets be clear here as well. There is no fact that says zeros are better, no zeros are better, or that all of the above can't apply. These are new flavor of the day notions, not facts, and that are not substantiated by supporting evidence.

    Again policy, especially without merit of substantiation, need not be introduced in such draconian measures.

    This is arguably a failure before it got off the ground. The PR and fallout from this for the school board is toxic with hardly anybody agreeing with the decision.

    Arguably Exhibit A for how not to run an organization.
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  82. #82
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    the topic of tenure and the long standing position of Mr. Dorval has been an underlying theme in many posts. This tenure is incredible considering that very few teachers get to 5 or 10 year service mark.

    The reason I keep mentioning support and training, however, is because teaching, like any profession requires teachers to participate in continual upgrading and re-training. Just like it is not ok for a doctor to not crack open a medical journal in over a decade, it is not ok for a teacher to not be open to learning new techniques and approaches. This is clearly a new directive when compared with, say late 90's. Support and training must be offered and it must be received with an open mind. Such is the requirement of a professional [name your profession here].

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Lets be clear here as well. There is no fact that says zeros are better, no zeros are better, or that all of the above can't apply. These are new flavor of the day notions, not facts, and that are not substantiated by supporting evidence.
    actually, there is evidence that one approach is better over the other. You are correct in that this might change over time, but only in the face of new evidence.

    not only is there evidence, there is a simple matter of the meaning of a grade. A grade is a numerical estimate of the amount of knowledge a student has. It is not at all a perfect measure of that knowledge, but it is what we use at this point in time.

    When a teacher threatens with a zero, the message is: "I don't care how much you know. I will report it as "you don't know" anyways." It is kind of a lie, isn't it? Also a bit of blackmail. While the teacher probably means well, it is still not right regardless of "evidence".

  84. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    the topic of tenure and the long standing position of Mr. Dorval has been an underlying theme in many posts. This tenure is incredible considering that very few teachers get to 5 or 10 year service mark.

    The reason I keep mentioning support and training, however, is because teaching, like any profession requires teachers to participate in continual upgrading and re-training. Just like it is not ok for a doctor to not crack open a medical journal in over a decade, it is not ok for a teacher to not be open to learning new techniques and approaches. This is clearly a new directive when compared with, say late 90's. Support and training must be offered and it must be received with an open mind. Such is the requirement of a professional [name your profession here].
    While I appreciate and enjoy your contributions to the thread from a place of working knowledge, and didn't want to require any more of your time on this, I will draw a distinction between College of Physicians and Surgeons acting to support members being trained in the most recent medical developments (some of which are arguably factually and substantiated developments) and that knowledge which would be contained as directives in Education where the facts are more subjective and contained within the general realm of socio/psycho understanding.

    (I'm also speaking about the latter from a similar position of *knowledge* but would not make the same comparison about my field with the medical community.)
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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  85. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Lets be clear here as well. There is no fact that says zeros are better, no zeros are better, or that all of the above can't apply. These are new flavor of the day notions, not facts, and that are not substantiated by supporting evidence.
    actually, there is evidence that one approach is better over the other. You are correct in that this might change over time, but only in the face of new evidence.

    not only is there evidence, there is a simple matter of the meaning of a grade. A grade is a numerical estimate of the amount of knowledge a student has. It is not at all a perfect measure of that knowledge, but it is what we use at this point in time.

    When a teacher threatens with a zero, the message is: "I don't care how much you know. I will report it as "you don't know" anyways." It is kind of a lie, isn't it? Also a bit of blackmail. While the teacher probably means well, it is still not right regardless of "evidence".
    The "evidence" in this instance depends on how one defines things like grades and performance and that this too may involve rethinking in time. What a grade "means" in time will also change and with the only constant in this that there will be change. Changes in thoughts on this, formulation, policy, and much of it without thorough supporting evidence that students, education, and society are better served by one approach vs another.

    Its all subjective interpretation. It isn't factual.

    Furthermore, the logical extent of student evaluation involves not just looking at crystallized knowledge, but the ability to actually attain knowledge, for instance as suggested (but not 100% substantiated) by such testing as IQ and performance ability measures.

    If you use such logical extent as "zero's are blackmail" you may as well say completion of any standardized testing is blackmail and that students that don't complete have a right to benefit of doubt there also. That non completion wouldn't indicate one way or the other how a student could perform the standardized test.

    Except theres a basic notion in education that student involvement is mandated in some form and involving complying. Or thats inferred even.

    Where to draw that line in the sand. Maybe using your logical extent grades shouldn't count at all as we don't know beyond doubt the student couldn't have performed better if they applied themselves.

    btw I'm not suggesting any of the latter
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 04:52 PM.
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  86. #86
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    actually, the CPS's of all provinces as well as the Royal College offer support that is similar to various professional teacher organization. The ATA, for example, publishes numerous journals and puts together many, many workshops, inservices, and conferences. The school boards contribute through PD day planning. I know at least in the past, Shep had a late start Thursdays where classes would not begin until about an hour later than normal. During that time, teachers were expected to participate in collaborative planning or any other activity that contributed to their general skills development. Not sure if this is still the case.

    In terms of what constitutes "knowledge"and evidence in education–really a diverse set of sources from psychology and psychiatry to philosophy, critical theory, theory of discourse, communication, etc.. Some is more quantitative and other is more qualitative.

    If I were to design a study to investigate this particular issue with grading policy, I would want to know the change in graduation rate (hard numerical evidence), change in success rate (hard, numerical evdience), knowledge retention (a bit harder to estimate, but still fairly concrete piece of information).

    I would also want to know the source of resistance to change of practice (would be a qualitative review with, perhaps, a touch of attitude measures and correlation analysis). I would be interested in tracing the history of giving zeros and perform a critical analysis of that history to shed light on the current practice. This is a much softer type of evidence, but it is actually one that sheds light on structures and beliefs that are very much in play here.

    Finally, I would want to do a critical study of student behaviour around these divergent practices. Specifically, I would want to know student attitudes towards "second chances", perception of the caring qualities of the teachers, attitudes towards work ethic, etc.. If I had unlimitted financial resources, I would want to build a longitudinal component where I trace some of the students who had benefitted from the no zero policy to see how this practice affected them in their workforce. Basically, would this make them "ineffective" as employees?

    EDIT**** COMPLETELY FORGOT TO ADD: I would also want to know effect on drop out rates, substance abuse of students, and rates of suicides (both attempted and successful) as all those in my mind (my hypothesis) relate to the negative messaging of assigning zeros for behaviour. ****

    There are many things to consider, and all in combination would be evidence in supporting practice one way or another.
    Last edited by grish; 17-09-2012 at 05:11 PM.

  87. #87
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    Replacement,

    there are many voices out there that claim grades should not be used. I am not exactly one of them.

    Zeros are blackmail because a numerical measure of knowledge is used as a consequence to a behaviour. A misbehaviour requires a behaviour correctional intervention. Anything else misses the mark.
    Last edited by grish; 17-09-2012 at 05:09 PM. Reason: spelling

  88. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    If I were to design a study to investigate this particular issue with grading policy, I would want to know the change in graduation rate (hard numerical evidence), change in success rate (hard, numerical evdience), knowledge retention (a bit harder to estimate, but still fairly concrete piece of information).

    I would also want to know the source of resistance to change of practice (would be a qualitative review with, perhaps, a touch of attitude measures and correlation analysis). I would be interested in tracing the history of giving zeros and perform a critical analysis of that history to shed light on the current practice. This is a much softer type of evidence, but it is actually one that sheds light on structures and beliefs that are very much in play here.

    Finally, I would want to do a critical study of student behaviour around these divergent practices. Specifically, I would want to know student attitudes towards "second chances", perception of the caring qualities of the teachers, attitudes towards work ethic, etc.. If I had unlimitted financial resources, I would want to build a longitudinal component where I trace some of the students who had benefitted from the no zero policy to see how this practice affected them in their workforce. Basically, would this make them "ineffective" as employees?

    EDIT**** COMPLETELY FORGOT TO ADD: I would also want to know effect on drop out rates, substance abuse of students, and rates of suicides (both attempted and successful) as all those in my mind (my hypothesis) relate to the negative messaging of assigning zeros for behaviour. ****

    There are many things to consider, and all in combination would be evidence in supporting practice one way or another.
    Agree with much of this but particularly that the study of these variables would require longtitudinal empirical research and replication and isolating variables and qualifying extraneous variable effects.

    None of which has been substantiated to this degree. As in most instances this is policy on the basis of popular current notion supported by some vague concept, some such supporting articles, and no substantiating longitudinal study.

    I will disagree with the notion that zero's would be associated overtly with deleterious mental health impact, suicide, and the like. I would garner that societal and hallway rejection or acceptance would have a lot more to do with that then a zero on an assignment. It could even be argued that exposure to zeros allow the person to cope with such selective stimuli and move beyond it and maybe even learn from it rather than being sheltered in an everybody advances form of education.
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 05:40 PM.
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  89. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Private companies excel because they don't fall into this trap. They utilize research and facts to make decisions, of which none has been done on the effectiveness (or rather complete lack of) of no-zeros policy.
    correction. you are not aware of any. that is not the same as there not being any or the school boards not having had considered them prior.

    this is the perfect example of back seat driving without a clear view of the road.
    Wrong. Not one journalist, blogger, researcher, or otherwise that has looked into this been able to find any actual research that claims anything positive about a no-zero policy. There's some websites and papers, but they all link to other anecdotal websites and papers, until they become a big circle jerk propping themselves up. None of them has an actual research component.

    There have been, however, about an infinity number of research articles since the dawn of time specifically on this topic, and that of how as meat us humans respond to incentives, that disprove the wonky theories of no-zeros.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  90. #90
    grish
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    there is a way to make your point without offensive language.

    what search strategies have you used?

  91. #91
    grish
    Guest

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    Some of what I found with a search in Google Scholar by typing "no zero policy in schools":

    http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=11139

    Conclusion: Zero tollerance (this is behaviour though) in schools is equivalent to zero tollerance in prisons. Corrective action is preferred.

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/art.../61585782.html

    another discipline related article with similar conclusion. More violence oriented than grading.

    Here is one (search strategy: "no zero grading policy in schools")

    http://c2.kalispell.schoolwires.net/...20gpg8%202.pdf

    Phi Delta Kappan, by the way, is a respected publication. Kind of a funny quote in light of recent comments: "There might be a few people who are familiar with the research that asserts that grading as punishment is an ineffective strategy, [...]"

    This article contains at least one reference to another study.

    Basically, Chmilz, with good on-line library access, if you seek you will find. Time to do a bit of light reading. By the way, what exactly would be evidence that you consider worth believing?

  92. #92

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    ^Peer reviewed scientific studies done with scientific method: consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.

    If you can provide papers showing exactly that, then alright, I'm proven wrong. However, the studies linked above are not that. I'm locked out of the first one. The second one is about punishment for kids with behavioral issues, with grading techniques a minor part. The third one is simply an untested idea with no research backing, which appears to be the rationale for some locals schools going that way in the first place.

    I want to see the actual study(ies) that show the research on a proper large population just about the no-zero approach to grading.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  93. #93
    grish
    Guest

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    Chmilz,

    So, you would accept and give unqualified opinions of your own position, but you expect scientific research to the contrary. That's a very advantageous expectation to have.

    One thing to note: research method must match research purpose. If you are testing a hypothesis–scientific method is appropriate. If you are describing things as they are (say, the habitat or use of rhetorical moves), then a descriptive study is more appropriate. If you are studying a practice, then critical analysis or action research may be used. They are all credible forms of research with method and practice reflecting the aims. Take a glance at what I would do if I were to design a study that would be as complete as I could make it in terms of investigating the problem... (posted previously)

    What is the question, that your "credible" studies would answer?

    But, as for credible research, I will look closer.

    Meanwhile, here is a position from a credible source who is not me:

    O'Connor, Ken. Title Grades--When, Why, What Impact, and How? Canadian Education Association. e-mail: [email protected]

    From abstract:

    At the same time, there has been a growing focus on the key role of assessment in the learning process, and each jurisdiction in Canada has put increasing emphasis on principles of quality assessment and the need for assessment-literate communities. These two parallel developments have led to a growing recognition of a mismatch between many traditional practices and the requirements of standards-based, assessment-literate systems. Practices such as combining achievement and behaviour in grades, the use of penalties for "late work", the use of zeros as punishments, and the role of homework in grading have all come into question. Some of the provincial policies designed to address these concerns have been controversial. The purpose of this article is to provide some background to these issues by providing information about the history of grading, the purposes of grades, the impact of grades, and how grades have and should be determined.

  94. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    Chmilz,

    So, you would accept and give unqualified opinions of your own position, but you expect scientific research to the contrary. That's a very advantageous expectation to have.

    One thing to note: research method must match research purpose. If you are testing a hypothesis–scientific method is appropriate. If you are describing things as they are (say, the habitat or use of rhetorical moves), then a descriptive study is more appropriate. If you are studying a practice, then critical analysis or action research may be used. They are all credible forms of research with method and practice reflecting the aims. Take a glance at what I would do if I were to design a study that would be as complete as I could make it in terms of investigating the problem... (posted previously)

    What is the question, that your "credible" studies would answer?

    But, as for credible research, I will look closer.

    Meanwhile, here is a position from a credible source who is not me:

    O'Connor, Ken. Title Grades--When, Why, What Impact, and How? Canadian Education Association. e-mail: [email protected]

    From abstract:

    At the same time, there has been a growing focus on the key role of assessment in the learning process, and each jurisdiction in Canada has put increasing emphasis on principles of quality assessment and the need for assessment-literate communities. These two parallel developments have led to a growing recognition of a mismatch between many traditional practices and the requirements of standards-based, assessment-literate systems. Practices such as combining achievement and behaviour in grades, the use of penalties for "late work", the use of zeros as punishments, and the role of homework in grading have all come into question. Some of the provincial policies designed to address these concerns have been controversial. The purpose of this article is to provide some background to these issues by providing information about the history of grading, the purposes of grades, the impact of grades, and how grades have and should be determined.
    I'll step in here and state that a teacher was fired on the basis of this shift in philosophy on grading. Who objected to it, and no doubt its flimsy substantiation. Its of course what we're talking about here. So of course in order for school boards to justify such severe actions to longtime tenured teacher(s) one would think they should at least have some kind of empirical substantiation. (not that it would justify anyway, for reasons I've already stated.) I state this because you've attempted to shift burden of proof in this analysis.

    My honest reaction to the quoted part is its gibberish. Some monkey say malarkey that sounds good that jurisdictions and bureaucracies like schoolboards latch onto for some reason in continually re-inventing the wheel. I was fearful that this is the kind of spoken word nonsense that is propped up to justify such change in policy and action.

    If you look closely at what it states its highly ironic that such a missive entirely dismisses traditional teaching practice and action while talking about such things as the history of grading and how they "have and should be determined".
    Severely ironic that the view purports that a teacher of some 36yrs and who probably knows as much about the profession as anybody had it wrong all this time. This is the tyranny of the new opinion devaluating knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

    As for your links above only the Kalispel article is even on the topic of zero grading which sites no direct evidence while making backhand comments like zero grading persists "evidence to the contrary". What evidence? We're still looking. I haven't found any either. If that article is any indication of the misconstrued logic used to challenge giving zeros I can certainly understand why theres resistance to the change. I also note with interest that "zero grading" is termed as punishment rather than consequence (because one sounds worse) is assumed to be underhanded, reactionary, mean, is compared with bad parenting (just because) and is demeaned in the article for no real clear reason. Other than some vague notion of range of grading and mathematical inaccuracy which is incorrectly explained.
    Last edited by Replacement; 17-09-2012 at 09:31 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  95. #95
    grish
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    replacement,

    it sounds gibberish because you are not the audience. the audience is education theorists and practicioners who are used to the language and terminology and have a general acceptance of standard form of communication (including an accetable concept of evidence and proof) in the field.

    Try reading psychology papers if you're not psychologist or linguistics papers if you're not a linguist etc..

    History of grading is important to discover why this became practice in the first place. So much is made here out of this unfounded belief that it somehow will make our children responsible that it begs to be challenged. Does it? Where is the proof? Does capital punishment correct behaiour that leads to it?

    While I search to see if there is a paper that would satisfy some of the extremely narrow criteria that some of you expect, would you please identify what question would such paper answer?

  96. #96

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grish View Post
    replacement,

    it sounds gibberish because you are not the audience. the audience is education theorists and practicioners who are used to the language and terminology and have a general acceptance of standard form of communication (including an accetable concept of evidence and proof) in the field.

    Try reading psychology papers if you're not psychologist or linguistics papers if you're not a linguist etc..

    History of grading is important to discover why this became practice in the first place. So much is made here out of this unfounded belief that it somehow will make our children responsible that it begs to be challenged. Does it? Where is the proof? Does capital punishment correct behaiour that leads to it?

    While I search to see if there is a paper that would satisfy some of the extremely narrow criteria that some of you expect, would you please identify what question would such paper answer?
    I assure you I have the competence and ability to read periodical articles and research papers and have had experience in this nature of reading for some 30yrs.
    It isn't my comprehension that prevents me from following the Kalispel article. Its how poorly concieved and written the article is.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  97. #97
    grish
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    I assure you I have the competence and ability to read periodical articles and research papers and have had experience in this nature of reading for some 30yrs.
    It isn't my comprehension that prevents me from following the Kalispel article. Its how poorly concieved and written the article is.
    I didn't say you lack competence. I said that the article was not written with your skills set in mind. I too have experience reading in diverse areas, but there are fields where reading is a challenge simply because the discourse structure is different. This was not meant as an evaluation of your reading skills, just a hypothesis that you're simply not the intended reader.

    this is such a catch 22 moment. So far you guys want a narrowly structured and necessarily scientific piece that specifically addresses your set of questions (which I don't have by the way) written in the way that you accept. Meanwhile, it would be nice if you do parallel research in finding the equally scientific justifications of why and how zeros support learning both academic and of responsibility and similar type skills.
    Last edited by grish; 17-09-2012 at 10:12 PM.

  98. #98

    Default

    This `No Zero`policy could just be a study in itself. School boards may be trying it out for a few years to see if academic scores improve, get worse or stay the same. If scores and attitudes get worse they may reverse back to older methods. A few of us have stated it is an unproven method. Maybe EPSB is trying to see if it will be proven or not.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

  99. #99
    grish
    Guest

    Default

    that's a good thought, gemini. There is already the evidently unscientific writing on the subject. EPSB could be one of the boards who will try to make it "scientific" although I believe it is already credible. This is, however, not just an EPSB "invention". This is being done across western and engish speaking world from Australia to Canada.

  100. #100

    Default

    Well, keeping this thought in mind would this `study`have been explained to the teachers, the reasons for doing this or was it just foisted on them, no questions asked.
    Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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