Local Schools Keeping Close Eye On Boise’s No-Zeroes Policy

Lowering the bar again — always in hopes that students will then excel. 

When will the statists not learn that lowering the standards means that you have lower outcomes? 

There is a much easier solution: have the students turn the assignment in for credit. And that credit is the maximum failing grade (typically a 60% in government schools). Then they will have incentive to do the work. 

This policy gives them no incentive to work their way out of the hole they dug. 

The Boise School District is about to undergo a major transformation with its teaching policy this year, and Moscow High School and the University of Idaho are paying close attention.

Boise schools will no longer be giving zeroes to any student. So, if a student forgets to hand in a paper, he won’t receive a zero – a score that could be crippling to any student’s grade. The lowest grade a student can receive is going to be a 50, which school officials hope will keep students engaged in a class even after one major mistake. Before the policy, a single grade like that early in the quarter could cause students to mentally check out of the class, the district said.

“It’s a pretty gutsy and forward thinking thing to do. This district has been working for the past year and a half or so toward a more standards-based approach to school, which I think is the right way to go,” Moscow principal Erik Perryman said. “But there are few conversation topics that get such an emotional response as grading and those kinds of policies for late work or missing work.”

Moscow High School has yet to implement the policy, but they will be keeping a close eye on how the new rule will play itself out.

However, some educators like Mark Shipley, an Earth science and anatomy teacher at MHS, are already on board with the change.

“If I’m OK with a kid having a zero, then why give him the assignment in the first place? If I’m OK with a zero, then I’m also OK with them not getting the instructions and the curriculum,” said Shipley, who has used the policy for his own students on a few occasions. “So if they have a zero it could be for logical reasons, like they left it at home, or they have home issues, or they forgot. It doesn’t really matter.”

Via Daily News