Teachers support school’s ‘no zeros’ grading policy

Florida

A Florida high school teacher said she was fired after she refused to give students 50 percent for work they didn’t do, thrusting the school’s no zero policy into the national spotlight.

Now teachers are speaking out in support of how the school runs its classrooms. 

Diane Tirado, who started at the Port Lucie school last month, said she was fired for disagreeing with the school’s grading philosophy, which states that no students can receive a “zero” for uncompleted assignments. 

After news broke of her firing, a number of people took to social media to criticize the school’s decision. But teachers at the school are defending its decision, saying giving students zeros for uncompleted work is sending the wrong message. 

“Once you give that child a couple zeros, they can’t come back from it. So we’re telling them right off the bat don’t even bother the rest of the semester,” said Nancy Small, a teacher.

Small and other teachers believe it’s not about giving students a handout, but a hand up. 

“There are kids who would prefer to take the zero. That’s the easy way out. It’s a non-issue for us as teachers. We know that that’s what we signed up for,” said Jennifer Skurnick, a teacher. “We do what’s best for children period.”

According to WPTV, the school’s grading philosophy is not a district-wide policy, but it is considered a best practice. And 50 percent is still considered a failing grade. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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