An Argument Against Giving Zero’s
The basis of my argumentative paper will be to take an in-depth look at ineffective grading practices and the use of zeros as a form of punishment. Since this is something I have personally been faced with, I argue that giving students a zero for missed work, whether it be for missing due to illness or being suspended from school, is ineffective, unfair, and a detriment to students drive, determination, and self-esteem.
Grading practices have been a controversial issue for years among educators. Many educators want to know the true functions of grades (Reeves, 2001). Are they in place to communicate a student’s performance in certain areas, including behavior and participation, or should they represent a student’s proficiency in a given subject? (Hanover, 2011) I personally argue it is the latter. When grades are used as a form of punishment, in my opinion, it takes away the right of the student to get an education.
According to an article by Douglas B. Reeves, he suggests that schools should re-examine and change their grading practices and if they want to immediately reduce student failure rates. He states that schools do not need a new curriculum, a new principal, new teachers, or new technology to reduce failure rates. Instead, he has found they need a better grading system. Guskey and Bailey (2001) and Marzano (2001) have done decades of research with similar findings to those mentioned by Reeves. Unfortunately, neither the weight of scholarship nor common sense seem to influence grading policies in many schools and practices vary greatly among teachers in the same school-and worse, the practices best supported by research are rare...
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...blame themselves, and often feel helpless to make improvements (Guskey, 2004).
Guskey, T. R. (2004). “0 Alternatives”, Principal Leadership, pg. 49. Retrieved from
Reeves, D. B. (2004). The Case Against Zero. Phi Delta Kappan, 86(4), 324–325.
Retrieved from http://www.leadandlearn.com/sites/default/files/articles/caseagainstzero.pdf
Reeves, D. B. (2006). “Leading to change: Preventing 1,000 failures.” Educational
Leadership, 64(3), 88–89. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/nov06/vol64/num03/Preventing-1,000-Failures.aspx
Reeves, D. (2008). “Effective Grading Practices.” Educational Leadership, 65(5), 85-
87. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational- leadership/feb08/vol65/num05/Effective-Grading-Practices.aspx
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