I was impressed by the logic of the school board in Chillicothe. The example they want to set is to have children understand you don’t need to work and be responsible/accountable and you can still obtain WELFARE. Why expect anything from anyone when you can ‘suggest’ that by lowering expectations, you are actually helping them out?
If I knew the race and economics of Chillicothe, I would state that the practice suggested of no zero grades is a testament to racism and also repeating the cycle of poverty. Is this school board not clear on the concept of expectations – specifcally with Arne Duncan and President Obama. This policy would defy NCLB by saying, it is okay – we can socially promote you – just kind of show up now and again. We understand that expecting you (the student) to be in school and do homework is beyond a reasonable scope of things parents should expect, much less society.
If I honestly knew I did not need to show up for work and would not get a ‘zero’ from my employer, I would be thrilled. Maybe this is the ‘next next big thing’ – no work.
Word to the wise – children are neither motivated or not motivated by ‘grades’- parents and administrators are motivated by such statistics. Children are motivated to LEARN and have an interest in learning more when they find it interesting and fun. If motivation were only about grades, there would not be so many people around the world willing to sacrifice so much (including their life in some countries) to learn. Imagine if you told a woman in a country where women are generally illiterate that there is no point in learning to read if no A is attached to it. Don’t learn to read – continue to stay ‘stupid’.
Learning is its own reward – not the grade affixed. Grades are arbitrary under the best of circumstances, no matter the scale. The best teachers can anecdotally state what a child knows and their ability to use the information, which is why real report cards should be more than GPA, of course doing a report card with intention about education would take a heck of a lot of time and not be cost effective in the classroom mill of 30+ students.
Do us all a favor and come up with a satisfactory line of reasoning why no zero grades LEGITIMIZE the time investment needed to learn.
Hopefully Ohio is readying the state budget for projections ten years from now – the city of Chillicothe will be a complete welfare state. Then, while no one is working, everyone can go back to school (just like what is happening now with so many people scraping it together to get a GED since the economy is bad).
updated on 7/13/09: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/13/nyregion/13credit.html?hpw