Monday, January 21, 2008

Kids Who Miss Homework No Longer Get Zeros

New System Gives Points Even For Incomplete Assignments

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Students who don't hand in homework won't receive a zero anymore under new rules for a new semester that started on Monday at Council Bluffs Community Schools.
Students and teachers are encouraged to use the new grading techniques, KETV-TV in Omaha reported.
School officials said that under the old regime, a student who received a zero had a tough time recovering a grade in the course.
Administrators said that by making the failing gap smaller, students still have a chance to bounce back and pass at the end of the semester, even after a mistake.
Superintendent Dr. Marth Bruckner said she has seen many students start a new year by rebelling.
"We don't want to send the message to kids, as we have done in some classes, that after you have failed in this class for four weeks, you have no chance of passing at the semester," Bruckner said.
In Council Bluffs, each grade range has constituted 10 points, so an A is a grade from 90 to 100, a B is from 80 to 90 etc. An F has ranged from zero to 60.
Last week, Bruckner said she visited with high school staff and recommended using similar intervals, so that on the 100-point scale, an F would range from 50 to 60 instead of zero to 60.
"Some teachers are really wrestling with, 'I don't want to give them 50 out of 100 points,' and to those teachers I say, 'Fine, you don't have to. Go to a different grading scale, like 5-4-3-2-1-0,'" Bruckner said. "We're not saying give them half credit. We're saying, give them the F. Just don't kill them with the F."

Video: New Grading System Helps Kids Bounce Back

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