The Waterloo Region District School Board recently enacted a worrisome policy that places all students from Grade 7 to 12 in the region at risk.
There will be no more zero grades or penalties for late or missed assignments. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, there are apparently “many experts in the field of assessment and evaluation (who) discourage deducting marks or giving zeros for late and missed assignments” because “every assignment — whether submitted on time or late — provides evidence of learning, deducting marks for late assignments could misrepresent the student’s true level of achievement.”
Which fantasy world do these educational “experts” live in?
Encouraging an “I’ll hand it in when I feel like it” attitude will jeopardize our students’ chances in life.
As a current university student who attended high school in the region, I can attest to the important skills nurtured through deadlines, late penalties, and even zero grades. Even in the lower grades we did our homework, since no one wanted to get a zero during the homework check.
Late penalties for missed deadlines nurtured accountability: we realized that our grades would be impacted if we were not punctual, and so we focused on completing our work on time. What would happen to a student who continually showed up late to work or submitted assignments late in college?
The new policy will confuse students and give them wrong ideas. Who will care about deadlines? Rationally, if one can hand in an assignment late instead of on time, what is the point of finishing on time? There will be no incentive for students to hand in assignments early. In fact, submitting on time can seem counterintuitive for students.
If their classmates get to hand in assignments weeks late with no penalty, why should they have to work hard to finish up their essay for tomorrow?