‘Be a Hero, Give a Zero’ (2018)

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I’ve known teachers to hand out passing grades to kids who deserved F’s, just to move them along and let them be someone else’s problems. Besides–! Teaching is so much easier when you just don’t care.

Be a Hero, Give a Zero

A public school teacher once confessed to me that she knew several kids in her class were cheating on tests and quizzes… but never did anything about it “because it’s just easier if I let it go.”

Who knows? Kids who are allowed to cheat might grow up to steal an election.

3 comments on “‘Be a Hero, Give a Zero’ (2018)

  1. I’m glad to say that while I was still teaching at my university, I was allowed to give bad grades and even fail people who did failing work or no work at all. In fact, my syllabus clearly stated that “more than four unexcused absences or failure to turn in any assignment, including tests, will be grounds for failure in the course.” The university also had a very active Committee on Academic Misconduct (COAM), backed by the Provost, that cracked down on cheating of all kinds. I know, because I was a member of COAM for 9 years and chaired it for 4 years. But the university has gone so woke since then that I don’t know whether any of this — failing grades, punished misconduct — would be allowed now.

    By the way, my syllabus statement about “unexcused absences” went on to say that the only excused absences were “serious illness, sudden death (preferably your own), University-sponsored field trips, kidnap, or imprisonment. Be prepared to show documentation of your excuse. Better still, show up.”

    My syllabi tended to be collectors’ items. I was also known as “one of the hardest graders in the department.” And I won, was a finalist for, and/or was at least nominated for at least one teaching award almost every year I was there. I think many students appreciate being held to high standards, as long as the teacher shows that she’s willing to work with them to achieve those standards. … Or at least that’s the way it was then. Again, I have to say I don’t know whether it’s like that any more.

  2. The kids learn early on that they will be promoted to the next grade no matter what. It has become a game of just attending for 12 years and then you have a high school degree like everyone else. I feel so sorry for the students who really want an education.

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