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Late assignments? No problem!

January 15, 2010

The news from education just keeps getting worse.  Teachers in Manitoba are being told to not reduce grades for late assignments. Brilliant.  Just brilliant.  Are there to be no consequences for behavior?  The argument seems to be that the mark should reflect what the student has learned not when an assignment was completed.  I would argue that meeting a deadline is part of what students learn in school.  If there is no consequence for late assignments, why would any student bother to turn in anything on time?  Teachers could reward prompt assignments in some other way but I’m sure that wouldn’t last long before they were criticized for discriminating against the late students.

Some of the teachers in Manitoba are even encouraged to accept assignments after the end of the term and to amend the previous terms marks.  That is absolutely ridiculous.  Either you meet the requirements for completing a course within the designated term or you don’t.  If you don’t, it should be “thanks for participating and please try again next time.”

Actually, when marks are rather “soft”, reductions don’t mean much anyway.  At our school, report card grades are given as S (starting to meet expectations), M (meets expectations), and E (Exceeds expectations).  It’s hard to take 10% off of an “M” for late assignments.  I believe that high schools actually give percentage marks.  Or at least they do now.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Fritz permalink
    January 16, 2010 7:09 pm

    The parents of the students in my wifes class, want her to give them the answers to upcoming tests. This way, their child never has to feel bad for failing a test. The educational system is broke, liberals have destroyed it.

  2. Jam permalink
    March 1, 2010 8:35 am

    While I see your point, however as students are getting older, they’re getting jobs, and some may even be taking night school. This means they can have a far greater disadvantage compared to other students in regards to the amount of time they’re able to spend on an assignment.

    On another point, let’s step into a student’s shoes for a moment. You’ve been working a good 7 or 8 hours a day at school and you go home, only to have to go to work for a 3 hour shift at a local grocery store. Finally you get home, you eat dinner, and work on your homework. Depending on how hard your courses are, you could be spending up to 2 hours on homework. Plus assignments to work on.

    You can imagine how discouraging it would be, if this someone handed in a paper a day late, and instantly lost 10% of their mark. Or two days late, and lost 25% of their mark. Or the teacher refused to accept it on the third day, and you end with a 0%. Especially while you see the students with rich parents that don’t have to work to pay for university, easily able to handle them in on time.

    On top of this though, students juggle a social life and maybe even sports. The familiar saying “These will be the best days of your life” seems to be thrown out the window with the amount of work that needs to be done just to pass your courses and get into a good university.

    As a high school student in my last year, I’m struggling. All through my past three years I’ve worked hard, and I have consistently been an 80%+ student. However this year, I have a heavy load, taking chemistry, applied journalism, physics, calculus and vectors, and english. These are the marks that universities will decide upon. They won’t care that I was more than capable my past 3 years. They will only look at my marks this year, and say “this student isn’t too bright, next.” I’m getting 60’s this year. I haven’t had time to look over notes for tests. To really understand things. I spend all my lunches studying.

    I can say, looking at the adult lives around me, that life isn’t harder than this. So why is school making it so hard?

  3. Michele permalink*
    March 1, 2010 10:00 am

    Either you can do the work in the time allotted or you can not. In the real world, deadlines are “hard”. If you file a legal brief late, the court does not accept it. If you sign a contract after the offer has expired, the contract is not valid. If you submit a grant application late, you will not be funded. Deadlines are not optional.

    You’re right. Life is not fair and some people will have advantages. So? I worked all through high school and I never asked for extensions. I worked through college and I never asked for extensions. I turned in the work on time regardless of how well it was done. Can you imagine how I felt when students who asked for additional time were granted it and then received a higher mark?

    If you don’t have enough time for all of the coursework required in your classes, you should drop one of the courses. Three heavy science/math classes and journalism? Drop one. Are all of them required? Better to do well in four classes than to fail five.

    • JOHN permalink
      January 23, 2012 11:17 am

      You do not know the stress of some students. Take the IBDP for example, if the 6 subjects don’t drain your soul, either the TOK, CAS or EE will. Its absurd. I doubt an average adult can handle so much work and still participate in sports, social events.

  4. Jam permalink
    March 1, 2010 11:02 am

    Filling a deadline in the real world is much simpler than a deadline in school. Most people don’t work over forty hours a week.
    With the time spent on homework, school, assignments, reports, and work, you end up going far beyond 40 hours a week.

    Yes, life is not fair, but school is a much more controlled situation, and it should push to be more fair.

    I must ask you though, why did you not ask for an extension when you feel you could have done a better job? It seems like a wasted opportunity.

    As for my classes, all three of those science/math courses are required for my field of study. Unfortunately they were not offered in my last semester, so I was forced to take them all together.
    I don’t get any homework in journalism as well and unlike how I led you to believe earlier, I’m doing fairly well in it. So dropping a course that is bringing up my average, and not causing lost sleep, would be foolish.

    My main areas of homework/assignments is those three science/math and English. None of which I can drop, or have taken at a more appropriate time. So I should be punished because

    I have a friend currently taking chemistry and English with me. He does math at a night school because he couldn’t get into the math course at our school. It takes him 45 minutes to drive to the night school, which has 3 hour long classes, and then he has to drive 45 minutes back. Plus he has homework in that class. He’s not the only one who’s busy. There are countless other students in my classes that are in similar situations. I hear a lot of them stay up to around 3am just so they can work on assignments rather than hand it in late.

    The irony of it all is that schools encourage participation in groups, clubs, sports, etc. I don’t see how anyone could keep up with the school work and participate.

  5. Michele permalink*
    March 1, 2010 12:52 pm

    I didn’t ask for an extension because I recognized that part of the assignment was to finish it within the given amount of time.

  6. bill permalink
    June 16, 2010 5:03 pm

    All I can say is that our education systems have decided that esteem is more important than anything else. Those students (I’m a teacher) who hand stuff in late are always the most needy ones, and we just sort of say, “okay kid, I’ll go along with your pathetic approach to life to avoid hurting your precious feelings.”

    This approach builds contempt in most teachers, and good students everywhere. It’s like caring most for the ones who cares the least; aka likely a waste of your time.

    Bottom-line (and this does matter to all you bleeding hearts) – Who is really going to care once they leave school? No one willing to pay them a wage! Jokes on them, but all of us as well.

  7. JOHN permalink
    January 23, 2012 11:15 am

    I know a student who almost never hand in work on time nor produces a reasonable explanation. He had been labelled as the “bad student”, sadly he was diagnosed with mild ADHD along with some brain defects a few weeks ago. I cannot feel more sorry for a student like him, as a teacher to be such a demon and all this time, scolded at him without trying to help. To all other fellow teachers, please spend more time developing the well beings of your students, and be tolerable. Remember our teenage years and how we are all the same. Thank you.

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