5.21.2013

ATA Earns a Failing Grade

There are few sure things in life: death, taxes, and educators ignoring what is right if it hampers the advancement of their agenda.

We’ve heard the tales of teachers losing their sanity over the most benign of things, such as the one who discovered a drawing that one of her young students had made of her Daddy and a gun.  She thought it necessary to get everyone from the police to Social Services involved.

We know what is happening in the classrooms with our kids being exposed to repeated streams of propaganda, such as repeated viewings of already-discredited films like An Inconvenient Truth, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Capitalism: A Love Story with little or no presentation of alternative opinions.

Parents are aware – or damn well should be – of cases where inappropriate literature akin to soft-core gay pornography have been found in our schools with the stated purpose of teaching our 13 year old sons the most effective way to give oral sex.  It’s always double-talk or feigned ignorance by those in charge that follows being discovered.

Closer to home, last year Edmonton teacher Lynden Dorval was first suspended then fired for having the audacity to give a zero to a student for incomplete work.  Just last month the Edmonton Public School Board reversed its no-zero policy.  Not much good that does Dorval.

Now, in a vote yesterday, the Alberta Teachers Association voted on a proposal that would have urged provincial school boards not to adopt or maintain no-zero policies.  Naturally, the proposal was shot down.  As expected, ATA president Carol Henderson was front and center to defend the idiocy, claiming this gives more autonomy to each Board and school.

In an interview with Global Edmonton, Henderson stated “The opinions are diverse which is why our policy is good … It allows teachers to have diverse opinions.”

Nicely stated bullshit.

It’s safe to say not too many zeroes are handed out to students who have actually completed their assignment and have handed it in.  Most flat-line marks are due to, as seen in the Dorval case, required work the student failed to do.  If there is nothing to grade, it stands to reason no grade is given.

This now confuses the student.  ‘I have to hand in my English assignment because Mr. Smith gives zeroes, but I can say screw it to the Math homework – no zeroes in that class!’

In reality, what a ‘no-zero’ policy does is it removes accountability and responsibility from both the student and the teacher.  The student doesn’t have to worry about actually studying or putting in the effort on an assignment, the teacher doesn’t have to deal with a failing student or the outraged parents who all-too-often blame the teacher for their own kid’s incompetence. 

The Alberta Teachers Association had an opportunity to put the best interests of the students first, and instead they chose to continue with their progressive agenda. 

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His Name Was Steven