Zero tolerance for no zero policy

Published 11:14 am Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Despite conflicting reports from school officials in recent weeks on whether Southampton County Public Schools were considering a change to its current grading policy for students, it is promising to hear school board chairman Dr. Deborah Goodwyn state publicly that no such change is imminent.

Several Hampton Roads school systems have adopted a “no zero” policy in recent years, where students are given nothing below the grade of 60 for poor or incomplete work. We are of the opinion that such a policy would not only artificially inflate the grades of students who haven’t earned higher marks but, perhaps more damaging, would also shield children from one of life’s more important lessons: in the real world, it is possible to fail.

As a society, we have decided to teach children that everyone earns a trophy just for showing up. In life, that is not the case. As we collectively scratch our heads wondering how American students can regain their competitive edge in a global environment, perhaps we can start by simply teaching them to compete.