What does a zero really mean?



Over the past few months, I have struggled to answer the question, “What does a zero really mean?”  To truly understand what I am talking about, perhaps you have to understand the context.  If this question was posed in a math class, then it would have a manageable, straight forward answer.  However, my question pertains to utilizing zeros as a measurement on the commonly used grading scale.  Now, I know you think that this couldn’t be a complex issue or definition that I am seeking.  Most people outside of education might say, “just Google it”.  So I did…

The results  of my search were as I imagined.  No matter how I worded my question, the results were the same.  Meaning that each search produced a sea of articles, debates, blog posts, grading policies, and Youtube videos. It wasn’t surprising to find that all took a stance against the use of zeros in grading.  Not one that I read or viewed, and that was about 50, actually was pro “zero” or could give good reason to utilize them when communicating skill development.

But, don’t take my word for it.  I encourage you to do your own poking around on the subject.  To get you started I placed some links below.  Please share your thoughts and any further research that may help us to better understand the meaning and the purpose of this perpetual practice.

To be continued…

Rick Wormeli-Youtube “Redos, Retakes, and Do-Overs

Rick Wormeli-Youtube “How Much Should Homework Count

Rick Wormeli- Youtube “On Late Work

Leading to Change/Effective Grading Policy

The Case Against Zero


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