Something for Nothing?

Something for Nothing?


Diane Tirado is a long-time teacher with many years of experience. Earlier this year she took a job at Westgate Middle School in Florida. For many years, she gave a grade of zero to students who did not hand in an assignment. One student said, “You have to give me 50%, even if I don’t hand in anything.” To that, Ms. Tirado responded, “Not in my class.”

It turns out that her new school has a policy stating that the lowest grade a student can receive is 50% or 50 out of 100 points. Ms. Tirado took a stand and would not change the grade. Within days, Ms. Tirado was fired.

Joe’s Perspective: I agree with Ms. Tirado on two points: (1) I think that students who don’t hand in work should receive zeros. Why should a kid who does absolutely nothing get a similar grade to someone who gets half the answers wrong? It doesn’t seem fair. It also seems to reinforce a “something for nothing” belief system. (2) I also applaud Mrs. Tirado for taking a stand. She believed the policy was wrong and she took an ethical stance, even though it cost her her job.

Your Turn: After viewing this post, (1) do you think a student should receive half credit for not turning in an assignment? 2) If you disagreed with this school policy, would you be willing to take a stand, even if it meant that you could lose your job?

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  1. I think they should have given her a warning instead of firing her. The kids actually had fun with her and they ended up losing her for nothing. The school fired her because she refused giving the kids a 50% in a assignment. This really unfair for the kids and for her mostly. I don’t think they should have fired her because she refused giving the a 50%. She needed a warning.

  2. I think that the school should have given the teacher a warning before firing her. Also, it is unfair to the students who did and the students who didn’t do it. It is also very weird that the school doesn’t allow zeros. I think that the teacher shouldn’t have gotten fired because she didn’t give a good grade. I think that the students were sad when she left because she got fired. I believe that the school should change that rule because it is very unfair!

  3. i think that this is really heartbreaking not only for me but for the student i really think she was a good teacher she was loving and caring but the school was very rude because all she wanted to do is not fail the kids because who knows how hard the kids tried. If i was the teacher i would have done the same thing but it was a little of the kids fault because if they would have just done there work she wouldn’t had to be fired. But at the same time im guessing all the kids loved her a lot but it was a pain in the behind because she really loved them so much that she even kept some of there paper work.