Should students get credits for work not handed in?
One Florida teacher said no, and took a stand.
Now she’s been fired for that move.
“Years of teaching I have so much stuff,” said teacher Diana Tirado.
Motivation, inspiration — that’s what Tirado strives to provide her students as a longtime teacher.
“Teaching is a calling for me,” she said.
So she thought the same when she started teaching 8th grade history at West Gate in Port St. Lucie last month.
“I had some good fun decorating my room.”
But then she assigned this Explorer Notebook Project.
“This is why I gave weeks for,” Tirado said.
When so many students didn’t turn it in, Tirado found out about what she says is the school’s “No Zero” policy, reflected in the student and parent handbook.
“But what if they don’t turn it in, and they say we’ll give them a 50. Oh no we don’t.”
A parent at the school spoke out.
“You don’t know what’s going on at home is what you see is one level. Because if my son blatantly chooses not to do it he knows he’s got an issue right there right.”
Tirado was terminated on Sept. 14 but there’s no clause mentioned in the letter from the principal since she was still in her probationary period.
On her last day, she wrote a message to students on her whiteboard.
Before she left and sent on a picture of it through a class app her students responded.
“You are right about not giving people 50s.”
And then she posted it on Facebook.
It’s now been shared more than 400 times a grade.
“A grade in Miss Tirado’s class is earned.”
Tirado hopes this time she motivates policy change.
“I’m so upset because we have a nation of kids that are expecting to get paid and live their life just for showing up and it’s not real,” Tirado said.
The chief information officer for West Gate said in a statement:
“There is no district or individual school policy prohibiting teachers from recording a grade of zero for work not turned in. The district’s uniform grading system utilizes letter grades A-F, numerical grades 100 to zero and grade point averages from four to zero.
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