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ERIC Number: ED539010
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct-9
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Role of Zero in Grading. Research Brief
Walker, Karen
Education Partnerships, Inc.
What is the role of "zero" in grading? According to several authors, giving students a zero lets them too easily off the hook, seldom serves as a motivator for them to do better and is not an accurate reflection of what has been learned. While students do need to be responsible and accountable for their work, assigning a zero skews the grade and it tends to be inaccurate. An equitable distribution would make the grade more appropriately representative of what a student had learned. Typically grade spans are 100-94=A, 93-84=B, 83-73=C, 72-64=D, 63-0=F. If using letter grades, an "F" equates to a 0. The literature suggests that it should be a 1.0 not a zero. According to several articles, each mark should have an appropriate influence on a student's grade. Some schools and districts are exploring recording a 50 or 60 in lieu of an "F" or "0" because then it helps make the spread more equitable. An example of scoring in the Olympics was cited where the high and low scores are thrown out so that one judge is not in control of the results (Policies work against standards). A zero plays the role of the judge that is in total control of the outcome of the grade. Faculty should discuss and agree upon the following when establishing a grading policy: (1) learning goals of the school; (2) the purposes of grades; (3) factors that should be included when grading; (4) the role of zero and how lack of achievement will be assessed and recorded; (5) weighting of grades; (6) ways in which to document student progress; (7) how feedback will inform the instructional program; (8) programs that will assist students and help them become responsible for their own learning; (9) communication with students and parents about the school's grading policy and expectations; (10) define and develop meaningful assessments; and (11) periodic reexamination, assessment and modification of the grading system. A list of resources is included.
Education Partnerships, Inc. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Partnerships, Inc. (EPI)