Do public schools expect too little of their students? Are grading policies too lenient? Is it time to solicit a change in what schools expect of students?
One teacher from Florida is standing up for what she believes in regards to grading. Diane Tirado has been a teacher for over 17 years, but her experience doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to one school’s policy.
The educator claims she was terminated from her new job as a history teacher at West Gate K-8 School in Port St. Lucie.
The reason may or may not shock you. According to a photo of a whiteboard Tirado posted on Facebook on Sept. 15, Tirado told students she was fired “for refusing to give you a 50% for not handing anything in.”
That’s right. Tirado had no intention of giving students credit for doing zero work, and apparently the school’s leadership wasn’t too keen on that decision.
Tirado told WPTV she’d assigned her eighth-grade social studies class an “explorer notebook project.” The students were given two weeks to finish it.
When some students turned nothing in, Tirado gave them zero credit for zero work. It was only then she reportedly learned about a “no zeros” policy.
Tirado explained she’d inquired about the policy and an administrator told her that the lowest possible grade was 50.
Half credit for zero work? Does that sound fair to the students who actually did the assignment? It certainly didn’t to Tirado.
“If there’s nothing to grade, how can I give somebody a 50%?” she asked, according to WPEC. Good question. Sadly, her stance on fair grading is what she believes led to her Sept. 14 termination.
Because she was on probation, it appears she could be released from the position for any reason. Her termination letter did not state a cause for the sudden dismissal, according to WPEC.
But Tirado believes it’s undoubtedly because she stood against the 50 percent credit policy. A statement released by St. Lucie Public Schools to WPBF didn’t mention the policy directly. In fact, it claimed Tirado’s termination was her own fault.
“Ms. Tirado was released from her duties as an instructor because her performance was deemed sub-standard and her interactions with students, staff, and parents lacked professionalism and created a toxic culture on the school’s campus,” the statement read.
According to WPBF, Tirado is now facing possible allegations of physical abuse against her students. But this hasn’t stopped her from pursuing her passion for teaching.
“Teaching should not be this hard…,” she wrote on Facebook. “By nature, most teachers are loving souls who want to see students succeed. We do above and beyond actual teaching to give them the support they need.”
WPBF also reported that Tirado has received job offers from two different schools already. If she was truly fired for her views on grading, hopefully, whatever school she decides to teach at next will support her methods and work with her for the best of all students involved.
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