I've been following the story of Lynden Dorval with some interest and while I'm disappointed in the Edmonton Public School Board's decision to terminate him, I can say I'm not all that surprised. I was always taught that you get out of life what you put into it. One would think that the EPSB Superintendent, having a Master's degree (oooohhh! ahhhh!) would be bright enough to grasp this simple concept. But no, according to this sorry excuse for an educator, it's okay to turn in incomplete work, or even not complete the work at all. I'm not sure what planet Edgar Schmidt (phone number 780-429-8010) is living on, but in the real world, there are consequences for not doing an assigned task. How disgusting this man sees fit to influence young minds with the notion that you can blow off work and not be held accountable.
(Mr. Schmidt, on the outside chance you read this, I'd like to throw out a challenge: show me the research and studies that PROVE your moronic policy is somehow beneficial. I'll read it cover to cover. Seriously. But until then I can only conclude that you, along with this outlandish notion of yours are simple full of crap.)
Interestingly, the EPSB website lists 5 district priorities, one of which mentions listening to staff and honouring their contributions. Um, sure. Here's hoping Mr. Dorval moves on to bigger and better things as he is obviously too bright to be working for such myopic dimwits in Edmonton.
As an aside, I bumped into a situation like this early on in my teaching career as it turns out. In my particular case, I was told not that I couldn't give out zeroes, but rather I couldn't give out marks between 45 and 50%. I'm not sure exactly what people were smoking when they came up with these numbers but anyhow, I had one particular student whose marks ended up being 47%. I was told that I had two options in deriving a final mark: either issue a 51% and pass the student, or give out a 44%. In the end, I gave out a 44%. Harsh? Perhaps. Fair? Yes. Because, this student had also heavily plagiarized an essay. There are consequences for your actions, quite obviously. So, the student failed. But don't worry, Mr. Schmidt. Did she go on to have a terrible, horrible life? No. A couple of years ago I was in touch with this student via email. She went to college after graduating and is doing just fine.
What Schmidt seems incapable of grasping is that he is a public servant. He should be accountable to the public. Here's hoping the good people of Edmonton recall this story when the next school trustee elections roll around, demand the board re-visit this "no zero" issue (at it seems it will), reverse this travesty of an education policy and fire this sorry ass.