Edmonton public school board reconsiders, says zeros will be given

EDMONTON – Just months after a teacher was fired for giving zeros to students who didn’t complete their work, the Edmonton Public School Board is proposing making zeros part of their official policy.

Lynden Dorval made national headlines in the fall when he was fired for insubordination.

He refused to follow the policy of his school, Ross Sheppard, which required students be given an incomplete for assignments not handed in or for missed tests.

On Friday, board chairwoman Sarah Hoffman said they have a draft policy that if approved, will see students receive marks from zero to 100.

She says students will not be let off the hook for not doing their assignments.

The board will also seek public input on the plan.

When Dorval was fired, the board argued that giving a student a zero is counterproductive because it doesn’t truly reflect what a student knows about a subject.

The board said students who don’t do the work would be expected to make it up, but Dorval argued teachers don’t have the time to track down wayward students, and when they do, few ever complete the makeup assignment.

He also said giving out a zero grade had proven to be a strong motivator for students to come to him to get the work done.

After he was fired, Dorval, 61, was hired by a provincially accredited private school in Edmonton, where the headmaster said he would be free to hand out zeros.

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