Late Homework, No Problem

Keller ISD looks to unify, reduce late homework penalties

Meeting deadlines might lose importance if the Keller ISD adopts a new homework policy.

According to a story in yesterday’s Star-Telegram, district officials want to equalize point-deductions for late homework assignments, good, and reduce the penalties ascribed to tardy work, bad.

The proposed policy would eliminate point-deductions on assignments turned in less than a week late. One week late would mean 10 points off. Two weeks late equals minus-20. Three weeks earns an incomplete but only after a teacher makes every effort to rectify the problem, and how do you gauge that?

It makes sense to apply unilateral deductions. As it stands now, according to the article, penalties fluctuate from teacher to teacher.

District officials point to a Texas education code that states grades should be based on "academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency," so an assignment worthy of a 90 score had it been on time should not garner a 70, by way of a 10-point-a-day example, two days later if Keller were to comply with the code, which, evidently, it does not now.

Then comes this beautiful money-quote in the article: "Our high school program has never complied with the law," Superintendent James Veitenheimer said.

Still, though, aside from state codes and such, it seems like it could teach kids that late work is OK as long as it’s good work.

Right, tell that to a boss when you bust deadline by three days and a client is waiting.

“Nice work, kid, spot on, congratulations; you’re fired.”

Follow up:  On Wednesday afternoon, the Keller ISD issued the following statement:

“The draft regulation is designed to give consistency and clear guidance to students, teachers and parents and to take away the punitive side of grading. According to the law  a grade must reflect a student’s mastery of an assignment. Grades should be given based on academic achievement or demonstrated proficiency. Teachers are given the flexibility to deduct points or offer an alternative assignment for late work.  The intent is to identify struggling (academically, personally, or otherwise) students early enough to intervene without imposing grade penalties so that they don’t reach a point at which they can’t recover.  The success of all our students is the ultimate objective. We are continuing to collect feedback and will use that data to create the final regulation,” stated Keller ISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Deana Lopez.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He never turned in a late assignment. He just never turned them in.

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