Let's be frank. Zero is not even a number. It actually is a letter which stands for Opting Out of Learning. It's not just that students opt out of learning, it also means that teachers opt out of guaranteeing learning opportunities for students. It means holding students accountable is optional. It means learning is also optional.
Can We Afford for Learning to be Optional?
I don't want my students to choose whether or not they want to learn. I want them to choose how deeply they will learn. I don't want them to avoid the task and say, "just give me a zero". I want them to decide how inspired they will become about learning and how committed and passionate to the learning they will be. I never met a zero that inspired learning and even a deeper commitment to it; therefore, shouldn't we have a grading system that doesn't allow learning to be optional?
Just a thought. What do you think?