Should students be given Zero Or Not? No Zero Policy or Zero Policy (which one is beneficial?)

Zero means failure, zero can’t work well in that educational system, where educators teach students a growth mindset. It is demotivating for the students after seeing a red zero on the notebook, task sheet, or exam sheet. We don’t want that. Educators are motivators and knowledge givers. Yes! We want to make them realize that they are lacking behind and need to work on themselves. We want them to move, not just stop after seeing their failure. In the other scenario, even if the student does not turn in the work, he will earn the lowest mark possible. Similar tactics have been implemented at several schools. Teachers feel that this provides every student a fighting chance and encourages them to improve their academic performance. Is it OK for teachers to deliver zeros?

 For No Zero Policy  

  • The majority of professors do not assign tasks at random. They want pupils to understand the stuff they’ve been given, whether it’s producing a lengthy English paper to improve their writing abilities or solving difficult arithmetic problems. It is equally crucial that students complete tasks that are truly significant if professors only provide truly important assignments. Giving an incomplete grade rather than a zero encourages students to finish their assignments, even if they are a bit late.
  • Zeros may be unimportant to students. Many kids consider zeros to be nothing more than a number. They don’t have to worry about that assignment once it’s been entered into the grade book, and they may think that there’s nothing they can do about it at that time.  As a result, many students are willing to just accept their grades. After all, it doesn’t say anything about them other than the fact that they didn’t finish an assignment.
  • Zeros may genuinely demotivate people. A student’s grade might soon be ruined by zeros. To pass a class, most students must get a score of at least 69 percent on a normal 100-point scale. Students’ averages can be swiftly depleted by zeros, leaving them unable to improve their grades. Students may quit caring about the class completely once they reach a crucial point when it is no longer possible to raise their grades and they may even do even less work as a result of those failing ratings.
  • Zeros do not correctly indicate student achievement. For work that was not finished, a zero grade was provided. It has little to do with a student’s skill or understanding of a topic, which is what grades are supposed to evaluate in the first place.
  • Many kids struggle with a variety of external issues. Many children’s academic achievement is overshadowed by the numerous issues that affect them at home. As a result, individuals may find it difficult to finish projects, particularly homework. Giving these children a choice other than zero can help them improve their overall performance by motivating them to keep trying rather than giving up.
  • Students come from several sorts of backgrounds. It’s impossible to know what circumstances could have stopped them from completing the project. Instead of assigning them a zero for missing a deadline, a better approach may provide students with support and direction to help them finish the task. A few additional days and a little extra care may go a long way toward enhancing a student’s academic achievement.
  • Teachers may find it difficult to deal with students who do not perform well or who consistently miss assignment deadlines. These pupils, on the other hand, are in desperate need of a teacher. Giving out zeros creates a sink-or-swim situation in the classroom. This is not a good environment for learning. A teacher’s sensitivity and motivation may go a long way in assisting students.
  • The sensation of hopelessness destroys a student’s motivation faster than anything else. Students lose motivation when they believe there is nothing they can do in their class to improve their grades, or even worse, nothing they can do to pass the class. 

Against No Zero Policy

  • Teachers assign zeros to tasks that a student has not completed. Typically, if a student turns in an assignment at all–especially one that suggests that they’ve put in some effort–teachers will offer a grade. A zero, on the other hand, indicates that the pupil made no effort at all. Teachers assign zeros for a variety of reasons.
  • Students are held responsible by zeros. Teachers cannot just upgrade pupils who have not completed work, nor can they provide a different grading system for students who have failed to turn in assignments on time than they do for students who have worked hard throughout the semester. Putting a zero in the grade book makes students accountable while also informing parents that their kids need more effort and focus on their studies.
  • Zeros compel pupils to meet deadlines. Many districts that do not accept zeros enable students to make up missed assignments at any time. According to professors who assign zeros for late work, zeros push students to stick to deadlines and turn in work on time much like they would have to finish work promptly in the real world.
  • By skipping the zero, teachers are required to do additional work. The task was assigned at the start of the semester. It is now time for grades to be entered, and students are frantically completing tasks to improve their marks. This can result in a large amount of extra effort that teachers might need to put in, even for those who are not well paid.
  • If a student has no evidence of their efforts, they should be given nothing, resulting in zeros. However, if a student works hard on an assignment, their grade reflects that. If they didn’t put in any effort, i.e., they didn’t do anything, their grade should reflect that.
  • Teachers are frequently overworked and underpaid. They follow up with pupils who miss deadlines and making modifications for a limited group of students adds to instructors’ workload. Enforcing stringent deadlines also encourages students to submit assignments on time. They become accustomed to being held responsible for their labor and results. Teachers cannot be expected to use separate grading methods for students who submit their work on time and those who don’t. Furthermore, it may set a poor example or demotivate pupils who complete their assignments on time.
  • Educators also feel that obtaining a zero on a report card sends a message to the kid and their parents that they need to put in more effort.


Overall, experts agree that neither no-zero nor zero policies are panaceas. Grading is more about the teacher’s input and expectations for contextualizing the grade. Also, education is not a contest in which the first person to arrive wins. To establish a truly egalitarian classroom, every kid must have the necessary support and incentive. Some may require it more than others, but that should not disqualify them, taking away the opportunity of learning from them. Students should know that no matter what their teacher will always be available to work together on the problem and guide them in the right way possible. 

Carter Martin

Leave a Comment