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I am a Special Education teacher at a rural Michigan high school in the midst of my 11th year. As a staff we have referenced your book many times and are trying to "fix" our grading practices by using your suggestions. Our current issue is the idea of no zeroes on homework/practice. We are being told that when a student does not turn an assignment in we are to record that in our online gradebook as "nhi" (not handed in). This equates to 50% which is a failing grade, but not a 0. While I struggle with this idea of no zeroes, I am willing to accept it and work with it. My issue is that the online grading program we currently use does not allow us to print detailed progress reports without showing the percentage for each assignment. Our administration is telling us not to print these progress reports because we don't want to confuse parents by letting them know we are giving 50% credit for missing assignments. I think that not telling them is deceitful and goes against the whole idea of students and parents knowing and understanding how the students are being graded. What would you suggest we do?

Alison Hoendervanger


Alison I think you have identified the wrong problem with homework/practice. The
problem is not "nhi" equating to 50% and not telling the parents (although I agree with you
that is wrong) but that you are giving scores for homework/practice. Practice homework
should NEVER be part of grades and should receive descriptive feedback NOT scores.
Please reread Fix #13 (Repair Kit) or Ch. 4 (HTGFL) for more on this.