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I am having a hard time understanding your alternative consequences to assignments that are not completed at all or on time. You suggest that the students shuld help establish a consequence. Well, I'm sure that I have not been he first one to suggest that when you have a collective student body of 150 students, an educator will find it difficult to customize consequences; and, what sort of consequences do you mean? Detentions? Lunch Detentions?

Also, how do you respond to the daily reality that the "real" world is not going to accept self-imposed conseqences? And, what are you doing with those students that deliberately do not turn work in on time knowing that they have a teacher that is going to "allow" them to complete the work for full credit with a self-designed consequence? Have have been working with students for 20 years and have taught for 14. I have found that students wll rise to the level the bar is set. Rigor and relevance is the newest catch phrase. Student come in with the attitude that "I'll turn it in late because Mr. So an So allows me too". Having raised 3 children and fostered two others along with my grandchildren my evidence has proven against almost everything you have outlined in your book. Students expect to have consequences that directly align to their behavior. If you miss the assignment, you miss the points.

Can you help me further understand your point of view because I can not see myself allowing students to make my class rules. That is not to say that I do not listen to valid and reasons for late work. Sometimes, life happens. As one of my students, asked when I told them I was writing this email, "How long did YOU have to write this book?"

I am very interested in hearing your responses to my questions and concerns.

Thank You
Pamela Reddick
Patrick Henry Middle School
Woodhaven, MI 48183

Pamela Reddick


My basic position is that students need to be responsible and that if an assessment is
important it is better that it be done late and well than not at all or poorly. As you have
identified the problem then is how do you implement these principles. My view on this is
strongly influenced by the ideas about motivation from Daniel Pink, Marvin Marshall and
Carol Dweck and I suggest you read some of their work. The consequence for not doing
the work at all or in a timely manner or poorly should be do it and do it well. In order for
this there needs to be faculty-wide commitment to times when students receive help and
support. These times may be a support period in the timetable, before school, lunchtime or
after school. I strongly urge you to look at the ICU approach at www.powerof icu.com.


Ron Ballard's


There it is, more advice from the "Ivory Tower" of ideal pedagogy that is supported by
others disconnected from the responsibilities and consequences of teaching failure as
judged by student test scores. Your reply: " The consequence for not doing the work at all
or in a timely manner or poorly should be do it and do it well. In order for this there needs
to be faculty-wide commitment to times when students receive help and support". Hence,
more time, which we are already desperately short of, should be dedicated to students that
have made the decision to not do their work despite abundantly available, individual,
teacher assistance before, after, and during the school day throughout the year. When you
put in place a system of unlimited chances to complete work, you institutionalize a
mentality that is not reflected or accepted in society. You institutionalize failure as an
viable option. You would not do this if your job and financial future hinged on state tests
which, by the way, are the reality.

The Grade Doctor's


Ron, this is not an 'ivory tower' approach - it is being put into practice daily in many schools and by many teachers, especially in ICU schools. I do not advocate "unlimited chances to complete work;" I advocate an approach that involves 'time for time,' so that students quickly get the message that it is much better to do it on time and well the first time.