Broward Co. considers eliminating 'zeroes' from students' grades, hoping to boost motivation

Broward Co. considers raising failing grades

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Jean Francois prepped for the ACT's on Monday.

His motto: the deeper the hole, the harder he works.

"That happens to me countless times. You get a zero. You try to make it up, you try to work harder, you try to get that A."

But Broward County's school superintendent says eliminating zeroes and starting grade scales at fifty could boost graduation rates, which in Broward and Palm Beach are under 80 percent.

"I think it is a means for us to allow kids an opportunity to make up and to recover," said Broward Co. school board member Dr. Rosiland Osgood.

Francois' teacher at the Juvenile Transition Center - Nadilia Charles - a Boynton Beach after school program for teens the government considers academically at-risk, says she doesn't like it for upperclassmen, who are competing for spots in college.

But she says freshmen and sophomores could benefit.

"There's still time for them, once that self-esteem is developed, and they feel that they are capable of doing what it is you want them to do, then they're fine," said Charles.

A spokesperson for the Palm Beach County school district told us it's not something being seriously considered.

That's fine with parent Sherry who says eliminating grades lower than fifty would give students false senses of security - and not show them how they're really doing.

"In the real life, we don't have choices, we have to work for what we get," said Sherry Sweeting.

Francois is looking forward to finding that out.

He is heading to college to study engineering, and has hopes of getting into MIT.


He says wakeup calls are louder when there's no doubt of exactly how badly you did.

"When you get to the real world, it's not a fifty, it's a zero."

The Broward County school board has been looking at the proposal since last Fall.

They will vote in May.

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