|Louis Lumiere, where's the lab coat?|
Well, one day he was waxing eloquent on life and advised us that we would be facing failure - either now, in university or in marriage. Although this might've been in response to a tough test coming up, it wasn't said in a cynical way, but as a way to remind us that sometime, somewhere in life, we're going to take a few steps in the wrong direction and we'd best be ready for the consequences. Despite my adolescent view that it would never happen, I knew that he was right within a decade and he helped me recognize that this was just a part of life so pick your self up and move on.
The Restaurant Analogy (aka I don't want soup with my ice cream)
And that's the problem with this analogy. Lateness becomes subjective so a hard and fast policy isn't possible. If the restaurant was busy and understaffed, there's no sense in punishing the server who's trying when it's a management issue. The waitress that has given us excellent service the last few times will get penalized far less than the one whom we've never had before. Finally, the server that gives us the honest answer as to why things happened will fare far better than the waiter who tries to brush it off as nothing. And, depending on the person and their beliefs, the same service by the same person will be rated differently.
Likely this is the camp that many teachers and parents find themselves in. We're already assessing responsibility and self regulation on the report card, so why assess the student twice on the same skill. If we penalize for lateness, we've double-counted for lateness and not fully recognizing the student's knowledge and skills gained. So, we're best to assess the lateness where lateness gets assessed and let knowledge and skills get assessed where they belong. And I would be able to do this but ...
I checked Brock's Undergraduate Calendar admission criteria, and it's based on marks, not the other assessment categories. The University of Toronto requests minimum 80%. Here's York University's admission requirements ... again completely average based. None of the universities are going beyond average in their admission sections. Checking Niagara College's admissions, they select based on grades with a possible inclusion of the learning skills under their "prior academic performance" ranking criteria. Checking other colleges resulted in similar findings; the averages aren't specifically defined but admission is based on prior academic performance. It seems to me that by removing lateness from marks, we're assessing learning skills in a way that's being ignored by universities and colleges may or may not be paying attention to. And by minimizing the effect of lateness on marks, we're setting students up for future failures in life when they enter university, college, or the working world and discover that lateness is always penalized.
Overall, I'm not going to have any problems with whatever policy a school presents me with. My thoughts are divided enough that I can apply either methodology. I tend to be a fan of the obstacle course paradigm: if you miss a deadline then talk to me, see me for help on that subject area, and then earn the right to a re-write (quiz / test). And I do recognize that some items are more time-sensitive than others (larger projects usually offer more flexibility). But overall, my chemistry teacher's voice is still asking whether I'd rather that they learn to cope with lateness penalties now, while it really isn't critical, or later on when it's far more expensive and life changing for the worse.