Being Punished For Not Pretending To Educate

   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

    Wherein we see the intricate machinations of a public bureaucracy which are so twisted and illogical that only an imaginative scriptwriter could make them up. Enjoy the Kafkaesque entertainment because, like taxpayers everywhere, you’re paying for it. Apparently, the teacher would not go along with pretending to educate by passing everyone regardless of effort or accomplishment.

Review vindicates Edmonton teacher who refused to enforce no-zero policy for students who didn’t complete coursework
By Rick Bell, QMI Agency

David beats Goliath.

Usually David gets squashed like a bug. Not this time.

Remember Lynden Dorval.

He’s the Edmonton physics teacher who was suspended and fired for giving zeros when students didn’t do their work and daring to question the idiocy of a policy where he wasn’t supposed to give any zeros.

A tribunal dealing with teacher suspensions and firings now says the Edmonton public school board wasn’t fair when they suspended and then bounced Dorval.

Dorval will get a cheque for lost wages of almost two years and a top-up to his pension but not be put back in the classroom since he’s retired.

The teacher who became a national story was suspended back in 2012.

In a letter giving Dorval the pink slip, Edmonton public school superintendent Edgar Schmidt talks of wanting the teacher to “reform” his behaviour and say sorry to his school’s principal.

Instead, the teacher wouldn’t say uncle and the school bigshot then speaks of “ample evidence to warrant termination” in Dorval’s “repeated acts of insubordination, unprofessional conduct and refusal to obey lawful orders.”

Superintendent Schmidt just couldn’t figure out why the teacher “intentionally chose to be fired and has chosen to do so very publicly.”

The tribunal now finds no evidence of deliberate misconduct by Dorval nor any evidence of deliberate repeated misconduct.

There is no evidence of any deliberate refusal to carry out lawful orders or any evidence of insolence by Dorval deserving a penalty.

In fact, Dorval has a “long, unblemished record” as a teacher.

It finds Dorval was not permitted a full opportunity to defend himself against allegations.

It says his suspension appeared to be based on the principal seeing any naysaying as “insubordination which was not to be tolerated.”

The tribunal’s judgment finds bringing in the no-zero policy had several problems.

The ruling points out the obvious to everybody but the numbskulls calling the shots.

With no penalty for missing work, there was “little incentive for a student to actually complete the assignment.”

They go further and say Dorval’s zero grades were successful in getting students to finish their assignments.


The school was also not consistent in dealing with teachers who would not toe the no-zero line.

Dorval says he had to stand up. It was easier because he could retire though he wanted to stay in the classroom a while longer.

But there was the whole bonkers brainwave of not being able to give a zero for work not completed.

“It was just such a stupid idea. I simply couldn’t follow it,” says the teacher.

“This was the stupidest thing I’d ever been asked to do in my entire career. Nothing has ever even come close to it.

“It was a pissing contest, to be very blunt about it. I’m quite sure that’s what it was. I think the superintendent wasn’t pleased I wasn’t intimidated by him. His nose was out of joint.

“They couldn’t tolerate somebody standing up to them.”

Dorval will be at a school board meeting next week.

The new school superintendent is pushing a plan where teachers have to jump through five hoops, complete with all the paperwork, before they can assign a zero grade.

“It’s not over. That’s the sad part of it. Now they’re punishing the teachers for the students not doing the work,” says Dorval, who will remind the board of his case.

“This now really might leave the door open for other teachers to step forward and say no.”

We can hope.

Edmonton public school board isn’t happy and will appeal the decision.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association isn’t commenting until they speak to Dorval.

Schmidt the superintendent is gone.

The provincial Progressive Conservative government could have stepped in with a policy protecting teachers who gave zeros.

They passed the buck.

Not one PC politician backed Wildroser Bruce McAllister in his bid to support the right of teachers to give a zero grade where it is warranted.

At the time, McAllister called the PCs — Pathetically Cowardly.

“We could’ve avoided this whole mess if the minister of education and his edubabbling educrats would have had the courage to do what every sensible Albertan knew needed to be done,” says McAllister.

“It’s the government deserving the zero.”

Here it is.



Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


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