I have just finished reading about the Ministry of Education's new policy that will give teachers the right to deduct marks for late assignments. It's the first time that teachers have been able to do this in Ontario since 1999.
Here's what I think about that policy. To put it "short and sweet" – I agree. The reason I feel this way is because I believe that if someone brings their work in late they have not met all of the requirements of the assignment. Allowing some students to hand their work in late means that students who handed theirs in on time aren't getting the recognition they deserve for respecting the teacher's instructions and taking the assignment seriously.
Sometimes a student could have special circumstances (illness or family emergency, for example) that should be considered before the marks are docked for being late. However, if a student's only excuse for being late is that they couldn't get the work done on time, then I think that a deduction in marks for being late is definitely fair.
There a few reasons why I feel this new policy makes sense. In the "real world" people are used to getting penalized for being late all the time. You can't return a rental DVD or BluRay late without being charged late fees. The same consequences take place at the library. They also charge late fees if your book is returned late. Why would any student expect that consequences should not apply when it's something as important as education? The only difference is that at school you have to pay in marks instead of money. So, if you value your marks as much as your money, these consequences will help you remember to get your work done on time and hold on to every mark you get!