Do you accept LATE WORK?

Do you accept late work?

I have had so many students that do not pay attention to deadlines. More importantly, they are not even concerned about being responsible or passing their classes with acceptable grades. They are more than willing to accept zeros, and many live under the assumption that they will have a chance at the end of the quarter to "make it all up" before the grades are official. Yet, I need them to complete the assignments NOW to help them learn and practice the content and skills I am teaching NOW. I need them to do the work NOW so they are prepared for the test we will take NOW. What good is the later?

My policy has always been (15+ years of teaching) to NOT accept late work, and I strongly believe that students learn irresponsibility through teachers bending rules and policies to adapt to irresponsibility. Also, having worked in the "civilian" world before teaching, I learned quickly that employers do not have late policies. If you are late with your work, you are fired. If you are late to work, you are fired. Why should it be different for students who need to learn these valuable lessons before the penalty is more than an assignment grade?

But now there are many trends in late policies, and even some districts have mandated the acceptance of late work for their schools.  There is even research supporting varying sides of the dilemma.   And there are valid arguments, some suggesting that it's better to have students turn in the work late than not at all.  Still, I question the lesson.

So, back to my question.  
Do you accept late work? Why or why not?

Happy Teaching!
Michele Luck