Several school districts around the U.S. are doing away with homework, whether that means banning it altogether or placing restrictions on how long it takes to complete assignments.
While high schoolers worked an average of 7.5 hours a week on homework in 2016, an increase from 6.8 hours in 2007, K-8 students’ average hours of homework remained at nearly five hours between that time, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Norfolk Public Schools in Nebraska dropped homework for K-4 kids in August 2017, according to the Norfolk Daily News. Kids who do not complete assignments in class, however, will be sent home with work.
Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) in Louisiana also started to not grade homework for students in second through 12th grade in 2018, according to TheWSJ.
Lafayette’s director of elementary schools Kathy Aloisio said grades — not just homework — need to demonstrate an understanding of the material.
“Are we grading what the parents did, or are we grading what the child did?” Aloisio said, according to TheWSJ.
Some districts like Wayne Township Public Schools (WTPS) in New Jersey place restrictions on when homework should be completed. The district had its first “homework-free weekend” in October and has others planned, TheWSJ reported. Ridgefield Public Schools in Connecticut goes further for elementary and middle-school students by banning homework on weekends and holidays along with nightly limits.
Essex Elementary School in Massachusetts got rid of homework in 2016.
Gaithersburg Elementary School in Maryland got rid of traditional homework in 2012, opting instead for students to read for 30 minutes every night, according to Today.
Supporters for reduced homework say they want students to have more time to sleep and spend time with family, TheWSJ reported.
“Student wellness is becoming a much larger issue,” WTPS superintendent Mark Toback said, according to TheWSJ.
“We just heard a lot of parents complaining about how much the homework was eating into their family life,” Kauffman Leadership Academy superintendent Theresa Kauffman said.
Some are not on board with the anti-homework movement, however. A number of teachers say homework is a way to reinforce lessons learned in class while parents feel like homework allows them to see what their children are learning. (RELATED: Does The Parkland Shooter Deserve To Die? Broward County High School Pulls Assignment Asking Students This Question)
“In my house, we’re very hands-on and homework is a way to determine if our child is falling behind,” Texas parent Kevin Fulton said, according to TheWSJ.
Some students at LPSS are exploiting the grading ban by not doing homework, which is affecting scores, said high school teacher Jonathan Cole.
“We’re seeing some drops in some scores related to math, and that’s a skill that does benefit from some practice,” Cole said, TheWSJ reported.
The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2018 found high schoolers were unprepared for college and math scores hit a 14-year low. English grades were also affected with 60 percent of students meeting minimum scores in 2018 as opposed to 65 percent of students in 2017.
Aloisio, Kauffman and Toback did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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