Remember homework? Your kids might not as bans continue to grow

DCNFNeetu Chandak, DCNF

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Parents and anti-homework supporters may be happy to hear that several school districts around America are doing away with homework, whether that be banning it altogether or placing restrictions on when or 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 act out or do not complete assignments in class, however, will be sent home with work.

Lafayette Parish School System in Louisiana also started to not grade homework for students in 2nd to 12th grade in Fall 2018, according to WSJ.

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 plans to have two more in the future, WSJ reported. Ridgefield Public Schools in Connecticut goes even further than WTPS by banning them on the weekends and holidays along with nightly limits.

The trend of banning homework has been happening for some time. 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 a half-an-hour each night, according to Today.

Supporters for reduced homework say they want students to have more time to sleep and spend time with family, WSJ reported.

“Student wellness is becoming a much larger issue,” WTPS superintendent Mark Toback said, according to WSJ.

Some are not on board with the anti-homework movement, however. 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, WSJ reported.

“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 WSJ. “I just think it takes parents out of the equation.”

Fulton put his daughter in a private school after Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District stopped grading homework.

Some students at LPSS are exploiting the grading ban by not doing homework which is affecting scores, according to 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, WSJ reported.

The ACT’s annual survey, 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.

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