Too Much Homework Facts

Too Much Homework Facts-77
Conventional wisdom is that the higher academic standards, which form the bedrock of NCLB, have caused a substantial increase in assigned homework.But the studies on which media reports have been based actually show little change in homework over a period of years—a fact suggesting that the media have been misled or misinterpreted the research on the subject.

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There is no “royal road to learning;” but thanks to the work of anti-reform and anti-accountability interests, a perception that children are overburdened with homework is being created.

Unless it is countered with facts, public education will continue to become more expensive and time consuming.

Report author Tom Loveless, director of the Brown Center, suggests that the misperception has been created by the recent resurgence of anti-reform interest groups.

He wants the public to hear the real homework story.

In truth, homework ranks quite low on a list of activities that consume children’s time at home.

They spend large chunks of time watching television (13 1/2 hours a week), playing (12 1/4 hours a week), performing personal care, or participating in sports (each 8 hours a week).

The bottom line is that the policy goal of improved student achievement cannot be reached without more learning by students and more learning will require more study at home or at school.

Public perception on the homework issue is especially important given the pressures put on schools by the “No Child Left Behind” reform effort.

A century or so ago, progressive reformers argued that it made kids unduly stressed, which later led in some cases to district-level bans on it for all grades under seventh.

This anti-homework sentiment faded, though, amid mid-century fears that the U. was falling behind the Soviet Union (which led to more homework), only to resurface in the 1960s and ’70s, when a more open culture came to see homework as stifling play and creativity (which led to less).


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