Schools are assigning homework as if it were their inalienable right to give any assignment, demand any and every type of accountability, and set any time expectations that they want.
Schools pretend that homework helps with academic achievement – It doesn’t.
Schools pretend that homework develops character in the form of time management, responsibility, independence, and task management – It doesn’t.
Schools invade every family every night of the year without any regard to family togetherness, culture, values, needs, or expectations.
Schools are acountable for everything – except homework!
Parents and students have no right to question, appeal, negotiate, arbitrate, or petition any homework assignment.
Homework causes stress and takes away a child’s free time in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays.
Schools have no moral authority to extract a child from his or her family.
Homework looks good and fits with our preconceived notion that it is important.
Ask your school the following questions and insist on factual answers, not opinions.
Ask for data from students in your district -not research from other times or places.
1. When was the last time our district conducted any research on the effectiveness of different kinds of homework by grade level, by student type, by subject matter, and by time required vs time suggested/recommended?
2. Who collected the data, what were the results, and where is the report?
3. Why do teachers have unbridled authority to assign any type of homework?
4. Has any teacher in the history of our district ever been called on the carpet for assigning too much homework or inappropriate homework?
5. Why are there no provisions for students or parents to redress, negotiate, question, challenge, appeal, or arbitrate, any aspect of homework? (We know that homework directly impacts children and families, so why are parents ignored?)
6. What family-specific factors are accounted for prior to assigning different types of homework to certain students?
7. How do we know that every type of teacher-assigned homework for every student in every grade level, for every subject taught in our school district is both perfect and necessary? (Do we collect these data every trimester or every year?)
8. What opportunities are lost to homework? (conversations with parents, friends, neighbors; social life; jobs; volunteering; church and community ivolvement; leisure activities; going to watch or participate in sports or plays; reading for fun, etc.?)
9. What impact does homework have on my child’s exercise, rest, diet, sense of well being, developmental adjustment, etc?
10. What impact does homework have on childhood fears and anxieties?
11. Where do schools get their right to demand more time for schooling than the State allows? The State does prescribe a mandatory number of minutes per day and days per year – How do schools get away with this?
12. Since we know that exercise brings about substantial benefits for children and since physical education is part of the school curriculum, why can’t schools assign 500 push-ups, a thousand sit-ups, and a five mile run?
13. We know that family attendance at school -related events is beneficial so why can’t the schools mandate that families attend school-sponsored events?
14. Where is the research – (not opinions) – that …
a. proves that homework enhances character? (responsibility, time and task management, independence, etc.)
b. proves that “homework” enhances academic achievement? (We know that effective studying and reading increase academic achievement, but how often is homework reading and studying? It is usually nothing more than busy-work.)
c. proves that making-up missed homework is beneficial? (We know it overloads our children and causes stress and strain.)
d. documents the relationship of specific types of homework (projects, term papers, posters, videotapes, etc.) with certain outcomes for specific types of students at different grade levels?
e. proves that teachers should have an inalienable right to give any assignment for any amount of time to any student on any given night?
f. indicates a specific amount of homework time is necessary to optimize the academic and character benefits for specific types of students in different grade levels studying different subjects?
g. documents teacher competence in the design and implementation of different types of homework for specific types of students at different grade levels taking different subjects?
h. compares credentialed teachers, non-credentialed teachers, and emergency permit teachers in their assignment of homework? Do each of these groups offer perfect homework that optimizes academic, social, emotional, and character growth and development?
i. indicates that homework enhances the physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic health of the students?
j. supports the necessity of certain types of homework for certain types of children?
k. proves that homework is more important than family culture, family bonding, and togetherness?
l. demonstrates the effect of homework for students who dislike school?
m. proves that homework is fun and enjoyed by children and their parents and guardians?
n. proves that homework enhances a love of learning, an appreciation for schooling, respect for the teacher, and respect for the instruments of learning?
o. proves that homework prevents delinquency?
p. demonstrates that homework is equally beneficial for all students such as those depicted below?
– special needs students;
– gifted students;
– general education students;
– English Language Learners;
– Children from single parent families;
– Children from two-parent working families;
– Children involved in school-sponsored extracurricular activities;
– Children involved in non-school sponsored extracurricular activities;
– Children who work;
– Children who are slow learners;
– Children who hate school and/or teachers or both; and,
– Children who fit two or more of these categories.
NOTE: Each of the questions posed above should be restated for each type of student at different grade levels and for different subject matters.