View Full Version : Local News Parents worked up over quality and quantity of homework

02-14-2011, 11:57 AM
This from the Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-homework-0213-20110212,0,3918241.story) by Diane Rado:
The daily grind starts as early as kindergarten, sometimes even preschool, for today's kids, as any parent will tell you. And it rarely lets up.

"The amount of homework is and has been just ridiculous my child can't have a real life," one parent complained in a school district survey. "There have been nights where we have been up until 12 or 1 a.m. because my child is still working on some school assignment."

From incomprehensible assignments, like dressing up as Mae West, to group-project headaches to a workload that robs time from family, almost every aspect of homework has been under scrutiny for decades. But an unprecedented outpouring of frustration in Wheaton's Community Unit School District 200 has opened a new window into the debate in local homes and schools.

A survey of the district's 13,500 mostly affluent, college-educated families yielded more than 11,000 responses, criticisms and comments about the quality and quantity of homework, with parents saying their kids have had to give up athletics, religion classes, playtime and sleep because of the avalanche of homework.

Researchers and educators say pressure has grown to assign even more take-home work as schools are forced to boost student achievement.

"When the expectations from the federal and state government ramped up, the big push was for rigor, or stepping it up," said Wheaton Superintendent Brian Harris. "The expectations on teachers, on schools, on principals, superintendents, all of us, ramped up and became very visible. What happened, I think, is that districts including this one, started to really pile it on."

Even so, studies have shown almost no link between homework and student achievement in elementary grades, in part because "little kids have short attention spans and don't know how to study," said Harris Cooper, a homework scholar and professor at Duke University.

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