Thursday, February 19, 2009

Florida School Board Exhibits Homework Sanity

I found this article today from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Apparently when Broward County isn't hand-counting their dangling chads, they have time to actually do a pretty cool thing. Their school board passed a requirement that teachers assign less homework after parents complained that students were overwhelmed. One school board member noted having spent four hours helping her 12-year-old grandson finish a project earlier this week. You might expect something like that at college, but I remember plenty of nights just like that one in middle and elementary school.

I'm all for offering the best education possible, but too much homework runs counter to everything education is trying to accomplish. There's no quicker way to make a kid hate learning than to saddle him or her with hours of repetitive, mindless busy work that accomplishes nothing and doesn't stimulate the mind. Some homework is necessary to make the lessons stick, and it's important for students to engage with what they're learning, but there's a much better way to do it than passing out worksheets and making kids jump through ridiculous hoops. It's also worth noting that homework overload disproportionately affects low-income and single-parent kids who may not have a support network to help with homework and offer encouragement. 

1 comment:

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