More schools avoid assigning homework

Are we giving students enough time in school or not? If they do have a long enough school day, should teachers also assign homework? This question is especially relevant in elementary schools. Valerie Strauss recently wrote about an experiment in not giving homework in second grade:

Second-grade teachers at Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Va., had an idea: Look at the research on how homework affects young students and do what it says.

They read studies done by Harris Cooper, a neuroscientist and Duke University psychology professor, and learned that he found no solid evidence that elementary schoolchildren benefit from academic homework. They hatched a plan to stop assigning it and only ask kids to read, which Cooper and other researchers have found to be useful for young children. Principal Harold Pellegreen gave them permission to go ahead — as long as they evaluated the impact by looking at test scores during the year.

Also, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Kelly Elementary School banned homework for all students this year after the district extended school by two hours a day. Now I would be interested in the reaction of parents in the schools which had two hours more in the school day and then still expected the students to lug home backpacks full of homework.

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