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New Recruit in Homework Revolt: The Principal

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 02:35 AM
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New Recruit in Homework Revolt: The Principal
GALLOWAY, N.J. After Donna Cushlaniss son kept bursting into tears midway through his second-grade math problems, which one night took over an hour, she told him not to do all of his homework.

How many times do you have to add seven plus two? Ms. Cushlanis, 46, said. I have no problem with doing homework, but that put us both over the edge. I got to the point that this is enough.

Ms. Cushlanis, a secretary for the Galloway school district, complained to her boss, Annette C. Giaquinto, the superintendent. It turned out that the district, which serves 3,500 kindergarten through eighth-grade students, was already re-evaluating its homework practices. The school board will vote this summer on a proposal to limit weeknight homework to 10 minutes for each year of school 20 minutes for second graders, and so forth and ban assignments on weekends, holidays and school vacations.

Galloway, a mostly middle-class community northwest of Atlantic City, is part of a wave of districts across the nation trying to remake homework amid concerns that high-stakes testing and competition for college have fueled a nightly grind that is stressing out children and depriving them of play and rest, yet doing little to raise achievement, particularly in elementary grades.

Full: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/education/16homework....
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lbrtbell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 05:15 AM
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1. There should be no homework at all
Kids need to be able to do work when a teacher is there to answer their questions. Teachers seem to think that all there is to teaching is just lecturing for 40 minutes, then sending kids home with homework. Not only does this enable kids to cheat by having someone else do homework for them, it's also detrimental to the majority of honest students who get frustrated because they need help, and their parents aren't familiar with what's being taught in class.

You can't blame the teachers, though, because this is the kind of stupidity that's taught to them in universities. They think they're doing the right thing, when all they're doing is making kids hate learning.
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emcguffie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 06:15 AM
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2. My exhausted 17-year-old is asleep right now instead of at school, or on her way to school...

... which begins way too early here in northern New Jersey, at 7:30 am.

If she were not asleep, I would ask her to respond to this, as she has quite a bit to say on the subject. Maybe later, when she wakes up, she would like to comment.

Of course, she agrees that there is way too much homework. There aren't enough hours in the day, especially if you are a teenager (teenagers actually need more sleep, I have read) and have to get up at 6:00 in the morning.

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DebJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-26-11 12:05 AM
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3. I disagree with those who don't want homework.. I did
homeowrk for about 1 to 1.5 hours a night all through grade school (through 8th grade in my school), and suffered not one iota. In fact, my learning was greatly facilitated, because as the teacher discussed the topic that I had read the night before, my reading from the night before was reinforced. I was able to have time to think about the topic and ask questions to clarify my understanding. When the teacher discussed the topic I had read the night before, my brain was able to begin doing recall, begin constructing the nerves required for recall to take place, and that takes multiple reinforcements. The teacher was able to spend more time on specific misunderstandings/lack of understandings that the students actually had, and not waste time on that portion easily grasped by reading. And by reading regularly outside of the classroom, our reading levels gained in leaps and bounds. And it made reading a lifetime habit. What is the point of just simply reading to oneself in a classroom? This doesn't get your bang for the buck from the teacher. And with group readings, those who read more quickly are bored to death waiting for those at a lower skill level to catch up, while those at lower reading levels feel left out/give up if the faster pace predominates. I suffered none of that in my education, simply by spending 15-20 minutes per subject at home each night.
What is it that I SHOULD have been doing with that 60-90 minutes instead, is what I just can't see....

However, that was many years ago, when most children didn't even use a phone, except to talk to Grandma, much less OWN a phone. We didn't spend hours everyday chatting or texting to friends about who wore what at school, who did what to whom, who should do what to whom, discussing the latest garbage on tv, etc. No video games, etc. Instead, we spent a little bit of time each night learning and practicing how to learn, until it was easy. We developed personal control and persistance, sticking with things that were not necessarily entertaining, but that we understood were necessary. We gained self-discipline, and saw and felt the benefits of that; none of us would EVER have said to a teacher "I don't feel like it" or "I don't want to". We understood life is about more than just having fun; we learned there are some things in life you might not be fond of, but they are to your own advantage and yes, you can do it. I got home from school at 3:30, did my homework until dinner, and never suffered a bit. Never got into any trouble, and learned much more than kids at a neighboring school where there was no homework. In fact, students from my school comprised most of the top 5% of graduates at the local high school, which had a rather large student base of 800 students in my class alone, from all types of backgrounds (social and wealth backgrounds). We succeeded because we learned that we could succeed, and we learned how to stick to the task even when it wasn't entertainment, and we learned that we had self-control.

Again, I just don't understand what it is children should be doing from 3-9, for six full hours every night, that is more important than learning the academic, personal character, and life lessons that homework helped to teach me. I also don't understand why so many children are not in bed by 9pm..............
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-29-11 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Here's what my upstairs middle-schooler neighbor did after school:
Pick up her kindergarten brother and walk him home.
Make him snack.
Entertain him.
Do laundry.
Do a little cleaning.
Make him dinner.
Supervise him.
Get him ready for bed.
Do a little homework.
Go to bed.

Her mom got home around 11, after working two jobs.

The ability to do homework is often a middle-class luxury, which widens the educational gap between the young haves and haves-not.

Philosophically, do schools have the right to impose on families after the school day ends? I would say--as a parent, former teacher, and current teacher educator--no.
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