No Homework Schools

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Among older students, researchers have noted that excessive homework assignments have led to an increase in stress-related headaches, exhaustion, sleep difficulties and stomach ailments.

They also suggest that it contributes to alcohol and drug abuse. A Duke University study found that homework does little to boost elementary school achievement, a finding that has led a smattering of K-6 schools in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont to either eliminate homework completely or eliminate it during school breaks.

Instead, we have found a lack of evidence for why students and their parents should engage in the nightly homework battle.

The majority of scholarly research on homework is geared for teachers on how to design better homework.

And then there’s homework, which is increasingly assigned to students as young as five. While progressive educators agree that testing is not the only, or even the best, marker of academic achievement, it is still startling that the U. ranks 21st in educational outcome among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) competing countries, while Finland comes in third.

In fact, by high school, the average time teenagers spend on homework is now 3 hours and 58 minutes a night, up from 2 hours and 38 minutes — an increase of 51 percent — over the past several decades. For their part, the National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association support assigning 10 minutes of homework per grade.They also note that the Finnish government values teachers and encourages staff to prioritize collaboration, network building and the sharing of best practices. Throughout the country, many elementary schools have completely eliminated recess.Eighteen percent of students live in poverty and approximately 1.3 million of the nation’s 50.7 million public school students are homeless.“Kids are terribly stressed about school, grades, peers, parental expectations and the known threats and ideation around climate change,” Nancy Romer, a longtime New York City activist and former psychology professor at Brooklyn College, told .“Many kids live in a state of impending doom.” Add in other worries — about gun violence, racial bias, police brutality and sexual assault — and it is obvious that students of all ages have good reason to be fearful and anxious.Nonetheless, Finnish students consistently rank among the world’s highest achievers in reading, math and science.Experts attribute this to the country’s low (5.8 percent) poverty rate, extensive social welfare system, 12-to-1 student-teacher ratio, and classes that fully integrate special needs students into general education classrooms.Children need time to participate in family, sports, and community activities.Excessive homework can rob children of these activities, as well as result in poor sleep habits.But can eliminating homework address even a small part of this anxiety-producing equation, increase academic achievement and lift morale?Jessie Winslow teaches sixth grade social studies at the Ephraim Curtis Middle School in Sudbury, Massachusetts, a wealthy community with a median household income of more than 0,000.


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