Sydney University has completed a study that homework takes away from students on standardized testing. The standardized test that the students take is called the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment). According to the study, children are spending too much time on homework each night and “homework only bolsters students’ academic performance during their last three years of grade school” (Wolchover, 2012). The article also included a study from Penn State that teachers are giving unnecessary work that does not benefit the student in any form. It demonstrated that teachers are giving work that does not add to the daily instruction. The study also stated that teachers should eliminate worksheet homework and encourage extracurricular activities.
As an elementary principal, it is important for policies to be in place that make sense for all stakeholders. The school division has policies in place for homework which includes a maximum of 10 minutes per grade level (i.e. 40 minutes for fourth grade) and then 30 minutes of reading as well.
When parents call and complain about the amount of work their child is receiving or the length of time it takes for them to complete the assignments, I have to take into consideration the grade level, the assignment, and even request that the parent contact the teacher directly to discuss possible modifications. Many times, the parents of special education students have complaints because the homework is not modified for the learning needs of their children. Educators need to understand that homework should never be busy work. It should be meaningful and not time consuming. A teacher can assign 5 math problems and obtain the needed information about student knowledge as giving a child 20 questions. We need to consider what is happening with instruction in and out of the building.