Check out this article from my very own state of California. San Jose to be specific. I think northern California is one of the most forward-thinking regions of our country, filled with a lot of super smart people.
David Ackerman, the principal of Oak Knoll Elementary school, says what so many people have said before – homework doesn’t make sense.
Daryl Cobranchi wonders how long David will be able to keep his job.
Here are some interesting tidbits from the article:
When I talk to teacher groups about the explosion of homework, it’s often stated that, “we give homework because parents expect it of us.” Teachers report that parents believe that the homework is a sign of a rigorous program. It has also been reported that parents want the homework because it keeps the kids busy. When I talk with parents the viewpoint I most often hear is, “the teacher believes this work is important and we feel we must support the school.”
This is a gem:
I certainly don’t believe that homework teaches our children responsibility. There are very few choices in homework. The children are completing work that is required. They are complying with adult demands. Comply or suffer the consequences. This is not my idea of responsibility.
The fact that a principal is saying this next part gives me goose bumps. Could it be a contagious sentiment? Please oh please?
The argument for homework that makes the least sense to me is, “they get lots of homework in the middle school so we better get them used to it”. Parents and teachers say this resigned to the fact that this homework experience may be painful, work against quality family time, and diminish a young child’s fondness for learning. We want to get them ready to do something they are not going to want to do when they are older— by forcing them to do it when they are younger.
David, you’re my public school hero.