Parents' directive to kids to "go do your homework" may soon be a thing of the past. School districts across the country, from New Jersey to Wyoming to California are banning homework -- or at least shortening the allotted time to make it more "meaningful and manageable."
Simply put, the anti-homework camp points out the added stress and hours of rote drill work have not raised achievement levels, especially in elementary grades, according to the New York Times. Those who favor homework say important skills, whether they're rote or involve critical thinking, need to be practiced and honed.
Some schools are swapping homework for "goal work," tailored to each student's progress, to be done at home or at class, as they're doing in Mango Elementary School in Fontana, Calif., while others, like Pleasanton, are cutting homework time back by half and prohibiting any assignments handed out on weekends, the Times article states.
"Homework is messing up the balance of kids' lives in terms of having downtime and playtime and family time," said Cathy Vatterott, associate professor of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices that Support Diverse Needs in a Reuters article.