The Book That Ignited the Great Homework Debate
Etta Kralovec and John Buell are educators who dared to challenge one of the most widely accepted practices in American schools. Their provocative argument first published in this book, featured in Time and Newsweek, in numerous women’s magazines, on national radio and network television broadcasts, was the first openly to challenge the gospel of “the more homework the better.”
- In 1901, homework was legally banned in parts of the U.S. There are no studies showing that assigning homework before junior high school improves academic achievement.
- Increasingly, students and their parents are told that homework must take precedence over music lessons, religious education, and family and community activities. As the homework load increases (and studies show it is increasing) these family priorities are neglected.
- Homework is a great discriminator, effectively allowing students whose families “have” to surge ahead of their classmates who may have less.
- Backpacks are literally bone-crushing, sometimes weighing as much as the child. Isn’t it obvious we’re overburdening our kids?
"Is it possible that homework isn't good for kids? Dare we even consider such a shocking idea? . . . Does it make children, teachers, and parents angry at each other rather than allied with each other?"
-Deborah Meier, author of The Power of Their Ideas and Will Standards Save Public Education?, in her Mission Hill School News
"The increasing amount of homework may not be helping students to learn more; indeed, it often undermines the students' health, the development of personal interests, and the quality of family life."
-Ted Sizer and Nancy Faust Sizer, authors of The Students Are Watching