No better time for an all-out assault on that perennial threat to 11- and 12-year-olds everywhere: homework. For elementary school students, there is no connection between homework and academic achievement.
In a recent series of books and articles — including Alfie Kohn's "The Homework Myth," Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish's "The Case Against Homework," and sympathetic pieces in Slate, Newsweek, Time, and The Washington Post — a wide-ranging group of writers has channeled a sometimes startling amount of anger into discrediting the work that children do after the 3 p.m. Not unlike the buffet at Red Lobster, these criticisms have something for everyone: Homework destroys creativity. Indeed, in-class study is shown to be more effective — a state of affairs that barely improves by middle school.
The recent spate of homework hatred raises this same question, and it should produce the same answer: Educational debates should focus less on education policy as such, and more on socioeconomic inequality.
The connections between inequality and academic success are well-documented.
After all, it's not easy to find a connection between academic success and most educational policies.
Alfie Kohn On Homework Racism In Lebanon Essay
Consider July's blockbuster report by the Education Department on the relative successes of public and private schools, which found that, when you adjust for socioeconomic and demographic factors, there are almost no differences in student achievement between the groups.(Or, as the study rather circuitously puts it, the differences are "not significantly different from zero.") Champions of public education were surely right to seize on the report as a blow to the so-called "school-choice" movement.After all, why should we invest public resources in private education when there's no appreciable difference in results?And when they do so, they aren't apt to have computers or reference books on hand to help.The point here is not that debates about educational policy are always a bad thing.We also use this information to show you ads for similar films you may like in the future.Like Oath, our partners may also show you ads that they think match your interests.As Richard Rothstein details in "Class and Schools," those differences are not slight: Disadvantaged parents are less likely to help their children and, when they do, their help is likely to be less valuable.Affluent children are likely to have rooms or workspaces of their own, while many underprivileged students must carve out a nook in more crowded housing.Suzanne Capek Tingley started as a high school English/Spanish teacher, transitioned to middle school, and eventually became a principal, superintendent, and adjunct professor in education administration at the State University of New York.She is the author of the funny, but practical book for teachers, How to Handle Difficult Parents (Prufrock Press).