The debate comes up when children are too stressed and busy with their homework to enjoy family time. Some parents also observed that often homework seems to be busy work, with no redeeming value, and questioned whether this contributes in any positive way to their children's education.
Students, and their parents, will become less frustrated with homework if it truly helps the learning process. Teachers should verify its importance by evaluating the finished assignments rather than just checking off their completion. Also teachers must be sure students understand the assignment so they and their parents aren't frustrated as they try to figure it out.
The district already includes these points in its homework policy, directing teachers to provide "homework of high quality and reasonable quantity" and to give students "timely feedback concerning homework which has been returned." Perhaps the problem is in the implementation of the policy; maybe some teachers find this part of the policy is unrealistic for them, time-wise.
Other things are not in the policy and should be addressed. For one, the guidelines should direct teachers to coordinate assignments so students are not overwhelmed on any one night. Also, while homework seems a sensible way to establish good study habits, is this assumption correct? Do students need to enter college with this skill ingrained or will they learn it along with the other skills of independence, such as eating, sleeping and going to classes without being monitored?
Now that technology keeps a world of information at our fingertips, we must constantly reevaluate the educational process itself. What does it mean "to learn" in 2008? What do our students need to be taught to secure their futures? The most important thing is to keep our students engaged in learning. How best can homework help with this goal?