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Trustees OK new homework guidelines for high schools

Original post made on Jan 2, 2009

The school board approved new homework guidelines for high school students in the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, at its Dec. 9 meeting, in an attempt to balance testing schedules and night-to-night assignments. The new guidelines were recommended by a committee of district administrators and parents.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, January 1, 2009, 12:48 PM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Doug
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jan 2, 2009 at 8:19 am

I applaud your efforts to get the homework assignments under control. Unfortunately, I do not believe the schools/teachers will actually be able to collaborate to make it work. Our kid is in AP or Honors classes and he regularly has over 5 hours of homework a night - and has had 3 - 4 tests on the same day.


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Posted by Ann
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jan 2, 2009 at 9:17 am

I can "ditto" word for word Doug's comment. My daughter is also in AP and honors courses and had a ridiculous amount of homework during winter break. We had to schedule family time and make her take breaks. And yes, she routinely has multiple tests on the same day. My biggest complaint was the amount of work assigned over vacation.


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Posted by S
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jan 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I don't have high hopes that this plan will be implemented. Without my child even being in honors classes she has several hours of homework every night and that compounds when one or more teachers assign special projects. Weekly she has 3 tests on Friday, and many times more than that. In all fairness, I don't know how the teachers can coordinate their work loads and testing with all the various subjects the students take.


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Posted by Ex HS teacher
a resident of Danville
on Jan 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

It is sad that kids have as much homework as they do, but there are better solutions than are being offered. 1. Kids-don't take AP courses. I used to teach them and I know how rigorous they are. Pick your strong area (math/science/literature/gov/history) and stay in those fields. APs are OPTIONAL. Maybe the District should make the courses year long. That would also help with the academic load. 2. Within the high schools, have the departments decide which days what departments will test. Ie. Tues-Soc Stds, Wed-Math, Thurs-Sci & Fri- English. 3. Nothing good comes of districts mandating what/when teachers test. It has to be a collaborative effort. It is difficult for teachers when they get labeled as "easy" in such an academic driven district. They are fighting a double edged sword...and then to have the all-knowing (facetiously speaking) District come in is definitely not the answer.


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Posted by Ada Mott
a resident of Danville
on Jan 3, 2009 at 7:33 pm

This process of developing these new homework guidelines was a joke. The homework task force was praised for all the "research" they did. Please! It was equal to reading a few magazine articles. I've spent more time in the morning perusing the morning papers than these task force members did. Yes, I requested and received all the "extensive" research they were asked to review. It was akin to skimming through the latest issue of People magazine.

And the school board? On this issue, a major disappointment, including Joan Buchanan, of whom I expected much better. The school board rubber-stamped stamped the intellectually shallow homework task force recommendations, and deliberately held the meetings just after school let out in June--when not too many teachers, parents, or students would be arond to raise their concerns.

The task force and the school board knew it was a controversial subject, one that kids, teachers, and parents are tormented over daily, so, yeah, strategicially, they put off the vote to a time when few would be around to weigh in. The fact is, they would have voted to approve the new guidelines for the high schools, had not two high school teachers managed to make it to the sparsely attended school board meeting in June to protest.

This vast majority of homework task force members put in a shamefully shallow amount of time on this project. I practically gagged when hearing the school board members wax poetically about their sacrifice. Please. Four meetings over the course of the year, and some scores of pages. The homework task force didn't do its homework on the homework policy, and neither did the school board.


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