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School board to talk homework policy

Original post made on Jun 2, 2015

The San Ramon Valley school board is scheduled to consider proposed changes to the district's administrative regulation on homework and makeup work Tuesday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 1, 2015, 5:17 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by IMCurious
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2015 at 6:26 am

Oh, by all means... Let's dumb it down. The U.S. can't complete now!

Posted by Teacher and Parent
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

Less homework is not dumb-ing down the curriculum. It allows children to use other parts of their brain and become more well rounded. It also takes away stress from kids and families. There is NO wasted time at school ( like in the old days), kids are working harder than ever and expected to do more than ever. The homework situation is out of control !!! Ask any middle or high school student in the district how much time they spend on homework.

Posted by Alamo Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:05 am

How about asking any student outside the United States how much time they spend on homework?

Here's some answers:

Web Link

Posted by FormerResident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:33 am

My children used to be in this school district. There is more to a childhood than just massive amounts of homework.

Posted by Jim
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2015 at 7:48 am

IMcurious and Alamo Ron,

Both my kids graduated from SRVUSD schools, both good students, both college bound, smart kids. What I can tell you is that the school TORTURED the kids with homework. We had one teacher who gave 60 math problems a night that took my wife an hour and a half to do herself. Imagine what time it took a kid. They also started giving assignments during dead week as well as being due the first day back from every vacation. The kids never got a break. My kids did 5 to 10 x's more homework (at a much higher level) than I ever did. I can tell you the students falling behind in CA or the US are not going to school in the SRVUSD.

Posted by Member
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:04 am

IMCurious and Alamo Ron- I grew up in Europe and went to HS there as well. We had about 10 hours or less of homework a week, and when I started college here in US (one year after I came here), I saw that I was quite a bit ahead of my fellow (American) students in math, science and even English grammar. I now have a high schooler in this district; who is a top student, but spends ridiculous number of hours on homework!! There is no such thing as "break", because many teachers in the school give a LOT of homework that is due the day after the break and give homework on EVERY weekend. If the website Alamo Ron provided is correct, watch out China, Danville is at about 20 hours a week of homework! These kids no longer have the time to truly absorb what they've learned because after all that homework, there is no time for anything else!

Posted by alamo Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Jun 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

Homework assignments tend to be self-limiting. The teachers have to grade all the work they assign, don't they?

Q. When do you think teachers grade homework?

A. At night because they don't have time during the day. They do it at home because it's their *homework*

Posted by Ellen
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:08 am

There are many high school teachers that never even look at completed homework assignments. The TAs (students assisting teachers as an easy elective) are often tasked with stamping piles of busy work for completion.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2015 at 9:54 am

Ellen. Your comment is so unfair to the vast majority Of teachers who are doing a fantastic job of trying to teach the students and fend off entitled parents. Most teachers work their butts off not only teaching, but also motivating their overcrowded classrooms, with combinations of extremely bright, average, slow learners, and apathetic students; and then spending hours well into the night correcting nod grading papers, preparing lesson plans, answering parent, emails, and more. TAs do sort and stamp some of the work, but it is unfair and insulting to say that teachers never look at completed assignments. You are just plain wrong in this case.

Posted by BZ
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jun 2, 2015 at 11:21 am


Posted by FormerResident
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 2, 2015 at 11:50 am

I wonder how many hours a week kids in private schools spend on homework?

Critical thinking can be taught every day of the week, in every day life. Doing homework 50 hours a week, does not guarantee any kid entrance into College. It just guarantees that these kids will miss out on their childhoods.

Posted by Xin Han
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jun 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm

less homework, less problem solving, less stimulating work = service career
more homework, more challenging work, agressive goal setting = engineering, medicine, law, finance career.

Posted by Theresa
a resident of Danville
on Jun 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm

My son is at school from 8 till 3. He has a snack and dinner that accounts for maybe 90 mins, but otherwise it's all about the homework.

He is REGULARLY up doing homework until 11pm or even midnight. He is TWELVE.

As others have posted, there is more to growing up than getting through reams of homework. The situation is seriously out of control. I hope SRVUSD will use this opportunity to view their policies and facilitate more balance in our children's lives.

Posted by Beth
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jun 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I just wanted to include a current example of a few high school AP course's summer homework assignments from Monte Vista. Here are the summer assignments for AP European History:

Web Link

Note that in the first of two assignments the homework is due on August 1 and the second assignment is due on the first day of school. The first exam for this course is being given on Wednesday, August 26th, the second day of school and the reason it is probably not being given on the first day of school is because it is a minimum day.

Here is the AP Language and Composition summer homework from Monte Vista high:

Web Link

The first of 3 books is 603 paperback pages, the second is 332 paperback pages; the third book is attached and looks like it is not a lot of reading. The total number of pages for the first two books is 935 pages (to be read in the summer before school starts). All have accompanying first quarter assignments (presentation, discussion).

I am not sure if these links will work, as you may have to be registered on schoolloop to access them. I am just trying to give an idea of what the elementary school and middle school parents can plan for their summers prior to 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.

I also posted this under the other article "School Board Talks Calendar Change".

Posted by MVMOM
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Jun 2, 2015 at 6:39 pm

As the parent of 2 kids at MVHS, I can confirm that the homework load is huge. There are hours of homework every night, every weekend and over every break. A lot of this work is quantity over quality. My son has had to hand draw pictures in a history paper - and was graded lower because the teacher graded based on the quality of the art. The teachers are accountable only to themselves, and the administration will not say a word to stop them. There are many great teachers at MVHS, but there are many bad teachers also. Overall kids do well at MVHS a, but parents and tutors are a big part of why. I feel my education was better 25 years ago, and Imhad way less homework.

What is the point of changing the policy if they will not enforce the policy they have now?

Posted by District Teacher
a resident of Danville
on Jun 3, 2015 at 6:51 am

I'd like to point out a few things:
There were very few teachers on the homework policy review panel. Each site was allowed to send one representative, but many sites never were informed of this opportunity. How this message seemed to get "lost" along the way is a mystery.

I'd be curious to see how many hours many children in the district spend playing sports. I know from experience that many families place greater emphasis on sports practice than homework, so it makes sense these families would be upset at their child having homework.

Lastly, little to no consideration was given to the fact that each student is an individual who works at a their own pace l. What might take student A only 10 minutes to complete at home could take student B 45 minutes.

Posted by Beth
a resident of San Ramon
on Jun 5, 2015 at 6:12 am

Web Link

Please just make sure all homework is actually reviewed after-the-fact, in class, to make sure the kids are learning it before moving on. Don't just rubber stamp it and disregard if the answers are correct.

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