It’s the first night of school and my tenth graders already have homework… lots of it. My daughter, once she got home–at 7:30–from a school volleyball game, estimated she had three hours of homework to do. Her twin brother, home at 5:00–he does debate-was just finishing up his homework at eight. Their teachers told them to expect 30 minutes to an hour a night of homework per class. Neither of them is taking any AP classes–this is the workload for the average tenth grader at their school.
I’m not going to write about the many conflicting studies about the efficacy of homework. Nor am I going to discuss the troubling tradeoffs that kids make to do well in our competitive high schools. (I will confess to having seen and being moved by Race to Nowhere, a compelling movie about the rat race that is high school for many American students.) No, today I am asking a question: Why can’t high school teachers assign homework a week at a time? (more…)