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Maryland School Gets Rid of Homework: Should More Schools Do the Same?

Living 2012/09/08 18:44:11
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It's September and the kids are back in school. Students are getting used to waking up early, studying, going on field trips, attending extracurricular activities, and doing homework. Actually, scratch off that last part. In a move that might make older generations go "why didn't my school do that as a kid," the Gaithersburg Elementary School in Maryland has abolished homework. And no, this was not an early April Fools' joke on the young students.

According to MyFoxDC.com, Gaithersburg Elementary Principal Stephanie Brant got the OK from her school to eliminate traditional homework [i.e. worksheets] and substitute those assignments with required reading. The principal's goal is to get about 30 minutes of reading a night from each student. Another unique approach by Gaithersburg Elementary is that students are allowed to go to the library every day, giving them the opportunity to read more books--with a hall pass of course.

While Principal Brant is taking a big risk in this reading only homework policy, the school has seen solid standardized test scores. The old saying is "if it ain't broke don't fix it?" Principal Brant's seems to be "Why not try something different?" So far, so good for Gaithersburg Elementary--and its students.

Read More: http://www.myfoxdc.com/story/19477877/gaithersburg...

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Top Opinion

  • 13Cloud88 2012/09/09 01:52:55
    Yes
    13Cloud88
    +17
    All my learning was done in the classroom. All my homework just felt like pointless busy-work. Most students either, don't like doing homework, don't do their homework, or make an excuse for why they didn't do their homework, so we might as well get rid of it.

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  • RJ 2014/06/18 01:35:30
    Yes
    RJ
    FIRST OFF, I'M NOT A PERSON THAT BELIEVES THIS IS THE ANSWER ACROSS THE BOARD BUT ITS TOTALLY CRAZY TO LOWER A CHILDS OVERALL GPA BASED ON HOMEWORK DUE TO THE FACT THAT IF YOU DON'T DO THE HOMEWORK HAS NO REFLECTION ON YOUR IQ, LEARNING ABILITY, OR SMARTS! THINK OF THE LOW INCOME FAMILY CHILD THAT DOESN'T DO HIS/HER HOMEWORK BUT MAY BE THE SMARTEST CHILD IN THEIR CLASS. IF THEY HAVE A LOWER GPA THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET INTO A GOOD UNIVERSITY AND MAY HAVE PARENTS THAT CAN'T PAY FOR IT. THATS "1" OF THE REASONS THE GAP IS SO GREAT BETWEEN LOW/HIGH INCOME FAMILIES. ALSO IF YOU GIVE A CHILD A BREAK FROM SCHOOL DURING THE DAY TO DAY, NOT VACATION, THEY MIGHT BE MORE ENTHUSED ABOUT LEARNING WHEN THEY GO. JUST MY HUMBLED OPINION
  • Primaltare 2012/12/27 01:08:23
    No
    Primaltare
    Well no...it's really annoying and time-consuming, but we need it for practice and to comprehend the information. Maybe "less" would be a good start.
  • pinkjae 2012/12/14 23:02:30
    No
    pinkjae
    Um yeah that's most definintly a good idea!! I sorry but even though I'm in school right now and always have a but load of homework to do i think homework is good and reading definantly does not replace it. What about math how are the kid's going to practice that you can't just read math you actually have to write it out so you can understand it.
  • joe 2012/11/06 22:54:41 (edited)
    No
    joe
    no althougth many kids rip thier hwk infront of thier teacher it is vital
  • Red Branch 2012/09/24 22:54:51
    No
    Red Branch
    Too much to learn just in school.
  • ♥dreamer-leigh♥ 2012/09/24 22:40:31
    No
    ♥dreamer-leigh♥
    I do not think students should have 6 hours of homework each day but...they should get enough to mimic what was taught in class to keep them fresh. In my opinion the programs now taught in schools is garbage...and that is evident when older students are asked basic questions about history or politcs and they are clueles!! Our school systems functioined very well on basics such as Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, sure throw in the History, sciences, and foreign language as an elective, and get rid of the other garbage..and instead of monitoring the lunch food served...you can solve that by making Physical Ed...mandatory and not elective!!
  • DICK 2012/09/21 08:31:43
    No
    DICK
    Look if you have to ask such a self selfish question may be you should have had more home work as a child ,For what., so if litle johnny turns out to be a door stop you can have some body to sue ? So you can take the burden off you .,Thinking teacher's can elevate all there student's to a electronical tecnology which control's our monitory world.Wake up the caffinated coffee is on the left.,Teacher's for all your thought's, do care ,but when class room;s have 50 student;s in a class made for 25.think again, To emulate students like those in private shcool's status take's more than just public school teacher's. It take's caring parents. The world is enffected with greed ,they had the answer , the presedent and the finnancial new's said it ,but it would half taken some money out of the pockets of those who make those decission's, but it's your tax money, and as long as you see the smilings a-s wholes on t.v with greed and people not knowing, ,all is fine in the world. ASK AROUND FINED OUT YOUR SELF. NO REASON TO LIE HERE. Take Care
  • ShelaKay0523 2012/09/16 22:00:41
    No
    ShelaKay0523
    Part of what helps people learn the material is repetition. You only have a limited amount of time in class to learn, and the teacher wants to spend most of that time actually teaching what you need to know. After that you just need to practice it. I think there should be some time in class to practice it, but if you can't finish it in class, then bringing it home as homework will allow you to practice it and ingrain the material into your brain. Calling it "busy work" is inaccurate. Some people are able to understand and remember the material after only an explanation, or a small amount of practice. Most people need a fair to large amount of practice to truly understand it and remember it.
  • KATLYN 2012/09/15 14:18:17
    Yes
    KATLYN
    homework is mostly done by the parents anyway, reading is best with a small monthly project
  • Christo... KATLYN 2012/09/16 04:24:16
    Christopher Kirchen
    If that was what happened in your life I'm not surprised you feel this way, but I actually had to do my homework myself. Sure, I'd get help if I needed it but I myself was expected to do it.
  • JanHopkins 2012/09/15 09:14:23
    Yes
    JanHopkins
    My mom attended the Chicago schools eighty years ago and recieved a very good education without having to bring home homework. She claimed that work was done inside the classroom.
  • mae 2012/09/15 02:59:05
    Yes
    mae
    +1
    Yes. Parents both work, come home from work tired, hungry, still have to cook, do a load or two of laundry, maybe finish up a project of their own for presentation at work the next day--parents don't have time to give help to their kids with hours of homework anymore. Redesigning how necessary information is transmitted to children in the classroom is way overdue.
  • xadelta850 2012/09/14 04:13:54
    Yes
    xadelta850
    It should only be given to those who need reinforcement.
  • Reichstolz 2012/09/12 16:37:18
    No
    Reichstolz
    Just get rid of government education.
  • Jon 2012/09/12 16:36:23 (edited)
    Yes
    Jon
    Yes, it should be optional for children that need it for grades or extra credit. Five to six hours of school time is plenty. Giving little, first graders an hour of homework is RIDICULOUS and cruel. They need also to stop the endless testing of students and get back to letting out students learn not only reading, writing and arithmetic but also participate in science, music, art, physical educations, computer science, electronics, drama classes etc. Let the teachers pass the "No Child Left Behind" tests yearly.to keep their jobs.

    Teachers are far too busy coaching the students to only "pass the tests" to keep the school ratings and their jobs. It's ripping off our kid's educational rights.

    We need meter readers, sanitation workers, welders, truck drivers, hair stylists, etc. What happened to work study classes and shop classes in high schools? Not everyone is an academic.
  • Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F 2012/09/12 15:36:28 (edited)
    Yes
    Aqua Surf BTO-t-BCRA-F
    +1
    There's plenty of time to do the work in class because the teachers are too busy texting or gossiping on their cell phones with another teacher down the hall. If they'd do the job they're being paid to do, homework wouldn't even be a question.
  • keverton 2012/09/12 15:12:38
    Yes
    keverton
    +2
    parents end up doing half of it anyway..
  • Corrie 2012/09/12 14:32:56
    Yes
    Corrie
    My son's school has been doing this for the last 10+ years.
  • Juan O'Mara 2012/09/12 14:16:06
    Yes
    Juan O'Mara
    it is not like the kids these days were taught self discipline not do their Gen X parents enforce the rule sof the house and teach them how to be good memeber of society so yes no more homework
  • Bob P. Clarkson 2012/09/12 04:50:07
    No
    Bob P. Clarkson
    Or, Yes.

    Actually, it all depends on whether the homework assignments are needed for that particular phase in that particular class.

    I've long (50+ years) held that most homework was just make work. It made work for the teacher that was tedious and boring - no wonder so many otherwise well qualified teachers reach burn-out so soon.

    The "burn out" faster than members of the military, but hopefully aren't traumatized enough to suffer the pains of PTSD.
  • sally 2012/09/12 03:46:01
    No
    sally
    kids need to find a way to review the things they did at school. The reason older generations didn't do homework is because they were busy with work REAL work that made them money. Now kids don't have that and should concentrate fully on their education, even if it means spending an hour on a couple of worksheets that review what they learned in school that day.
  • ester.s... sally 2012/09/13 07:48:23
    ester.springsteen
    Some kids still have this, and they end up juggling homework and part-time work at the same time while trying to graduate from high school.

    Purely depends on where you go, but it's not like it was completely done with. In my area, it's fairly common for young adults to have a job while still in school, especially in lower-income families that can barely afford to buy groceries and maybe save a little for a small emergency or two.

    Hell, I worked for my whole Senior year of high school because my mother's business was struggling and she needed my help after school.
  • TooSweet 2012/09/12 02:22:52
    Yes
    TooSweet
    They should do away with summer vacation as well.
  • ester.s... TooSweet 2012/09/13 07:51:27
    ester.springsteen
    I think they should make it shorter in favor of other longer holidays. Give them a week or two break between 6-9 week periods, and see how that goes. Or give them a longer winter break. Give them extra 'days off' that are normally not given, like on Veteran's Day or other holidays that school isn't out on.
  • fortycal_sig 2012/09/12 02:09:09
    Yes
    fortycal_sig
    +3
    Kids are in their little kiddie-prisons for 6-8 hours per day already. Seriously, if that's not enough time to teach them what they need to know, then homework isn't the answer.
  • onkii fortyca... 2012/09/12 03:00:11
    onkii
    +4
    I agree completely. And what is up with assigning homework over the weekend? That is ridiculous.
  • OhSoNiceMe 2012/09/12 01:47:27
    Yes
    OhSoNiceMe
    +2
    Except for math , because you won't get better by just watching, you have to do it.
  • Jon OhSoNiceMe 2012/09/12 16:42:54
    Jon
    One of the best required courses in high school I ever took was Communism. World News bored me like most teens and then I took this class and I was riveted.
  • zionosphere 2012/09/12 00:53:43
    Yes
    zionosphere
    +1
    I have to think back to my own experience with homework: I almost never did it, and when I did, it was just to rush through it. I really couldn't bear to focus on homework when I had so many things around me that I actually wanted to do.

    At one point, I was singled out for intelligence tests, and some sort of tests to see if I was an abused kid or something, since my grades were bad. It just boiled down to one thing: I found the curriculum extremely boring, and I minimized the effort I put into it. I passed my classes by getting good grades on in-class assignments, quizzes and final exams. If a good percentage of my grades weren't based on homework, I would have fared much better.

    I'm not saying nothing was my fault, but I honestly don't think the homework added anything to my education, since I learned the same material in the classroom the first time around.
  • keverton zionosp... 2012/09/12 15:15:53
    keverton
    +2
    wow, i just read this and it could be my story as well.
  • ester.s... keverton 2012/09/13 07:55:05
    ester.springsteen
    This is pretty much my story as well, though you could throw in a little bit of depression and wistfulness in there as well and it would be picture-perfect.
  • Kaycee Mosely 2012/09/11 22:50:11 (edited)
    Yes
    Kaycee Mosely
    There should be an Undecided or Other option.
  • Trenity 2012/09/11 22:36:20
    Yes
    Trenity
    Hell Yea!!!! I Wish My School Would .-. Is Eight Hours Not Enuf Time To Teach Me The Stuff That They Send Home With Me .-. I Think They Should Just Teach You What You Need To Know And Move On, Instead Of Standing Up There, Telling Me About Something I'm NEVER Gonna Need To Know .-. And Half The Time They're Not Even Teaching, Some Just Go On About When They Were In School Or About How If You Get Hurt, Its Your Falt .-.
  • joshua.sager.9 2012/09/11 22:00:58
    Yes
    joshua.sager.9
    While I don't support a complete removal of homework, most of my most interesting classes (in college and highschool) were based around long-term projects and research assignments. Rather than giving students standardized problem sets, I see it as a good policy to assign adaptive assignments that are geared at making learning interesting.

    For example: I had a highschool geo class in which I had to create a realistic continent and explain the weather patterns that it would face over the period of a year (ex. if it were located along the equator, I would have had to incorporate hurricane season or monsoons)
  • BigKwell 2012/09/11 21:28:14
    No
    BigKwell
    I say give them more homework!
  • Ada Whitmire 2012/09/11 21:15:42
    Yes
    Ada Whitmire
    +2
    The shool I used to go to (for 10 years) didnt have homework if you finished your work for the day (though this was a private school) and then switched to a school that gave homework every day, I hated it I had no incentive to do my work during the day . All of my friends agreed. Thats what they should do, only have homework that you didnt finish during the day
  • zionosp... Ada Whi... 2012/09/12 00:57:13
    zionosphere
    +1
    Exactly. Either they can teach it to us effectively to us in class, or just give us assignments to do at home and skip the part where we have to sit there for eight hours.
  • Margaret Jacobson 2012/09/11 20:09:24
    Yes
    Margaret Jacobson
    Maybe they should have something else in place of it, such as computer reading to fill in. It would be for an hour or two during the day ?? I wonder if it would work forv subjects like chemistry, physics etc?? When I went to the 4th grade, I had the responsibility to water the plants, monitor the water fountain, sweerp the halls, church about 3 or 4 hours a day !! Homework for me "current" in my studies !! My parents & "teachers" thought I was Learning a trade !! BAH!! Homework for most young people has no "real purpose" in learning
  • Freeranger 2012/09/11 19:54:17
    No
    Freeranger
    The ultimate question that remains is that, in doing so, is Maryland making it harder for it's by-product to compete in a very competitive world?
  • SierraSCK 2012/09/11 19:12:19
    Yes
    SierraSCK
    Homework shouldn't be rid of completely; it's something that's just a part of school But as a Junior in highschool, with a part time job, and looking for colleges, more teachers need to realize that their class isn't the only one I'm taking and school isn't the only thing I'm doing. Normally every night I have homework in 5-6 out of my 8 classes and things can become really stressful for me, and other highschoolers, to finish everything and keep up with the work AND try to do your best because a lot of my teachers are strict on grading homework.
    I wish there could be no homework, but that will never be the case.
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