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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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  • Brendakp 2012/09/10 13:50:58
    No
    Brendakp
    I hated homeowrk, most kids do, but it is necessary! This is soooooo ridiculous and sad.

    dumbing down of america
  • Sebastian 2012/09/10 13:41:22
    No
    Sebastian
    +1
    Homework teaches responsibility and accountability, and that work must be completed even when you don't have someone holding your hand or guiding you through it every step of the way. We have 12 short years to educate our children for their future. We are already falling behind in education and becoming less competitive with the global workforce. Why lower standards even more?
  • Izzy! 2012/09/10 13:35:04
    No
    Izzy!
    No, wtf? That's outrageous.
  • tom C 2012/09/10 13:31:25 (edited)
    No
    tom  C
    abolish Homework in favor of 30 minutes of reading.....??
    Here we go..lowering standards...and dumbing down our kids.!
    What happened to homework including worksheets...AND Reading assignments???

    Teaches in our district give homework over summer vacation...read 3 books off
    the assignment list...and be ready for an essay on the book when you come back from summer..
  • Tom 2012/09/10 13:25:09
    Yes
    Tom
    +1
    AS long as the kids do well on their tests, it's fine.
    Homework beyond what is needed to learn and understand the material is just busywork.
    Give the kids guidance in what they can do to learn the material, but only grade on the results: the test.
    This puts the responsibility to learn on the kids and their parents, teaching the kid to do what is needed to learn, not simply do whatever homework is required by the teacher. It links studying and its results, IMO.
  • Shadow 2012/09/10 13:14:45
    Yes
    Shadow
    +1
    I mean, I do all my homework...
    The problem is, if we have after-school activities or extra curricular activities, we won't have time for homework. Plus, if you finish your homework, but don't learn anything from it, or don't even do it RIGHT, then it's pointless.
    I feel as if my school should take in this idea. A lot of people don't have time to do homework, and their grades suffer because of it. And it's unfair.
    Besides, teachers hate grading homework. It takes too long.
    So get rid of the homework! Life for everyone would be better!
  • smitty 2012/09/10 13:11:26
    No
    smitty
    But not 6 hours of it.
  • MissAshley 2012/09/10 12:46:18
    Yes
    MissAshley
    Having kids read 30 mins a night instead of homework is a marvelous idea
  • Jlmpatro 2012/09/10 12:38:13 (edited)
    No
    Jlmpatro
    Do not overload students with homework, but never stop makine them. The parental monitoring is also required.
  • Mel Martens 2012/09/10 11:53:49
    No
    Mel Martens
    Now I hated homework like the best of them. I tended to try and not do it or did it at the last minute. But despite all this I do know for a FACT that if kids aren't made to do things in their own time without a teacher hovering over them, they are going to suffer terribly during their Uni years or even in the workplace when they are expected to do things on their own.

    Can you imagine never being made to do homework then rocking up at your first uni class, the teacher pretty much making you take tons of notes then saying "Oh, and remember the 2 page essay is due next Monday and the 7 page one is on the 24th.".
    How many kids are going to be sitting there looking like terrified stunned mullets because they have NEVER EVER EVER had to do homework before? The thought is terrifying for the next gen.

    I will be giving my son writing exercises and making him re-write his notes from school for the entire 12 years of school he will go through if this comes into play in Australia. Like hell I'll let his brain atrophy because some do-gooder says kids should be allowed to play for 5 hours of the day. And we wonder why the Chinese and Japanese kids are obviously a LOT smarter than us. Bloody hell, it's not rocket science.
  • Alex♥Adam 2012/09/10 11:46:37
    No
    Alex♥Adam
    I can't believe that I just said "NO" cause I might be that person who hates homework the most, lol. But despite this I have to accept it that it's necessary.. but not too much for then it is considered more of a burden. i don't know about students in the U.S but here in India, we do get a lot of homework. To say, our summer vacation is just of two months, May half - June. Then we have exams. A month later we have mid-terms, we barely get time to enjoy ourselves, the stress is too much. Sometimes weeks later the mid-terms we have more exams. It's so hard to study too cause we get a lot of worksheets and assignments and homework of course. Daily tests - sometimes 5 tests a day. It's hard - especially when you have a LOT of homework. . Other than that, I'm an avid reader - I love reading books about history and space - but I never get time to read those these days cause of homework... and that makes me sad :( So i think that needs to be lessened a bit.. I want to live my life too ,you know xxx

    The reason why I think homework is important.. hmm.. well it is. (Not tons of) but still, I understand most things than I do in school when I read it and do it myself. It's like a revision, you know. I like writing essays too, and whenever I get a A+ in it so I feel really nice and that motivates me to perform better :) So for me, homework is both a boon and a bane :p
  • Lady Whitewolf 2012/09/10 11:44:33
    No
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    If anything kids nowadays need MORE homework.
  • Proud 2012/09/10 11:26:19
  • Lady Wh... Proud 2012/09/10 11:44:50
    Lady Whitewolf
    SO agree
  • it'skrissie!d:) 2012/09/10 10:57:44
    Yes
    it'skrissie!d:)
    Honestly, I cannot begin to tell you how much Latin homework I am going to have this week. Friday, I missed school because I was feeling sick, BUT. IT. WAS. NOT. WORTH. IT! I say that teachers abolish homework, because I am more than happy to read. In fact, that's the problem with such low scores. Kids really don't read. In the end, it's doing their homework and not really learning from it. It just causes more stress on the students, and that's not fair, because we already have studying for tests and quizzes and POP UP quizzes. We're practically doing homework already when it comes to studying, so when teachers pile on worksheets and more and more problems on us, how do we have time to actually sit down and read when we aren't worrying about school? And maybe P.E. Maybe we should throw P.E. out of high school, too. Just a suggestion. Besides, the main-learning comes in the class anyway. I kind of feel teachers do it just to see how many excuses we can come up with before we fail.
  • SundayStoleYourCookieDough 2012/09/10 10:45:53
    Yes
    SundayStoleYourCookieDough
    And yet again, I am the only one who actually thinks this is a good idea. .3.
  • Monkey D. Luffy 2012/09/10 09:27:56
    No
    Monkey D. Luffy
    +1
    I wouldn't read if I'm to go to the library.Homework is given so students can tackle all types of questions.Reading a question and it's solution is not gonna work unless you do it yourself all the way till the answer.These are kids but the discipline of homework starts early.While reading is compulsory indeed, it does not mean homework should be eliminated.
  • jerry.alan.carroll 2012/09/10 09:08:57
    No
    jerry.alan.carroll
    +3
    Keep the kids off the video games and the TV and they will have time to finish their homework in a timely manner. Keep the kids busy with school work and the kids will have less deliquency issues and be smarter too!
  • Thecharliejay 2012/09/10 08:31:01
    Yes
    Thecharliejay
    +3
    Homework is worthless in my eyes. By overloading kids with homework they are losing time to live a life and spend time with friends and family. Most kids don't do their homework anyway and without homework there is no concept of doing the work at home so kids will either sink or swim.
  • Derbyhat 2012/09/10 08:26:27
    No
    Derbyhat
    +3
    A one who skipped most math and English homework and still got jobs in engineering, I am now stuck at one level because of basics I just barely got by with. I have spent more than two decades trying to complete a degree because my skills with higher math looks like a picket fence: a credit in algebra and a credit in calculus and nothing in geometry, or trig.

    It is foolish for any schools or any parents to abandon the idea of homework, because it is a prerequsite for future employment. What will you do when your boss needs something in the morning and you tell him or her, "I don't do homework!"? Kids need to learn how to effectively do homework, so they can be a benefit to a company that needs to complete other tasks. Unless you are planning on a career in the Entitlement Receiving field, all people, including children need to know how to approach study. A lot of it is repetition, meticulous repetition and the sooner they become proficient, the sooner they find a job or an idea they force into a career they build on or build themselves, like millions of others around the world.

    By Gaithersburg making this decision, it is a cinch that college admissions staff can more confidently overlook more applications from the unincredible Gaithersburg Independent School District. Most likely a union teaching force who has had enough of kids!
  • pies_Guy 2012/09/10 06:54:57
    No
    pies_Guy
    +3
    American kids are stupid enough...give those pampered, poor parented kids some damn homework...and hold lazy, stupid parents accountable for missed or incomplete homework from thier lazy kids. My taxes keep going up and the educational system in this country keeps going down....HOMEWORK!!!!!!! The more the better!
  • Sunny 2012/09/10 06:24:50
    Yes
    Sunny
    Weather kids learn depends on the teacher's skill and the kid itself of course. When a kid doesn't want to study you can't possibly do anything to make him/her study. Homeworks keep up the practice so we don't get rusty but it doesn't mean it's a must.
  • Joel 2012/09/10 05:49:23
    No
    Joel
    +3
    More, not less is necessary.
  • Jezebel 2012/09/10 05:30:16
    No
    Jezebel
    +2
    I believe homework helps to reinforce what was learned that day. For me, it gave me more practice on that lesson until it really clicked for me.
  • Arianne 2012/09/10 05:23:08
    No
    Arianne
    +1
    That was VERY hard for me to click since I HATE homework.

    I don't believe in setting too much of course, but homework teaches kids discipline. That and it reinforces what they've learned in class, allowing them to move through the curriculum faster.
  • Seeker of Truth - War Wizard 2012/09/10 04:21:10
    Yes
    Seeker of Truth - War Wizard
    +1
    As a kid, I usually skipped most of my homework. I would take the points off, and then ace the tests to make up for it. Most of it was busywork or repetition, or a lazy teacher wanting to avoid having to actually teach and just giving the lessons as homework assignments. I'd do the essays, reports, etc (usually the night before they were due), but the other stuff I just ignored.
  • Mel Mar... Seeker ... 2012/09/10 11:58:34
    Mel Martens
    You didn't notice that uni teachers and bosses do that exact same thing? Teach you the subject and job then expect you to actually, ye know, use your brain and do the rest. It's life and to take away the fundamental basics of how to DEAL with life during the formulative years is just asking for a completely clueless generation wondering how on earth they can do anything on their own.
  • Seeker ... Mel Mar... 2012/09/10 14:09:11
    Seeker of Truth - War Wizard
    There's a huge difference between elementary school and college/work. In elementary school, they're teaching you how to think and filling your head with basic knowledge. In college and real life, you're expected to already know how to think, and to know where to go to get the information you need. My homework in college was not busywork, it expanded upon the lessons given in class, and prepared me for the next day's class.
  • strawberry 2012/09/10 04:09:58
    Yes
    strawberry
    +1
    Too many teachers give too much homework. Students should be learning more in their classes. Teachers can give weekly quizzes to see their progress. Taking time for other out of school learning activities is far more beneficial. Most East Coast Schools are far more advanced. I see a huge difference in discipline and quality students from attending East Coast Schools in comparison to West Coast Schools.
  • taylor 2012/09/10 03:46:36
    No
    taylor
    +2
    Kids need to reinforce a lot of grammar and math through structured homework. This is very important in the early and mid school years. Required reading is great too, as it develops good critical thinking skills, but this may be at the expense of some fundamental skills that are best learned through structure and repetition.
  • Jiorgia 2012/09/10 03:36:58
    Yes
    Jiorgia
    +1
    i would be interested in the results of this before making a real decision on the subject, but i have always found homework unnecessary.
  • Ben 2012/09/10 03:23:21 (edited)
    Yes
    Ben
    My school is like "oh you have a 3.6 GPA? Wow, that's not really anything to brag about. I have a 4.03 GPa and I am the captain of the cross country, translated a play from russian and was the director if it, I also am the president of the student council, head writer for the newspaper, play soccer, I'm in girl scouts and I co lead my brother's boy scout troop and I have a job, speak fluent French, Spanish, Russian, Sign language, run the green team, tutor kids, am the leader of the school marching band, have the best time on the swim team and I also am the lead in every school play. what? you play soccer? wow, that's uhm.. time consuming?" I think if you took away homework the kids at my school would have nothing to live for...

    Also some children (like me) weren't born with einstein multitasking amzibrains and I personally like being able to practice some things I'm not very good at, at home where I can privately work out my math problems I mean, not like-like, like I LOVE YOU HOMEWORK BE MINE!! but like like, I get to understand WTF is happening in math class.

    edit- clicked the wrong button
  • Mrs. V 2012/09/10 03:19:10
    No
    Mrs. V
    +3
    Kids are already too stupid. Democrat Progressives have consistently indoctrinated instead of educated the children in America.
  • Lady Wh... Mrs. V 2012/09/10 11:46:53
    Lady Whitewolf
    +1
    "democrat progressives" have NOTHING to do with it.... too many kids are allowed to get away with the "I'm too cool for school" attitude.....
  • Mel Mar... Mrs. V 2012/09/10 12:00:34
    Mel Martens
    I'm liberally minded and find the whole idea of abolishing homework and babysitting the masses complete and utter bollocks. It has nothing to do with political parties, it has everything to do with morons. (my own answer is a few posts above this one)
  • noriko 2012/09/10 03:09:27
    Yes
    noriko
    You're supposed to study in school, not at home. When I'm at home I don't want to worry about school.
  • diane.lenning 2012/09/10 02:24:20 (edited)
    No
    diane.lenning
    +1
    Elementary students should have designated planned assignments in class to learn to master and meet the standards of each grade level. If a student doesn't finish an assignment in school, then that should be the homework assignment. They don't really need additional homework assignments because part of the lesson is to learn to complete assignments within the classroom time period. Diane Lenning, Ed.M. (Therefore my vote could really go either way, depending upon what is meant by the question, whether it be additional homework or not).
  • Jiorgia diane.l... 2012/09/10 03:39:30
    Jiorgia
    I agree about the class assignment being finished at home if you haven't completed in class, but I am very much opposed to additional homework (in primary school).
  • duns 2012/09/10 02:11:40
    Yes
    duns
    It's too late for me though. I've been through all those headache-inducing homeworks.
  • GrooVy 2012/09/10 02:07:48 (edited)
    No
    GrooVy
    Teachers and schools don't like to have to grade homework. You catch the same colds your students have with their germs on their papers, etc. However, schools should get rid of stupid students or the students that only make excuses. Next schools should up the homework requirements. This way we would not have so many graduates who will be morons for life without the ability to read, write or think!

    We used to rank high for our education level in the world. Now, we are in 14th place! We have to import smart people from other countries! We should be able to train smarter Americans ourselves!

    Lowering the bar constantly does not teach the village idiot how to ever clear that bar. Next, you have a whole town as dumb as the 1 village idiot. Instead, try putting the village idiot in his own special class and teaching the rest of the town how to attain knowledge.

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