So many good points were touched on in this interview – go Etta! To me, the issue that is perhaps the loudest, is the one regarding children and their disadvantaged circumstances at home. I work as a school nurse, and before I worked in the system, I had no idea how many children were living in abject poverty, with absent parents due to divorce, estrangement, having to work more than one job, alcoholism, drug use, abuse, neglect, ignorance from disadvantage, the list goes on. The truth is, it gets harder and harder to make ends meet financially for more and more families, and when you can’t afford gas, food, clothes, rent, child care, etc., schoolwork gets bumped back on the list of priorities. The tendency in our culture to ignore the burgeoning numbers of poor people clouds key decision-making processes. In my opinion, this issue alone is enough to change homework policies. In our school district, homework is graded, and if it’s not handed in, childen may fail their classes. I have spoken with the director of adult ed. in our town, and she says that the preponderance of high school dropouts did so beacuse they could not manage the homework, and find getting their GED easier. Many come from poor families who, plagued with their tremendous personal obstacles, fall apart and become hopeless in the face of unrealistic homework expectations.