Today’s guest blogger, Kerry Dickinson, gives an update on her organizing efforts in Danville, California. Kerry is the mother of two middle school age boys, a former middle and high school teacher, a current part-time substitute teacher, and a stay at home mother. She, and Julie Kurtz, the mother of two teens, a Mental Health Director, and a licensed marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco East Bay as well as teacher at a local Junior College, have been actively working to change homework policy in their community. Kerry wrote about their initial organizing attempts in a November guest blog entry and she also wrote an op-ed in her local newspaper.
Update from Danville, California
by Kerry Dickinson
In November, 2007, Julie Kurtz and I took an informal, email survey about homework among parents in our school district and received 60 responses. The survey asked questions like, “What percent of your child’s homework do you feel is of a high quality and what percentage is of a low quality? How much time do your children spend on homework? How do you define meaningful homework?” We compiled the results and presented them to the Director of Instruction for Student Services in our school district in the San Ramon Valley. We also gave the Director of Instruction research articles on homework and other information related to homework.
Not long after, the Director of Instruction informed us that the SRVUSD (San Ramon Valley Unified School District) would be forming a homework task force to reevaluate the current homework policy. And, I was invited to participate on the task force. I accepted the invitation because Julie’s full-time job prevented her from participating. The task force includes 19 people – a sample of parents, teachers, & administrators. It has met several times since the beginning of the year and will continue to meet until May, most likely, when a new policy will be presented to the public and to the Board for approval.
Julie and I are very hopeful that the new policy will be better than the old one and that steps will be taken to insure implementation of the new policy, hopefully beginning next fall.