This coming Monday is the first Monday in March. As suggested in The Case Against Homework, and in this blog every month, I recommend that every parent send a note to her/his children’s teachers, administrators, or School Board members on the first Monday of every month.
This past week, the national media reported that the principal of Oak Knoll Elementary School in Menlo Park, California, put a stop to homework. The principal explained his thinking to the parents:
The preponderance of research clearly shows that homework for elementary students does not make a difference in student achievement. . . . Even the most ardent supporters of homework have only been able to produce evidence of associative rather than causal relationships. In addition, it is not surprising that there is no research that demonstrates that homework increases a child’s level of understanding, improves their attitude toward school or inspires a love of learning. For a large number of students we know the opposite is true — large amounts of homework stifle motivation, diminish a child’s love of learning, turn reading into a chore, negatively affect the quality of family time, diminish creativity and turn learning to drudgery.
This Monday, why not politely ask the principal of your school whether s/he’s aware of what happened in Menlo Park and whether s/he’d consider doing the same thing at your school. Good luck and, as always, don’t forget to email me or write a post in the forums and explain what you did and the results.