The policy committee of the Norwalk, Connecticut, Board of Education, is considering updating its policy on homework. According to The Stamford Advocate, the proposed policy states: “‘Homework should never be assigned as a punishment, nor should it be removed as a reward in order to avoid the negative perception of homework.” The report recommends:
* Daily homework for students in kindergarten to grade 2 would not exceed 10 minutes, 15 minutes for students grades 3 to 5, 60 to 90 minutes for grades 6 to 8 and up to two hours for high schoolers.
* In elementary school, no homework would be assigned over weekends or holidays, but independent reading would be a daily expectation; 15 minutes for kindergarten to second grade and 30 minutes for grades 3 to 5 to be monitored by teachers.
According to The Advocate, the report
also recommends that teachers go over homework with students the next day rather than grading it and handing it back. “When homework is simply graded, it communicates to students that the real reason for doing homework is evaluation, not learning the concepts,” the policy draft states. For long-term projects, such as book reports, essays and research papers assigned in middle and high schools, students would be required to meet periodic deadlines to complete the project in installments. “So we don’t just say, ‘This is due in two months,’ ” Lang said.
* In middle and high schools, homework grades would not make up more than 15 percent of a student’s final quarter grade under the new policy.
* Teachers would be required to provide make-up homework opportunities within 48 hours to avoid zero grades for students who could not complete the work because they didn’t understand it.