I’ve written about Needham, Massachusetts, high school in this blog before (here and here) and last spring I posted an interview with the outgoing principal, Paul Richards, who had taken numerous steps to reduce stress at the school.
In June, the school released the results of its homework survey of parents. A question on the survey asked if the time students spent on homework was “not enough,” “too much,” “about right” or “don’t know.” Out of the total number of parents who responded to the survey, the largest percentage, 42 percent, felt “too much” time was spent on homework. 38 percent of parents felt the amount of homework was “just right.” Sixteen percent felt there was “not enough” time spent on homework, while 4 percent selected “don’t know.”
As for the amount of time spent on homework, 28.05 percent of the respondents said their children spend between two to three hours on homework each night. The second highest response, 22.65 percent, said one to two hours. 21.95 percent said their children do three to hour hours of homework a night, and 15.68 said their children do more than four hours of homework. 9.58 percent, said their children do less than an hour of homework.
Almost 31 percent of parents with 11th-graders said their children do between three to four hours of homework a night. The second highest percentage, 24.56 percent, said their children do more than four hours.
I hope that, with 42 percent of parents thinking their children spend too much time on homework, the incoming principal will follow the lead of his predecessor and continue to look for ways to reduce homework and stress.