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Skip Offenhauser

I was a principal at a k-8 school for four years before moving to our district office. During the time at my I felt I did some good things but one thing I regret is that I never made the change in homework attitudes that I wanted. Having a 2nd grader and a 4th grader at home I know what homework loads can do to family life. Luckily my kids' teachers are very reasonable and most times homework consists mostly of reading. Besides taking away from family time another concern is how homework used in grade calculation? Is this fair? Additionally what kind of homework are students doing? Are they having to teach themselves content?

If administrators are not talking about homework they should. It is about time.

Sean Martinson

I'm happy to see this discussion being brought up on LeaderTalk as well as the reference to Alfie Kohn (http://www.alfiekohn.org).

As a future administrator and parent of two daughters, homework is a worry for me.

The complaint of lost time is a common theme, but moreso the thought of what are we sacrificing during the times we are working on busywork and/or extended length assignments (why 50 problems when mastery is demonstrated in 10?). If a child is diligent during the school day and completes there work, why do we then extend their day by assigning a pre-determined amount of work regardless of their individual needs?

The one comment I'd like to question is the following, "The one activity that we do not have control over is homework."

What would happen if it didn't get done? If the student is demonstrating mastery and the homework is simply busy work, what will happen if it is not completed? How far as a parent are we willing to push the issue? How far as a community of educators are we willing to carry the discussions? Then again this may be an argument that goes into, what exactly do grades mean? What's in an "A"? Does an "A" denote mastery or simply of the jumping of hoops?

Alfie Kohn's book the Homework myth addresses much of what I'm so poorly trying to put across.

:-)
Sean M.

Benny Cruz

I am a leader in the modwest who does not feel that homework is good for kids. Children go home sometimes to unsettling environments that do not permit for good working conditions to do homework. Many students do part if any of the homework that causes them to get lower grades in the classroom. Teachers shold concentrate during the school day on what students need to learn.

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