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“I also gave homework to get them thinking about things that we’d talk about the next day, for example, why they thought the U. Another went to the library on the way home every afternoon for the same reason.
“There are so many barriers,” Barbara Duffield, executive director of School House Connection, a Washington, D.
C.-based advocacy organization that works to improve the educational achievement of homeless youth, told .
“Many kids live in a state of impending doom.” Add in other worries — about gun violence, racial bias, police brutality and sexual assault — and it is obvious that students of all ages have good reason to be fearful and anxious.
But can eliminating homework address even a small part of this anxiety-producing equation, increase academic achievement and lift morale?
Eighteen percent of students live in poverty and approximately 1.3 million of the nation’s 50.7 million public school students are homeless.
And then there’s homework, which is increasingly assigned to students as young as five. While progressive educators agree that testing is not the only, or even the best, marker of academic achievement, it is still startling that the U. ranks 21st in educational outcome among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) competing countries, while Finland comes in third.“I always give my students a choice packet where they can choose which homework assignment they want to complete — word finds or word games, worksheets, or special projects — and it’s always due at the end of the week or on Monday, to give them the opportunity to get it done,” she begins.“Furthermore, I always make sure that there is something that every child has the ability to do.” She does this despite mandates from the Chicago Board of Education dictating what should be taught and how much homework should be assigned for each grade level.When Finnish students enroll in school at age seven, they can expect to take three or four classes a day.There are frequent breaks, plus a daily 20-minute recess.Sid Kivanoski, a recently retired teacher at one of New York City’s highly competitive specialized high schools, is also a proponent of homework.He explains that because New York students have to pass Regents exams in English, math, science and social studies to earn a diploma, assigning homework ensures coverage of material that might appear on the exam, but that he was unable to address during class. Still, Kivanoski knows that many of his students faced enormous challenges in completing their assignments. to do homework because that was the only time it was quiet at home.Nonetheless, she says she feels conflicted about the idea of skipping homework because she thinks that by middle school, students should be able to do some independent work at home.“Homework teaches time management and other coping skills,” she continues.Jessie Winslow teaches sixth grade social studies at the Ephraim Curtis Middle School in Sudbury, Massachusetts, a wealthy community with a median household income of more than 0,000.Winslow acknowledges that her students are coming into school with more anxiety and depression than previous academic cohorts.