To Help Student Achievement, One School Is Ditching Homework

posted: 08/18/16
by: Amanda Mushro

As summer draws to a close and kids head back to school, it won't be long before homework starts to fill their backpacks. But for one Massachusetts school system, students won't need the "my dog ate my homework" excuse anymore because homework has been banned for all students.

Holyoke public schools was declared a "chronically under-performing" school system, and school officials decided that getting rid of homework and extending the school day will be a major part of school's improvement plan for this year.

This ban on homework was actually the idea of one of the elementary school principals Jackie Glasheen, and even though she says many find her idea "crazy," she says as both an educator and parent, this no homework policy is going to help students. She adds "I'm a mom. We all are saying as we clean up the supper dishes 'Did you do your homework? Okay, take out your homework, I'll help you with it, let's go!' So I don't know if always the responsibility was on the student as much as we'd like to think it was, but you can look at the data both ways."

So rather than completing homework at home, students will have longer school days--two hours longer-- to help with student achievement and eliminate the need for homework.

Glasheen says of the longer days, "We really want our kids to go home at 4:00 tired. We want their brain to be tired. We want them to enjoy their families, to go to soccer and football practice, and we want them to go to bed and that's it."

So what do you think? Would you rather your kids had longer school days and no homework?