A Word on Homework

The big news in education today is the fact that LA schools have decided to de-value homework as part of student’s grades. Homework grades now make up only ten percent of the student’s overall score. Obviously, when the famously-dysfunctional schools of LA decide something, they must be wrong.

Unless of course they’re not. The article makes a lot of good points about the sheer volume of homework some school systems are imposing on students. My niece, for example, had homework on the first day of the second grade which she had to turn in to her first grade teacher. Figure that out.

But the other problem is this: the days of paper handouts and homework in the conventional sense are soon to be history. Meanwhile, just as the Internet is breaking down many other forms of communication to smaller parts, so too should the education profession begin wrapping its collective head around decentralized learning models that are more immersive and representative of the way information travels.

Online learning tools that are semi-social (meaning kids and parents can interact with teachers, without the entire Internet chiming in) would be a better way to handle rote practice. Give the kid their assigned workload for the week and let them and their parents handle getting it done.

Otherwise, we may as well be teaching them to read on the backs of pitch shovels.