Opinion Brief

What happens if homework no longer matters?

Los Angeles ignites an uproar by saying homework can no longer count for more than 10 percent of a student's grade

America's second largest school district is joining a nationwide revolt against homework. Starting July 1, the Los Angeles Unified School District will mandate that homework can only count for 10 percent of a kid's grade, even in high school. Will this make grading more fair for students who have a hard time studying at home, or will it merely encourage everyone to slack off?

It's about time kids got a break: Homework has been on the rise in this country for decades, says Kayla Webley at TIME. Assignments for kids as young as 6 tripled between 1981 and 1997, to more than 2 hours a week, and more work gets piled on every year. "For too long homework has been used as a form of punishment," especially for kids who don't get much support at home. And let's not forget about teens who are "the member of the family charged with putting food on the table." They just don't have time for massive amounts of homework."Los Angeles gives students a break on homework"

This is politically correct nonsense: L.A. school administrators say it's unfair to penalize kids who don't have a good "home academic environment," says Brian Koenig at his blog. Read between the lines: They're saying homework is racist, because it's easier for kids to get it done in white, middle-class households than in poorer, minority ones. "God forbid we hurt some poor kid’s feelings — or should we say, motivate him or her to learn and find success in their future career.""Homework: A new form of racism in Los Angeles"

Fairness is great, but homework is useful: Homework isn't just "a teacher's form of torture," says Kelsey Williams at the San Francisco Chronicle. It's a tool teachers need to help kids "get a better grip" on what they're learning. It's great to try leveling the playing field for all kids, but we shouldn't do it by making homework irrelevant. That only encourages everyone "to slack off more and learn less.""L.A. Unified ditches homework"

Recommended

Internal CDC document outlines how the Delta variant has upended COVID-19 messaging
People wearing masks in New York City.
the coronavirus crisis

Internal CDC document outlines how the Delta variant has upended COVID-19 messaging

Biden unveils new vaccination rules for federal workers
President Biden.
'it's about life and death'

Biden unveils new vaccination rules for federal workers

Former Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexual abuse
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
charges

Former Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexual abuse

10 things you need to know today: July 29, 2021
Mitch McConnell
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 29, 2021

Most Popular

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?
Tom Brady, Joe Biden
Quotables

Tom Brady's 'gentle' roast of Trump at Biden's White House: 'Deeply vicious'?

Olympian Dominique Moceanu: Simone Biles demonstrating agency I lacked
Simone Biles.
take care of yourself

Olympian Dominique Moceanu: Simone Biles demonstrating agency I lacked

The 'potential silver lining' to a breakthrough COVID-19 infection
COVID-19 testing site.
the coronavirus crisis

The 'potential silver lining' to a breakthrough COVID-19 infection