From an academic standpoint, what is the optimal amount of homework students should have? What influences this determination? Does taking AP/IB classes affect this amount?
I ask because of this LA Times story about school districts' limiting the amount of homework students can receive:
Bennett is part of a vocal movement of parents and educators who contend that homework overload is robbing children of needed sleep and playtime, chipping into family dinners and vacations and overly stressing young minds. The objections have been raised for years but increasingly, school districts are listening. They are banning busywork, setting time limits on homework and barring it on weekends and over vacations.
I'm curious how they set time limits in high school. Must the math teachers coordinate with the English teachers? "Essay due tomorrow, cut down on the math problems tonight."
As for "banning busywork", I'd be really interested in how that's done. Who is to determine what is practice and reinforcement and what is homework for its own sake?
While I agree that the concept of homework should be discussed at schools, there's a lot of populism at work in the "cut back on homework" movement--and not the good kind of populism, either.
I wonder if the same districts that are mandating reductions in homework are also trying to "hold teachers accountable" for student learning. I also wonder how that conversation would go at a staff meeting.
Update: Link fixed now.