Florida School District Bans Homework, Says To Read Instead
The decision was based on education research.
Florida’s Marion County School District will be banning daily homework assignments in elementary schools starting in fall 2017. Students will be asked to simply read for 20 minutes each night instead, according to News 6 WKMG.
Students will be allowed to choose their own reading material, and teachers, libraries and volunteers will provide guidance.
“If you can read well, everything else comes,” Kevin Christian, a spokesperson for the district told WFTV Eyewitness News 9.
Although daily homework won’t be part of the curriculum, Christian said teachers will still occasionally assign things like research papers or science projects.
Heidi Maier, the school district’s new superintendent, told the Washington Post that the decision was based on researchby Richard Allington, an education professor at University of Tennessee, who argued that reading boosts younger students’ academic performance more than assigning them traditional homework.
“The quality of homework assigned is so poor that simply getting kids to read replacing homework with self-selected reading was a more powerful alternative,” Allington told the Post. “Maybe some kinds of homework might raise achievement, but if so that type of homework is uncommon in U.S. schools.”
In 2006, a study on homework by Harris Cooper, a professor of psychology at Duke University, found that homework had more of a positive impact on students in grades seven through 12 than it did for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
The new Marion County policy will apply to all 20,000 elementary school students in the district but not to middle or high school students.