Letters to the Editor

Homework is unnecessary, studies show

Lon Allan wrote that “children have too much homework” (“Schools are going overboard on homework,” Nov. 2).

He said this based on observations of his grandchildren and his six years of experience as a high school teacher. In other words, anecdotal evidence.

But what do educational research and controlled studies tell us?

They agree with Lon. In fact, they go one further. In an article by highly respected educational author Alfie Kohn, he points out that no research has ever found any benefit at all for assigning homework of any kind at the elementary school level. At the high school level, homework has no effect on test scores and no effect on course grades. Other studies focused on math and science, most often subjects cited as areas where students benefit from homework. Same result.

I’m sure there will be some who respond that students need the practice. Believe that or not. You can ignore the research, but evidence shows that practicing mindless, repetitive tasks at home does not translate into better performance at school or on tests. Kohn’s article can be found on The Washington Post website: “Homework: An Unnecessary Evil?

I was a schoolteacher for 12 years. I didn’t assign homework.

Peter Romwall, Morro Bay

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