The Madeleine Brand Show for March 2, 2012

Parents weigh in as LAUSD considers revision of controversial homework policy

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Anthony Kelly/Flickr

A young girl does her homework.

It is no big news that most kids don't like homework. And when given the choice between hanging out and studying, most students would probably choose the former without hesitation.

But an increasing number of parents are embracing the idea of no homework, or, at least, less homework. The most common complaint: It's taking over family life.

Critics of current homework regimens are gaining increasing traction, and with LAUSD revising its controversial homework policy, parents are getting a chance to air their grievances at a series of forums held around the district. KPCC's education reporter, Vanessa Romo, joins the show to discuss one such forum she attended last night.

The attendance of the forum at Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood was small, but vocal. Many parents were critical of the current policy, alluding to research from Finland, where homework is not assigned in elementary school.

Criticism first coalesced when the LAUSD policy rolled out in May 2011. The policy set the minimum time spent on homework at 10 minutes per subject, and established a percentage for homework weighting in final grades at 10 percent. After teacher backlash to the initial proposal, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy cancelled the plan.

Now a 15-person committee is pushing for a time allotment of 10 minutes per grade level, and a recommended 20 percent weight on the final grade. Forums on the new plan are now taking place across the district. The committee will submit proposals to the LAUSD board in April.

Guest:

Vanessa Romo reports on education for KPCC.


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