By: Krystle Crossman
P.S. 116 Principal Jane Hsu has made a decision that has some parents debating whether it is the right choice for their children or not. The New York City school sent out letters to parents of the elementary students that it would be eliminating homework. Hsu stated that she looked through research and did not find anything to support that homework was essential to learning and there was no correlation at this age between doing homework and doing well in school. She feels that the children’s after-school time could be better served if the children had time to do sports, have play time with their friends, or read a book just because they want to and not because they have to.
Some of the parents of the school are not happy with this decision and feel that their child should be getting homework. One father says that he wants his daughter to have fun but he also wants her to be working towards a goal in her education. He feels that making a child do homework is a matter of discipline, one that is necessary for their development. A grandmother stated that homework was important because the student may not have fully understood a concept in the short time they have worked on it in class and they may need that extra time to really drive the concept home.
In 1989 a study was conducted by Harris Cooper on homework and how it correlated with academic success. In 2006 he published his study using 15 years of data Cooper concluded that homework was very important. The younger children who had homework did better in school when they were older. The older kids showed better performance in school when they had homework to do regularly. However a new study from the Indiana University School of Education in 2012 shows that homework had no correlation at all with academic success for 10th grades. It did show that those who did homework fared better on the standardized tests.
An elementary school in Chicago took the same initiative for its younger students but had a lot more support from the parents than the New York school did. The only complaint that the parents really had was that they felt a little out of the loop when it came to knowing what their child was working on in the classroom.