I really don’t think it matters. Lazy parents will be overjoyed at the move and parents who care will give their kids homework to do anyway.
Take South Korea, for example, where officials go on patrol at night to catch students who are with private tutors studying after 10 p.m. That’s what our future competition is doing. They’re figuring out how to make their kids do more, not less.
You want your kids to get a good education? Then you better not trust any public or private school to do it all on its own.
There is a homework problem in America, but it’s caused by teachers who can’t be bothered to coordinate with each other. There’s no reason why a history paper can’t also be graded as an English paper, for example. Plus, I’ve found that teachers assign homework that’s never fully graded, which leads to cheating. My fifth-grade son has to read for 30 minutes each night and write down how many pages he read and a brief description of what happened. It’s not going to take him long to figure out that his teacher has no way of really knowing if he’s read or not.
I would gather that the increase in homework we’ve seen is tied to teacher performance as part of pay metrics. Rather than put the burden on the teacher for what the child does or doesn’t do in class, I’d like to see parent involvement added to the equation. It has to be a partnership.
Again, and I’ve written this before, it’s my responsibility as a parent to make sure he isn’t cheating and is really learning. Trusting in government to make sure your child gets educated — as France seems to be embracing — is a recipe for failure.