This coming Wednesday, the Race to Nowhere Team will be submitting a petition advocating healthy homework guidelines to a special pre-convention meeting of the National PTA. The petition has about 15,000 signatures and represents a significant step toward defining homework practices as an important concern for PTAs around the country. I personally signed this petition and have supported it here on my blog before.
As much as I support this movement, we all need to understand that as homework becomes a topic for school boards and PTAs, there will still be hurdles to overcome. Among them is the reality that parents are simply not of like mind. In one study, it was shown that the number of parents seeking more homework is about the same as the number seeking less. On April 1, 2012, the Los Angeles Daily News published an op-ed I wrote: “Homework hang-ups: Why consensus is so hard to find.” I wrote the article in response to a debate at the Los Angeles Unified School District over whether to limit the weighting of homework to 10% of the grade. Many parents and teachers were up in arms opposing this reasonable effort to cap the ill-effects homework can have. I wrote this piece to throw some light on the reasons why parents differ so much and am republishing the article here.