Friday, July 08, 2011

Letters to The Times: HOMEWORK

letters to the editor of the LA Times |

8 July | Inside story on homework
Re "Homework lessons," Editorial, July 1 | (see also NO PLACE LIKE HOME: LAUSD should avoid diminishing homework's value in education + smf’s 2¢: Daily News Editoria...

Your editorial makes some excellent points about the Los Angeles Unified School District's new homework policy.

I would like to comment on statements made about teachers' "willingness" to grade homework.

I am quite willing to grade all of my students' work word by word, but I am simply unable to. As a high school history teacher with an average of 175 students each year, I would not have time to sleep.

My approach is to give completion points for most of my students' work and select certain assignments for a more careful grading.

I hope that this helps non-educators understand why teachers cannot grade every student assignment thoroughly.

Deborah Robbins
Los Angeles

Each time I read about yet another one-size-fits-all "fix" enacted by people far from the classroom, I wonder why anyone would choose a career in K-12 teaching.

Why aren't the teachers being asked to examine which types and amounts of homework assignments are most likely to improve student learning and encouraged (and allowed the freedom) to develop curricula that are more appropriate?

Is anyone asking students what they think helps them learn?

Decisions about homework need to be evidence-based, with buy-in by teachers, students and parents.

Callista Lee
Long Beach

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