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" Homework is one those never-ending debates in K-12 circles that re-emerges every few years, bringing with it a new collection of headlines.Usually they bemoan how much homework students have, or highlight districts and even states that have sought to cap or eliminate homework.
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Attempts to synthesize all this research have led to some hard-to-parse conclusions.
One of the most cited studies concludes there's some connection for grades 6-12 between homework and test scores, but less so for elementary students, and less of an impact on actual grades.
“It gives them autonomy and engages them in the community and with their families.
In some subjects, like math, worksheets can be very helpful.Next, John Smithson, an emeritus researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had teams grade them on a taxonomy looking at both the content and the "cognitive demand," or difficulty, of the work.The index fell on a 1 to 10 scale, with a score 4 to 6 range considered as "good" alignment. On average, math assignments fell within this range, while the ELA ones were slightly weaker, in the 3 to 5 range.Another problem is that students' experiences with homework seem to vary so dramatically: A Brookings Institution report based on survey data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress concluded that, while on average students aren't overburdened by homework, a subset of students do appear to get hours upon hours.The CAP analysis, instead, was based on getting a sample of parents from across the country to send in examples of their children's homework.A third is to use appropriate technology so students can access out-of-school supports for challenging homework.“Quality homework is engaging and relevant to kids’ lives,” says Wheelock’s Janine Bempechat.But the real eye-opening graphic is this one, which shows that by far the assignments were mostly low-level.This makes some logical sense when you think about it.To be sure, Boser said, it's not that all lower-level work is intrinsically bad: Memorization does have a place in learning.But assignments like color-in-the-blank and word searches are probably just a waste of students' time.