Sid Kivanoski, a recently retired teacher at one of New York City’s highly competitive specialized high schools, is also a proponent of homework.He explains that because New York students have to pass Regents exams in English, math, science and social studies to earn a diploma, assigning homework ensures coverage of material that might appear on the exam, but that he was unable to address during class. Still, Kivanoski knows that many of his students faced enormous challenges in completing their assignments. to do homework because that was the only time it was quiet at home.“I also gave homework to get them thinking about things that we’d talk about the next day, for example, why they thought the U. Another went to the library on the way home every afternoon for the same reason.
“There are so many barriers,” Barbara Duffield, executive director of School House Connection, a Washington, D.
C.-based advocacy organization that works to improve the educational achievement of homeless youth, told .
“These kids are going to have situations that will cause them stress and they need to figure out how to handle it.” Virginia Naughton, a grandmother in Brooklyn, New York, says she sees homework as the most direct way to know what’s going on in kids’ daily lives.
“Homework is sort of a pulse, a starting point, to talk about classes, school friends and whatever else is going on,” she says.
But many schools have sidestepped these recommendations, with kindergarteners, first and second graders often getting 25-30 minutes of work per night.
Among older students, researchers have noted that excessive homework assignments have led to an increase in stress-related headaches, exhaustion, sleep difficulties and stomach ailments.
Eighteen percent of students live in poverty and approximately 1.3 million of the nation’s 50.7 million public school students are homeless.
And then there’s homework, which is increasingly assigned to students as young as five. While progressive educators agree that testing is not the only, or even the best, marker of academic achievement, it is still startling that the U. ranks 21st in educational outcome among the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) competing countries, while Finland comes in third.
Experts attribute this to the country’s low (5.8 percent) poverty rate, extensive social welfare system, 12-to-1 student-teacher ratio, and classes that fully integrate special needs students into general education classrooms.
They also note that the Finnish government values teachers and encourages staff to prioritize collaboration, network building and the sharing of best practices. Throughout the country, many elementary schools have completely eliminated recess.