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Parents In N.J. Town Start Movement To Abolish Homework

Education Expert: Schools Need To Follow Amount Guidelines

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A lot of kids complain about homework, but now some parents are saying their children are getting too much and want it abolished.

Even during their lunch break, high school students in Maplewood try to squeeze in some homework.

“Two or three hours,” freshman Maddy Reichman told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu, referring to how much homework she gets on average per night.

Friends said it’s sometimes as much as four hours and makes for a very hard balancing act.

“I play sports so it’s really tough to have practice right after school and come home at 6:30 and then do my homework, eat, do my chores, do everything,” Reichman said.

High school junior Jeremy Walrond said his nightly homework load is massive.

“In terms of hours, I guess like around five or six,” Walrond said.

Now while you’ll find lots of students who want to cut down on the amount of homework, there’s actually a parent who wants to get rid of it altogether. She sent out an e-mail to other parents in the South Orange/Maplewood area, asking them to organize to help abolish homework.

Education expert Sy Fliegel said not having homework is not the answer.

“It’s like someone saying to you too much food is no good for you, what’s the solution? Let’s not eat anything,” said Fliegel, of the Center for Educational Innovation. “What has to happen is more attention has to be paid to the quality of the homework assignment.”

Fliegel said schools need to follow homework amount guidelines, such as 10 minutes for first graders, 20 minutes for second graders and so on, with the maximum load of homework reaching two hours in high school.

He said teachers should coordinate with each other.

“My daughter is frequently up until midnight doing homework, sometimes past. Last night it was 2 a.m.,” parent Jeff Schnorr said.

Even some students think abolishing homework is going too far.

“I think it would be nice, but I’m not sure we could ever abolish it 100 percent, because it helps me sometimes,” freshman Molly Brett said.

But students told Hsu, with really effective teachers, less can mean more when it comes to learning.

Education experts said homework is also a good tool to let parents know what’s going on in class and for teachers to monitor a student’s progress.

How much is enough homework? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Cindy Hsu

One Comment

  1. Lind says:

    My son attends a charter school and homework can add up to, weekday 3 hours per night, and weekend 8 or more hours – 4th grade. My understanding is that homework is to review, reinforce what was learned. Some assignments are given “just to keep them busy.” Guidelines need to come from administration. Encourage more homework online so the teacher can easily grade, monitor. Then administration can see what homework is given and what the dessired result from the teacher is. Some teachers are unclear, while others are clear and target specific results. If education in the classroom is clear, homework should be minimal to nonexistent. My son works hardest in the class where homework is only given if the concept the teacher teaches is not understood. Quizzes are given most often in this class; the teacher is constantly monitoring and gives specific homework to those who are not fluent in that particular area. This subject is math. When the students walk into this class, the teacher has full attention from the first to last minute – no one wants homework. Perhaps more teachers could follow this example. The NJ ASK Math test scores in this class (which is not an advanced class) are mostly advanced proficient.

    1. Adam Bindas says:

      Homework was orginally designed as a means to instill teachings of the day that Children needed to know for something in the future. (ex. test, career) However with test grades rising teachers rose the amounts of homework in order to raise the grades further. However at a tipping point teachers began to see grades fall in individuals. (ex. lack of sleep, depression) In order to combat this more homework is assigned. This forms a slippery slope in which something must be done. With more homework defience of school and homework follows which is transfered to the order of power. Grades improve with sleep and proper teaching. Instead of giving more homework to attempt to raise students grades we must make our teachers picked for quality and not quantiity. The teachers you learn the most from are the ones who give less homework because the students pay attention more.

  2. Charlie Kerenski says:

    Well, 2 or 3 hours worth of homework sounds about right.
    But, it has to be relevant subjects such as matematics/ science.

    1. Coger says:

      In your case, spelling homework would have definitely been relevant. Matematics?

      1. Allie says:

        Except people make typos. Jesus, what the hell is with people on the internet.

  3. marcus says:

    sorry but this article got my attention…
    I really do have to question some things such as how many of these students work during the summer or after school? after all the premise of summer vacation way back was for the children to have the time to work on the family farm… another question… how many parents out there on some level feel public schools are very cheap day care or baby sitting and inexpensive meals? and get honked up when after school they do not have access to the children or the children are at home doing homework…

  4. marcus says:

    just wondering how long before we applaud schools for students just showing up?

    1. Mike says:

      5 years if we are ever so lucky (sarcasm). We all know that in college homework only lasts 2-3 hrs a night. Kids should suck it up and learn that this is life.

      1. Momotaro says:

        Yeah, suck it up and spend every waking hour you have doing schoolwork which teaches you nothing.

    2. Rachel says:

      School? An institution from an era gone by. Now, there’s an app for that.

  5. The Situation says:

    The students in NJ need to stop going to the Jersey Shore and/or watching the Jersey Shore and focus on their homework. I’m pretty sure in 4 years of high school, I only stayed up til 2AM once because I really procrastinated on an essay that took me much longer to do than I anticipated.

  6. Jim B says:

    Abolish homework but have more test and stuff in the classroom. Give out classroom work and such.

    1. marcus says:

      jim… just what do you test the student on … if they are doing other things in the classroom and no homework

      1. Momotaro says:

        The things taught in class, using both lectures and classwork, maybe? Herp, derp.

  7. Tim says:

    Homework does nothing to help a child learn. The system here is way too PC and students spent too much time in school and too little learning how to be kids. We try to accommodate everyone and end up accommodating no one. And since education is political and as long as it is we will never fix it. I have worked in many countries and have seen much better systems where kids spend much less time in school with almost homework. So there is no real reason for homework at the level we have in this country and we need to reform the whole system.

    1. marcus says:

      right on… why believe concepts about getting what you put into something… or that our students overall are even staying even if not falling behind many other countries students.. and really why should our young citizens be burdened with issues of responsibility or accountability… lets keep up the belief that someone will take care of them in the future

    2. kollidge gradiated says:

      A little bit about ‘Tim’…..
      ….he is obviously unaware of the well known FACT that kids in the USA have, intellectually, fallen far behind those in other developed countries.
      ….he has kids that will ALWAYS be kids, so they need to ‘learn how to be kids.’ They do NOT need to blossom into responsible, educated adults.
      ….he babbles about a point, but offers no solution.
      ….his opening sentence is likely proven when he merely looks in the mirror. But it’s WRONG.
      Hey, Timmy, I did my homework and it wasn’t always easy. I got through college then professional school. HARD WORK PAYS OFF. LAZINESS GETS YOU A POSITION AT MCDONALDS.
      How’s that managerial spot at McDonalds working out?

  8. marcus says:

    having experienced teaching has supported in some ways a long held belief that educating a class of motivated and thoughtful students is relatively easy. good portions of the class time is not spent of explaining issues such as why the student is there… why they have to go over material and why they need to be responsible and hand in assignments. a class of motivated students is challenging also.. students will raise questions of interest connected to the current subject being studied … some or many which one does not have a thorough understanding of … no teacher knows everything.. and this is where teaching really comes into its own and becomes very productive. first the teacher acknowledges the worth of the students inquiry and second to point to sources outside the classroom for the student to obtain knowledge of their inquiry. teaching and education is not only about presenting finite information to the students and evaluating their comprehension and recall… that is typically called training… teaching is also about being an advocate of assisting and supporting the seeking of knowledge and principals.

  9. Lynda L B Duke says:

    The intent of homework is to learn the material 3 ways. But what I see here, with people advocating NO Homework – is lazy minded people. You are upset because your children have too much work to do, but you’re creating lazy minded children in the process. We are 17th worldwide in Science, and 25th worldwide in Math. What does that tell you? We are creating lazy minds, lowering their standards, afraid of competition in mental exercises. WAKE UP Folks – you’re supposed to be leaving this world to them in time, for them to work on, not leave them lazy minded so they won’t bother at all. So you’re showing them they don’t have to be responsible – just let them be lazy minded, weak spirited nincompoops!

    1. marcus says:

      have to agree… is this an issue of what is easy or good?

      fast foods and microwave meals are easy… good?
      watching network tv programming several hours an evening is easy… good?
      not brushing teeth is easy… good?
      no exercise is easy… good?

      on and on

      1. Mrs Crabtree says:

        So Lynda we would have to assume that there are 17 other countries assigning more Science homework than us and 25 countries assigning more Math homework. Or is it the overly entitled teachers that need the change…. better teaching methods and lesson plans. Here’s a novel idea…. teachers have June, July and August off… Maybe they should hone their skills during that time period… on the clock and lets adjust the pay checks throughout the year so the pay is now distributed over the 12 month period.

  10. guest says:

    Problem # 1: Writing: I was taught to get the point across as quickly and in as few words as possible. We were give maximum limits. Today, kids are given minimum limits. Time is spent creating nonsensical filler material.

    Homework can either help or hinder the learning process. Too much hnders and create negativity toward the subjaect matter and learning. Very gooed teachers teach in the classromm and have kids eager to come back.

  11. marcus says:

    the gap between the wealthy and not so wealthy began to close a bit…. with a commitment by our society beginning around the mid nineteen sixties of a better public school system and state university systems.

    I believe that gap has opened and even increased in the past twenty years. this may be the result of many factors. as a graduate and past teacher in the public schools and my wife, a private school teacher, i began to notice some interesting contrasts. my experience when an event such as parents teachers night occurs the attendance by private school parents is up around 80 -90 percent but in a public school maybe 30-40 percent. in the classroom the general attitude by the students in the private school is focused on the subject matter at hand and in the public school somewhat less and more about other issues. any homework issue in a private school is typically about is there enough while the students are expected to have several hours already. are the students of private school any more smart than that of a public school student… no… but typically they are better educated.

    1. Jason Ryan Windon says:

      you hit the nail on the head… parental involvement is the key factor in both teacher effectiveness and student performance. even the best teacher is rendered ineffective when parents aren’t on their side. if we remove homework we aren’t preparing our children for college and the real world. for one reason or another the trend that i have noticed in the media and the classroom (i am a teacher) is that while we are increasing the focus on civil rights of our children we are decreasing the responsibility levels in their day to day life… this is completely backwards and a dangerous trend.

  12. tom saunders says:

    math home work on monday english on tuesday science on wednesday and so on the problem are teacher get together dont give kids homework on evey subject one class per day im an idiot and i have solved the problem

  13. Al says:


    1. dep says:

      Abolish homework are you kidding me!!! Parents and students are saying they spend 4 plus hours on homework each night. I am sure this time includes, checking facebook, texting, changing songs on their ipod, surfing the net and snack breaks. Now how much time is spent working on homework?

  14. Shawn H says:

    Long have I been an advocate of no homework. When school is already 8+ hours a day, why spend another 2+ after release? I made it through HS w/o doing a minute of homework. I crammed everything into study hall. Did my grades suffer? Maybe a little. I still graduated with B’s, and had plenty of time to work after school. End post. Flamers, flame on.

  15. scoutmaster says:

    This will make a lot of people mad, but as a country we spend TOO much time on sports. You`re in school to learn not play sports. Sports is secondary. I`m a boyscout leader and I get so tired of hearing that they can`t do something I need them to do because if they don`t show up for sports practice, they will get a failing grade. Goes for band and choir too. If we take sports out of the mix, they will have more time for homework. We need to stop passing these kids if they can`t do the work. We have kids graduate that can`t fill out a job application properly. And we wonder why you can`t get a job these days without a degree. It`s because they know if you made it to a degree, you can at least spell.

    1. Kaoticman says:

      Get rid of the sports, the choir, the band, all of that, you’ll be graduating a bunch of well educated idiots. Culture is just as important as reading and math, because it allows the student to put the reading and math into a context of society. If anything, your Boy Scouts are secondary… really tertiary to school and extracurricular activities at school. Maybe the kids should cut that instead.

    2. marcus says:

      getting rid of sports, band etc is not the answer in my opinion. first, these areas typically introduce and reinforce concepts and discipline that is required in the others areas of school. we should not forget that there is a correlation between music and mathematics. for some sports or music maybe the first time that the student may feel needed or self confident which may spin off in other areas of their life, I do agree the need for balance in these areas. in my own experience our coaches had an open dialogue with the other teachers and received almost weekly status reports on all the players.. if one did not meet these requirements … off the team until you did.

  16. Judy75201 says:

    What an uneducatedy analogy by Fliegel. Being in school for 6 hours or more per day is not “Let’s not eat anything.” School is for learning. Homework should only be given to those who need it to pass or who want to get a better grade. If you can pass the tests, you have learned what you were supposed to learn. Where do educators get the idea that they have the right to dictate to people what they will do in their spare time? Who else gets to tell us what we will do with our time if we are not on their payroll?

    1. Barkingkitty says:

      When you’re an adult, you get paid and the employer tells you what ti do. In American, when you’re a kid, you’re given a free education – and the teachers get to tell you what to do. Been this way for generations, so stop whining and acting like they are getting a bum rap. Considering the US is currently lagging VERY far behind in intelligence and education from many other developed countries, I can’t even believe there are idiots out there screaming for no homework. Talk about running our country into the ground!!!

      1. USAWorker says:

        I live in the midwest USA. $75k/year. I’m salaried and my employer gets mad if I work overtime. They don’t like me missing out on family time, which they value very highly.

        You may be interested to learn that the more homework a country gives, the worse the country does. USA not only scores the worst, but we also have the most homework out of any country. Researchers aren’t sure if more homework is the cause, but it is an interesting consistent link.

    2. cor says:

      and given to anyone that desires a college education down the line. good study habits are not easily acquired without practice

    3. joseph says:

      you are an idiot.

  17. OutofAmerica says:

    Aside from the Kaycee controversy (and yes, she’s correct that learning to use the written language correctly is vastly important).

    Abolishing the homework completely is not the answer. In a day and age when American students are falling behind, compared to many other industrialized nations, the idea that less education and educational training (and that is what homework is) would be beneficial is ridiculous.

    For the past fifteen years I have taught in 9 different countries, including the United States, and I can categorically state that when the students don’t have homework in their subjects they are slow to or fail to master the subject matter.

    Homework helps us think and learn to solve problems. It helps to identify and exercise the things we have learned and those are skills that are needed in life.

    I sometimes lament that my own children’s teachers do not coordinate their homework assignments and that my kids spend hours completing them, but I would never, ever suggest that homework be abolished.

    That’s foolish and in the end harmful to our own children and their futures.

  18. marcus says:

    kaycee… have to bring up a fundamental flaw about the point of trying for perfection. number one.. it is not attainable by definition…. nothing is or remains perfect… a better goal is that of excelling at what one wants to achieve..

    basically the concept of that the more we know makes us understand how much we don’t know

  19. Kaycee says:

    To all of you who have taken offense to my comments I offer a sincere apology. They were not necessary and certainly were not on point. I have spent the past two weeks reading memos written by young college graduates hired within the last two years. Ninety five percent of these memos were pure gibberish. Grammar, punctuation, organization of ideas, form, spelling, all of it so far below par as to be an indictment of our education system. I missed the point of some very well intended comments when I should have focused on their essence. I apologize especially to Marcus. I think there needs to be more of an emphasis on written communication skills and if more homework helps with that then bring it on. Kids need help managing their time and that’s the job of the parent. Sometimes there is too great an emphasis on extracurricular activities and that leaves little time for the extra study that is required. And studies have shown that teens and young adults are the most sleep deprived segment of our population so having kids not get to bed until midnight or later can’t improve their learning ability at all. Parents, teachers and students might form committees to try to come up with a plan for a mix of homework, sports or desired activities and pure recreation that is both healthy and productive. I think we have to come up with a better approach than what we have now and it needn’t rob children of time to have fun and be creative while still preparing them to compete effectively in the domestic and global job market.

    1. marcus says:

      apology accepted and understand your frustration and concern… but also believe that education is not just that of filling the students head with information with the goal that the student can formally recall in that order the same info… like a hard drive on a computer.. to me learning and training are not the same thing.. there are some like myself that require associations or hooks to take in info, process and apply it… how does this effect my ability to solve problems? from 6 grade on my aptitude test results were in the 99.5 percent range… IQ results very high and off the charts relative to understanding and applying concepts… yet my academic achievements while in a very good and highly rated public school were average or below.. but in a liberal arts college I was in the top of my class. I bring this up as an example that learning and educating is not only about the students intake of knowledge and ability to recall it on demand.

      1. marcus says:

        another example… what was the primary innovative reason for apple’s success as a pc. and later adaption by their competitors… it was the human interface for the user.. typically prior to this … one needed to memorize combinations of keystroke commands to even begin to communicate and use a computer. by using intuitive visual guides permitted the user to access and use it… which is one of the basic rules of the quality of a good tool.

      2. Kaycee says:

        Marcus You raise very important points. While this is a digression from the topic of the quantity of homework it may be tangentially related, just as Apple implemented the user interface, a gifted and caring teacher will try to find the appropriate “interface” to help the individual student “access” his or her education. Finding that special key to unlock the entry port for a child who is, for a variety of reasons, having difficulty taking in, processing, storing and using the information that has been presented in class is no easy task, but a wonderful gift when it happens. Rote memorization has been criticized and marginalized in the modern educational environment, and probably rightly so, but learning the rules, in any subject from English usage to the sciences, has its place and helps to provide a strong basis on which to build the more complex and nuanced learning experiences as children progress through the different levels in school, and beyond. I’m all for alternative methods of teaching if they work but being a product of the school system of the ’50s and 60’s I still see the value of learning the basics while fostering a child’s unique approach to learning and supporting their creativity. And it helps if when they are all done with school they can write a memo that will say what it needs to say, and be grammatically correct and make sense.

    2. marcus says:

      appreciate the reply.. it is not that I am proposing that alternative methods are the solution… also understand that learning rules, structure and principals developed, tested and evolving over many many years is not frivolous … quite the opposite .. they are functional, practical and afford the user a much better ability to communicate and build upon their ideas.. even believe that primary education and even more so college education has strayed away from the ideal of producing one that is ‘learned’ in the classic sense and skills specific to the industry is the responsibility of the company to teach the new employee. saying this may seem naive on my part concerning the potential job market… but over and over examples of focused knowledge required by a specific profession has been at the expense of not having a broader understanding of concepts and history in the other areas of a classic education… believe both the financial profession and the consumer would of benefited from an understanding of classic ethics and business… or those in great numbers getting an mba in response to the industries deeming this being required… with many ending up serving table or such and challenged by learning other skills or formulating other directions… what I am saying is primary education is about understanding and learning fundamental knowledge and as important.. methods… it should be broad as to directly apply or adapt to the future knowledge and skills required to enter and sustain in a fairly diverse and ever so quickly evolving and changing industries of our modern economy…. with this being said.. there are no miracle methods for being a well rounded educated person… pretty simple math.. time and desire equate to result… and for me desire is the key word… and then time will take care of itself

  20. Tracy says:

    I was an A student in high school I never had homework because shcool was easy for me and i finished my work in my free time at school. However when it was time for college I have to say I had a hard time because I never learned good study habbits and how to do the work outside of the classroom. As for my feelings on no homework at all. Well kids need to get off FB, texting and game systems and get prepared for the real world.

    1. Kaycee says:

      Try spell check. Good study habits only need one “b”.

      1. Linda says:

        Well, well, aren’t you little Ms. Perfect? Your parents had to spell your name phonetically. Do you rag on them too?

      2. Kaycee says:

        Linda, what is wrong with trying for perfection? Most of us won’t make it all the time, but having it as a goal isn’t bad. And on the SATs, close isn’t good enough.

      3. marcus says:

        kaycee…have you ever heard or understand the term constructive criticism? when talking with others… and desiring to hear the others thoughts,,, do you frown or interrupt the conversation to correct the other person or disregard their thoughts due to their lack of following the formal rules…. just wondering

    2. Fenris says:

      Tracy, you make good points. Thank you for sharing them. I agree with what you said.

  21. marcus says:

    this is a public school… funded by local, state and federal taxes… which come from people that use and benefit from the school. so let me get this right… parents and students would rather purchase an inferior product to the superior one for the same price… or investing in a stagnant or failing company is wise… so be it

    1. marcus says:

      and many out their wonder why some of this countries major industries of the past failed or left or the importation of knowledgeable students to our better universities or better qualified and motivated employees to our growth industries. honestly it is not the popular mantra that companies left or failed due to the other countries cheaper labor… sure some of this is true… but the reality is that the foreign companies and their work force were better educated and trained and more motivated… simple truth

      1. Kaycee says:

        Marcus, are you one of those better educated, trained and motivated members of a foreign company’s work force? Perhaps you needed more home work.

    2. marcus says:

      kaycee.. no and actually I was academically challenged while a public school student by a learning disability not understood at the time and unknown to me until my mid thirties… I was considered an underachiever before entering college paid for by working in the steel mills during the summer… in college and its challenging environment I excelled and was pretty much at the top of the class… received my masters in education while teaching kindergarten in the inner city as part of the teacher corp program… later taught design at several recognized state and private universities and also forming a business in the private sector .. bottom line is that through personal experience and observation began to understand some of needs and realities both that of student and the potential profession they may enter into

  22. jerseyjoey says:

    Can Anyone say LIBERAL YUPPIE Whinners.

  23. julia says:

    I guarantee you that none of Russian parents will go along with this too. Don’t understand how a parent would want to raise a lazy ignorant kid.

  24. marcus says:

    intersting? how many understand the methods of schools? do we believe that the good teacher just reads from a text or writes on a chalk board formulas? the teachers primary responsibility is to explain and expand on the material learned from required material… then to critically evaluate either overall or individually the progress of their learning. should the teachers time during class be only that of monitoring the student reading text… or writing or playing with chemicals and equipment without required knowledge from sources outside the classroom.. if so then we are potentially good customers for mail order or on-line degrees.

  25. Elaine Albertson says:

    I never thought homework was productive. If the teacher is not smart enough to get in sufficient practice work in class in order to evaluate their students’ grasp, then they need to go back to college. Perhaps a short writing assignment for the weekend for a language class, etc. but hours every evening is ridiculo8us. I know a number of teachers who feel the same way. School should be seven hours a day, like a job, and leave the free time as what it should be. If the kid doesn’t want to learn, heaping homework on them isn’t going to change anything.

    1. Idratherbegolfing says:

      So I’m guessing you think it’s 100% the teachers fault if a child gets poor grades. Parents are not responsible for helping further a child’s education by spending time with them after school assisting them in their studies. Teachers have 20+ students in a classroom some of which learn at different rates. Homework helps reinforce what they learned that day and allows for the students to work at their own pace to grasp what was taught. I’m not saying 5 hours of homework is the rite, but homework is an essential tool in the learning process. A teacher giving homework because they can’t spend all day reviewing a subject does not mean the teacher is not smart enough.

    2. joseph says:

      elaine, you’ve obviously never taught a class in your life.

  26. Fenris says:

    Wow. Abolish homework so kids can play sports? or watch tv, or get on FB, or hang out with their friends. This is appalling. I have a daughter that just graduated from veterinary school, and she & her classmates (and all the others like them who will be our doctors, our veterinarians, our engineers, etc.) studied hours & hours & hours EVERY NIGHT to learn the skills that help all of us. And these yahoos think poor ittle baby-boos shouldn’t be studying at ALL? Shameful.

  27. marcus says:

    to me one of the most important diff between schools that have higher levels of academic achievement and those that do not is peer pressure. if the majority of the students attitude towards academics are that of being not cool… then the students that want to learn and excel and the teachers and schools that also want this face undue and additional challenges

  28. Phil says:

    I had homework…it was up hill, both ways in the snow.

    Kids these days – they hardly have anything to do after school except play their game systems.

  29. Homework Teaches NOthing says:

    Homework does not teach you anything it only makes you repeat what you learned from the teacher. I get all As on my tests and have Bs and As.

    1. Truth says:

      It shouldn’t take you four hours if you already know the material. This wouldn’t be an issue.

    2. marcus says:

      good for you … but also you may have better abilities than others to ‘learn’ .. question I have .. is the objective of learning and school only that of the grade? do you feel that by receiving an A grade means you have mastered the subject matter or learned all there is about it? is learning new material both challenging and of interest? more important.. when you begin your professional career will your only value consideration be that of the level of your paycheck.. and life is only of interest after work and ability to buy things.

  30. marcus says:

    believe that 1-12 school is so much more important than undergraduate and graduate school. 1-12 should teach the student the how and why of learning.. a good teacher does not know all the knowledge that the student may require but motivates and directs the student to seek it out on their own.

  31. marcus says:

    the daughter of the headmaster of a private school my wife was teaching chose to attend a very good public high school. after a year the daughter returned to the private school. the daughter really liked the public school and the level of social activities etc… but not challenged by the academic environment. could do all her homework during the school time vs the private school students and environment did challenge requiring additional time after school to complete assignments. like it or not… both private and public students eventually compete for the same universities and jobs… who wins?

  32. Stephanie Mauser says:

    idk, at this point, the “homework” for our 1st graders consists of a book to read, a spelling list to study for a week, and “rocket math”, a list of 40 simple math problems, with the goal being to get at least 19 finished and correct in one minute. i would like to not have to do the reading, but we read almost every night, school or not. started as soon as she was able to sit still and pay attention for more than 5 minutes at a pop. i hate the “rocket math”, i fail to see why it’s an issue how fast they can answer, rather, my concern is that she can come up with the right answer without counting on her fingers. however, it has forced me to explain my strategies for adding numbers in my head, which i never thought about; i had to actually sit there and examine the mental process i use to come up with the answers without using my fingers to count,lol.

  33. Sarivir says:

    There is an interesting video on YouTube, it’s called “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System”. Maybe some of you should check it out.

  34. j says:

    New Jersey produces people like Snooki and that psycho Teresa Whateverhername is from Real Housewives and you want your citizens to appear ever LESS educate?? Christ, get it together Jersey.

    1. ctbeckyw says:

      Agreed. Okay, scale back on the nightly homework but let’s extend the school year so they can get to all the material. Sounds only fair to me.

      1. Truth says:

        no that would only raise tax dollars. Do the work at home… plain and simple. The students are not the problem here. It’s the parents who don’t teach their children time management. I managed my homework, played sports. sang in a choir and I never had to do 4 hours of homework at home. I would finish half of my homework prior to even leaving school.

    2. Bill says:

      Yea snooki is from NY

    3. La Bolilla says:

      J–that would be less”educated.” I suspect you did not do your spelling homework on past tenses this week

    4. JILS says:

      If you base all of your opinions on what you see on TV, I’m guessing too much homework never was your burden to bear.

  35. Student says:

    I am a high school stufent and homework has done nothing for my education, now i like school and i respect my teachers and everything but so far home work has been a waste of my time. I do not want to get rid of it but mabey if they students are haveing trouble, then you give homeework.

    1. j says:

      MAYBE if you do your homework you can spell correctly and learn to use your shift key. As a young person, of course you fail to see the value in putting into practice what you’re learning in high school. I thought it was pointless too. But people who do their homework and do well in school are usually the people who have the self-discipline to achieve bigger goals later in life. They seem unrelated, but the work you do now will condition you to work hard in the future. Remember that.

    2. i2h says:

      your comment does little to nothing for your argument. more homework may in fact help you to spell painfully simple words such as “maybe” and “having” properly (assuming student was a mere keyboard-related typo).

    3. Fenris says:

      But you can’t even spell! How can homework be a waste of your time when you yourself cannot even spell very simple words correctly? You need more homework, not less. I would agree with you about the quality of the homework being more important than mere quantity, so certainly, looking into exactly what teachers are assigning would be helpful. Good luck to you in whatever path you choose.

    4. marcus says:

      those that want to criticize students comment by example of their spelling may be selling the person short. the students thoughts may come from just not understanding or making the connection between homework material and the classroom. does the teacher during classroom time just reiterate the homework or as a connection to ideas and events that may be more current or of interest to the student?

      1. Kaycee says:

        Have you ever heard of punctuation? Your ideas have some merit but your essay skills are absent. Unfortunately this is a very common problem demonstrated by young people entering, or trying to enter, the work force today. Hard work, time management, writing and oral communication skills and self discipline are all important in reaching our goals. We, as adults, can help our youngsters by our example.

      2. marcus says:

        kaycee.. do you believe communication is only about following rules.. does my correct punctuation or lack of prevent you from understanding my thoughts.. do you believe that a person that follows all the rules is better than one that does not and produces a better result…

  36. steveo says:

    I sure am glad I’m an autodidact.

  37. Richard williams says:

    You can abolish the current schedule for homework assignment however, it must be substituted with a different schedule: 1) one hour extra a day attached to the school hours during which students will do homework with mentor in the class room to assit. 2) Extend school week to half a day on Saturday. That day would be dedicated to reinforcing what was taught during the week.

    Educators must think outside of the box.

    1. Scott Bast says:

      Bummer…the homework must make the children feel bad. Or is it simply that the parents can’t be bothered? Maybe the parents simply aren’t smarter than a fifth grader and can’t handle the embarrassment of remaining unable to answer tough questions. Perhaps the parents feel that their children and community are/is SO intelligent, that no scholastic repetition is required of their due to the supremacy of their DNA. Or maybe they feel that the rest of the nation should take care of them due to some twisted socialistic ideal… Get a life people. Homework is important to the development of a student and to the continued success of our country. Although…I must say, Obama seemed to do fairly well with only marginal grades during his tenure at Princeton. So maybe you’re all onto something!

      1. Scott Bast says:

        …before you even go there: yes, I have seen the error 🙂 Yes, I have a college education. If you people in Maplewood aren’t more careful, your next generation of children probably won’t.

  38. Honor Student says:

    How come it’s always the failing schools districts with the high drop out rates that always complain about too much homework?

    1. Richard Williams says:

      I am a Maplewood resident. The South Orange/Maplewood school system is not a failing district. Get your facts straight HOnor STudent.

    2. jimbrickey says:

      Um, Maplewood, ,NJ is an upper middle class town. Very good school system. Try again.

  39. Sydelle says:

    I’m sorry, homework is necessary. I was able to start my homework during lunch or on the bus or train ride home; I did research at the public library and at least 3 to 4 hours a night doing actual homework and still managed to play school volleyball 2 nights a week. Granted we didn’t have the distractions these kids have now, shopping malls, libraries used to hang out in not study, internet and cell phones. I couldn’t even watch TV until I finished my homework (these kids now do homework in front of the TV!) I think homework should be varied so it’s interesting to the students, and they should be shown how to manage their time and not give in to distractions like texting friends, playing video games, doing the face book thing and anything else that keeps them from learning.

  40. NY Mom says:

    Some of the problem is that if each teacher gives “up to 2 hours” of homework a night, the kids can end up with 3 to 5 hours of homework. Homework is necessary. But so is extracurricular activity like sports, dance. The teachers should communicate and plan better among themselves to find the best mix for the kids.

  41. r schier says:

    More brilliant Americans……let’s eliminate schoolwork to service Sports….they will indeed deserve to be all unemployed……..

  42. Truth says:

    In 2010′ top country for education was South Korea

    1. Truth says:

      This post was in response to KB below. Kids in South Korea go to school from 9am to 6pm. Then they go study afterwards either at private tutoring or at the library. They go to school Monday through Saturday. To enter into a college is very difficult. After school, I see kids at 7-11, mall, Starbucks, etc.

      If you don’t want your children to do homework, then don’t. Don’t go around blaming the school system when they fail. You can’t learn everything in the classroom which is why you have homework. You’re the parent, if sports or other activites are more important then tell them not to do homework. You’re only robbing your own children of education. I’m not a teacher but I feel sorry for the teachers. The young generation of today don’t listen or have any respect for elders. Society says spankings are unacceptable. When i was growing up, I had an ass whooping which put me in my place. I would never treat an elder with disrespect especially teachers. As a parent myself, I make sure all of my kids respect their elders.

      1. Cribblyd says:

        It amazes me the lack of talent out there. I am in the IT field and the kids that come thru school today are ill equipped to take on the basic tasks in a work place. These kids need more discipline with homework if anything. The dumbing of AMerica. No wonder we need to import IT people from China and India. We dont have enough smart people in this country to do the jobs. You should see all the foriegners in my field.

      2. Andre Twyman says:

        I agree..well said

  43. Bob Fowler says:

    It would seem to me that ALL parents have the right to educate their children as they see fit. If the education being given at any particular venue is not in accordance with the parent’s desires, then the parent has the right to place their child in a different venue. Some parents opt for private or parochial schools, while others opt for home schooling.

    Every child in the USA is entitled to an education. Every child is NOT entitled to the education of their desire. For anyone, in or out of New Jersey, who doesn’t like the way the school (public babysitting service) is run, feel free to home school your child.

    Of course that would mean having to move from your 2 income house, into a smaller living situation, more in line with your reduced income. The plasma screen and cell phones might have to be put on hold. The vacation every summer might be changed a bit due to lower income. Do you really value your children enough to put their best interests before your own? Gas is $4/gallon. Nobody makes you buy it. The same with any school, nobody makes you send your child there. You do both because YOU”RE too lazy to do anything else.

  44. Bethany says:

    A hundred percent agree. I am a sixth grader from N.J, and everyday I get homework my heart drops in my chest. Once, I did homework for EIGHT hours. I spent a good half of my life doing homework, and I barely have free time. Math is hard for me, we get a ton of it every night. It’s torture. It’s caused me tears, stress, and screaming. I’m only in middle school, I know I shouldn’t be getting this much homework. I have ADD, that’s why it takes me longer then others. But my friends also say that it takes them 6 hours sometimes or so. Its ridiculous. ALSO, My friend, Nicole told me that research says homework does absolutely nothing for you until Highschool. My point? Homework should be cut down, ALOT, or gotten rid of compeltly. Thank you for reading.

  45. kendra says:

    thats the sstupidest idea i ever heard of in the history of mankind why would any1 want to do that when these kids to learn more structure on getting there homework done cause it helps them reinterate what they learned the regular homework from school that is thee dumbest idea.

  46. Amada says:

    As an educator I believe that homework is an essential part of learning. Homework is used to reinforce what is taught in class. In turn, the student’s ability to do the homework without a problems shows that student was able to learn the topic covered, and the student that had problems can then be remediated.
    I find it interesting that while the public blames the educators for the problems of students failing there is a parent out there that thinks homework should be done away with. As a parent and educator, I believe that both parents and educators should work together in the education of children. It’s a partnership.
    The fact that some parents and students place more importance in after school activities, rather that in education is disheartening. Another big factor affecting the amount that is spent is on homework is the use of computers, ie students chat or Facebook, or text while doing homework.
    Students that have been able to balance time management skills succeed in school and after school activities. Time management skills will also help them succeed in their college education as well in their careers.
    While there are a plethora of articles refuting the usefulness of homework, there is research to support that homework and family support and assistance in homework in countries that achieve academic standards above those of the US. Parents are a pivotal influence on how their children view the rewards of getting an education and the time doing homework.

    1. South Orange Resident says:

      Amanda, I agree with you 100%. How are our children supposed to get a proper education if you abolish homework because children have become too focused on the extra stuff like baseball, and theater. Those children are not going to be prepared for when they go to college or get into the real world of business. I do agree in some balance in work and play, but the business world has changed drastically over the last few years and our children need to be prepared more then ever!

  47. @ Judi says:

    It’s your prerogative to school your child, however, school provides other skills that are not part of the curriculum, like social skills and cooperative learning. Furthermore, teaching 5th grade level work is one thing. I highly doubt you are qualified to teach critical thinking skills, such as analysis, synthesis, and application, at the AP or even high school level for every single subject. Are you able to teach content and continue to develop your child’s literacy skills…build her metacognition? You will be able to teach Calculus, Physics, Economics, and American Literature providing her with the same cognitive challenges that a teacher with a Masters degree in their designated subject area? Honestly, it undermines the valuable work teachers do. Sure, there are plenty of teachers who just “show up” and should be weeded out. However, it is likely your child will be unable to navigate the academic challenges higher education will bring.

  48. Bobby O. says:

    But the kids have “four hours” of homework in this sense: 3 hours spent gaming, facebooking, instant messaging, looking at goodness knows what on the internet, 1/2 talking on the phone and goofing off, then 1/2 hour of homework. The fact that parents fall for that four hour sham shows how lousy their child-rasing skills truly are.

  49. How much wisdom can we expect from Jersey parents? says:

    Since the parents seem to know so much about education, maybe they should teach their kids. I love how the public is so comfortable disputing the knowledge teachers have. Do you argue with your doctor when you are sick, refute a lawyers defense when you are in trouble with the law, tell your mechanic how to fix your car? Maybe parents should have more faith in their children’s teachers and not behave in ways (i.e. complaining) that are befitting of children.

    1. Steve says:

      Considering the US is quickly falling behind other countries in education, I think it is very fitting to question the quality of teachers and education. Especially when 50-60% of your property taxes goes towards it. BTW, yes, I argue with my doctor when they won’t listen to me. It’s my body, so I should know if there is an issue. I have questioned lawyers abilities also, especially when after a plea deal the guy says “I wish we had seen this one through.” Hello, maybe you should have suggested that. Maybe teachers should stop complaining about getting laid off when the gov’t supported them with a stimulus package which kept them in a job 2 years longer then everyone else. Yet as soon as you hear teachers are possibly getting laid off they start complaining that they are so important to society. Please, most of my kids teachers are useless.

      1. Judi says:

        I hear your frustrations and agree 100%.We have to start homeschooling kids where they will be in a safe enviroment and learn more intelligently in a shorter amount of hrs per day without being bullied and interrupted by kids whom are not there to learn.. Parents are scared to homeschool because they feel intimidated ,but remember you were your childs first teacher and with the internet there is so much help and support.for you and your child. this will surely send a message to the Govt.. teachers and school officials. Keep your tax dollars and spend it to educate your child. In any given community if the parents stand together and maybe get a few parents to start homeschooling that will be so great since in most homes to parents work outside the home but again its up to you as parents to decide what kind of education you really want for your kids. I am homeschooling my grandaughter she just turn 8yrs old and she can read as any adult and even better and she is already doing grade 5 math ,english and science, and I spend only 2.5 hrs per day with her the rest of time is spent learning things around the house and sometimes in the community.learning about nature enviroment etc etc. Give a try you may like it.

    2. C. Mahon says:

      If you don’t question your doctor, he will “drug you up”. If you don’t question your lawyer, you will not be represented to the fullest. If you don’t question your mechanic, he will likely take you for a ride. You are asking people to be “sheep” and just swallow what is given out.

      1. Respectfully Disagree says:

        What they are doing is not questioning. They are telling. There is a big difference. It’s not like there is an open forum of intellectual discourse over issues of concern. Parents are on a mission to abolish homework without any debate. I’m not suggesting people should be sheep. I’m suggesting people should exercise some humility in that there are others who are more qualified in specific areas than they are.

    3. ps613 says:

      All those professions you cite are routinely challenged. It is called a second opinion. A luxury not afforded to parents who have children in the public school system. Strong unions protecting weak teachers is the NJEA mantra.

    4. ps613 says:

      All those professions you cite are routinely challenged. It is called a second opinion. A luxury not afforded to parents who have children in the public school system. Strong unions protecting weak teachers is the NJEA mantra.

      Oh an your Name is befitting of a child.

  50. KB says:

    Statistics show that New Zealand has one of the top education systems in the world (number one actually as of last year) AND they have little to no homework and spend less time at school. People asked how this was possible and the answer was the teachers were better at their jobs.

    1. peter says:

      Now I am not usually on the teacher’s side but I would bet that in NZ the children who are being taught are better behaved and have parents who impose discipline for bad behavior. Teachers who spend time teaching are better educators than those who must fill several roles including police officer and social worker.If the parents were better at the job of raising their children we all would be better off.

    2. RichieT says:

      Stop blaming the teachers in America. I have a friend that’s a substitute teacher in NYC. On day, she was filling in for a class of 5th graders. Some actually wanted to learn. Most of them were totally out of control. One kid threw a book across the classroom. When they finally got his mother on the phone. and started to explain what happened, she interrupted him and asked one question. “Which one was it this time”. Does that have anything to do with the teachers, or the school? NO!!!!!!!!

    3. John says:

      1.) The culture and ideals in United States and New Zealand are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. People are raised differently in New Zealand, so their goals and rules will be a lot different than United States.

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