National PTA to Hear from ‘Too Much Homework’ Coalition

By Michele Molnar — June 14, 2012 1 min read
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A movement of individuals who protest the assigning of “too much homework” is gaining momentum with a petition that will be presented to the National PTA at its convention next week.

More than 16,000 educators, parents and policymakers have signed an online petition at in the past two weeks, urging the national parent-teachers group to adopt a set of homework guidelines that they say local schools can implement to realign homework policy and practice with research on student learning, health, and engagement.

Among the goals of the guidelines are increased educational equity and a narrowing of the achievement gap between students at well-funded and poorly funded schools; enhanced parental and family influence on and engagement with homework practices; and a rebalancing of students’ academic lives with their extra-curricular, family and community commitments and their developmental needs as children and adolescents.

According to the “Race to Nowhere” advocates, this is the first time the National PTA has agreed to hear a petition from a group outside of its membership.

Not everyone agrees that homework is over-prescribed in America. Washington Post education columnist Jay Matthews last year published an article, “Why ‘Race to Nowhere’ Documentary is Wrong,” arguing that high school students are doing too little homework—not too much.

Joining forces with “Race to Nowhere’s” director Vicki Abeles are education and homework authors Alfie Kohn (who wrote, The Homework Myth), Dr. Etta Kralovec (Associate Professor, University of Arizona and co-author, The End of Homework) and Sara Bennett (co-author, The Case Against Homework).

A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.