In another example of new thinking on homework, the school board in Middletown, Ohio, has proposed a new homework policy that would make grading homework a thing of the past. Under the policy, which board members say comes in response to unequal parent contributions to homework, grades would be replaced by descriptive feedback and student critiques, with in-class projects and quizzes used to evaluate student understanding. “The removal of the grade is to make sure that we’re grading the student for their work, not the work of the parents or failures of the parents,” said board member Marcia Andrews. Advocates also say that low grades on homework can be discouraging for some students. The proposal, however, has sparked criticism from some parents, who say it reflects lowered expectations for students and would reduce incentives for completing homework. In a satirical letter to the Middletown Journal, one resident questioned (among other things) why schools should give grades to students at all.
MiddletownUSA.com has posted a video of the school board meeting where the homework policy was proposed. The policy will be decided on in late June.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.