Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Homework hijinks

One of the distinct advantages to not having children is not having to stand over them, cracking the whip outrageously bribing encouraging them to complete their homework.

But the policies in a local, suburban school district have me scratching my head.

Three years ago, the board decided that grading should not reflect any homework turned in late or not at all. In other words, if no homework was turned in at all, the student's final grade would be based on in-class exams and other factors. According to the school board president, speaking of the one one-hundredth of a point between the top two students:

"It wouldn't be fair if it came down to an assignment not turned in."

Fast forward to today. The school board is in a lather, as apparently some teachers are not assigning homework to star students, as they don't need the practice doing homework affords in order to understand the material, while they do assign it to poorer performers. The exact policy varies among the teachers. to quote the article again:

But Maxey said students are missing a practical lesson if they skip a step or miss a deadline in a process that leads to the competent completion — in students' case, measured by a test on the material — of a task.

"They need to learn the life lesson that you can't ignore steps and turn in at the end of the month," he said. "That's not the way jobs are."

School Board member Art Marquardt agreed, saying that teachers who feel that the assigned homework is just a time-waster for some students should assign them different work that will challenge them.

All students should be treated the same when it comes to turning in homework, Maxey said.

In other words, if I understand this correctly, all students should be given an equal opportunity to turn homework in late or not at all - and not have it make an impact on their grades.

Is it any wonder the country is in the state it's in?

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