Central New York, Education

Homework Ban: Coming to a City Near You?

Photo by Jude Allume. Syracuse children using the summer to improve skills (c) 2017 Jude Allume

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Photo by Jude Allume. Syracuse kids spending their free time. (c) 2017 Jude Allume

By Jude Allume, SYRACUSE, NY (NCC News) — Children in Marion County, Florida may soon have more free time on their hands. Last week, the county’s school district superintendent instituted a ban on homework for the upcoming school year. The ban applies to all children in the district’s elementary school.

Some schools in Texas, Massachusetts and Florida have similar policies in place. The Marion County ban, however, is the first to apply to an entire school district.

Jeff Eysaman is a former teacher who is currently the director of the Boys & Girls club of Syracuse. Though he holds some optimism about the

Photo by Jude Allume. Central Village Youth Center, the site of the Boys & Girls club of Syracuse. (c) 2017 Jude Allume

mandate and its benefits, he doesn’t think it’ll be easy to bring to New York.

“They can definitely minimize (homework) and have maybe just one sheet of the absolute must practice (concepts)” Eysaman said. “They don’t need to send packets like they do. They send packets to these guys and sometimes it’s a lot, but none at all I think that might be a hard sell to most parents.”

The cause of the mandate was research from the University of Tennessee that said students perform better when they get a break from the school day. Parents are instead encouraged to read to their children every night for 20 minutes to make up for the lack of homework. The research used to back this decision showed that students learned more when being read to. The research also showed that students who received a greater amount of homework did not get better grades than those who did not.

With the ban on homework growing in popularity, Syracuse parent Timmy Holman has reservations about the drastic change.

“I think the kids need to have homework so when they come home, not only will they have something to do, but it’ll benefit their education” said Holeman.

To the dismay of some, if the ban on take home assignments continues to spread to other school, we may soon consider homework as a thing of the past.