Excessive Dependence On Homework In American Schools

736 words - 3 pages

Excessive Dependence on Homework in American Schools

"I didn’t feel [stressed] until I was in my 30’s. It hurts my feelings that my daughter feels that way at eleven" (Ratnesar 313). This statement describes the intense issue facing the American Education System today. More and more students are spending a lot of out of school time on enormous amounts of homework. The overabundance of homework is putting pressure on the students, along with their parents. Our nation has steadily focused on after school studying to the point of possible exhaustion. In this paper, I will attempt to explain how educators are relying on homework as the major form of education, and how the amounts are too demanding on the students.

The emphasis on homework has slowly escalated since the launch of Sputnik in the 1950’s (Ratnesar 313). "Sputnik" was a Russian satellite sent into outer space in 1957. The Russians, not Americans, were the first nation to send a satellite into orbit. This caused a nationwide frenzy. Law-makers were inclined to focus on math and science because of the threat of soviet "soviet wiz kids" (Ratnesar 313). As the 1970’s approached homework declined once again, but soon we emphasized it to its highest level of importance.

According to research done by the University of Michigan, elementary school students in 1981 spent forty-four minutes a week on homework. Sixteen years later 9-12 year olds had an increase of almost two more hours a week (Ratnesar 313). A 1983 government report, A Nation at Risk, caught the attention of the American Education System. The article explained the failings of the American school. It explained how education is declining, and teachers need to get tough on their students again. This prompted educators to assign more assignments, and intensify learning beyond normal.

The ever building debate has encouraged some school districts to prescribe particular amounts of homework to each grade level (Ratnesar 314). Schools believe this method with assist in the challenge to keep students interested in homework. An even larger issue involved with homework is family time. Politicians are trying to show the benefits of family values, but there is little "bonding time" for families due to the amounts of homework. Also, children like to have...

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