Oppose summer homework

Letters to the editor

Posted: Monday, February 05, 2001

Any parents who feel it's wrong for teachers to assign homework for the summer that's graded on the first day of school should attend the school board meeting Tuesday. A quick chronology:

Shortly after school ended last year, some JDHS students received packets in the mail informing them of required homework for the summer that was due the first day of class and would be graded. I'm told it required over 30 hours to do a good job.

At a fall school board meeting, parents requested a policy prohibiting summer homework. The board referred the issue to their program evaluation committee.

On Jan. 23, parents urged the committee to recommend prohibiting summer homework. However, the committee will recommend to the full board that they not get involved, thereby leaving resolution of the issue to individual schools.

Last Thursday, parents requested the JDHS site council to take a position against summer homework. The site council will take the issue to their constituents and discuss at a future meeting.

JDHS teachers are developing course descriptions to be used when registering for fall classes. If the school board fails to act, in several weeks these course descriptions will be finalized, including notice that summer homework is required for advanced sophomore block classes.

Currently, students affected are limited to those in honors courses, but with increasing pressure to prepare students for the Graduation Qualifying Exam and no policy to the contrary, teachers are free to assign homework for the summer to ALL students and under no obligation to actually teach.

Summer is a time for students to direct their mind and energy in directions other than homework for a class in which they have not yet received any instruction. Assigning mandatory, graded summer homework is an unauthorized extension of the school year, and that's wrong.

Bill Diebels Jr.

Juneau



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