The 21st century has so far been a homework-heavy era, with American teenagers now averaging about twice as much time spent on homework each day as their predecessors did in the 1990s.
Even little kids are asked to bring school home with them.
“The students do seem to be less stressed based on conversations I’ve had with parents,” Carlomagno says.
It also helps that the students performed just as well on the state standardized test last year as they have in the past.
A 2015 study, for instance, found that kindergarteners, who researchers tend to agree shouldn’t have any take-home work, were spending about 25 minutes a night on it. As many children, not to mention their parents and teachers, are drained by their daily workload, some schools and districts are rethinking how homework should work—and some teachers are doing away with it entirely.
They’re reviewing the research on homework (which, it should be noted, is contested) and concluding that it’s time to revisit the subject.
Earlier this year, the district of Somerville, Massachusetts, also rewrote its homework policy, reducing the amount of homework its elementary and middle schoolers may receive.
In grades six through eight, for example, homework is capped at an hour a night and can only be assigned two to three nights a week.
Cooper conducted a review of the existing research on homework in the mid-2000s, and found that, up to a point, the amount of homework students reported doing correlates with their performance on in-class tests.
This correlation, the review found, was stronger for older students than for younger ones.