Homework Counts For Less For LA Students

06/27/2011 02:59 pm ET | Updated Aug 27, 2011

Homework is one of those necessary evils, but it's not going to count for much for LA students anymore.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the country's second largest school system, Los Angeles Unified, is rolling out a new policy where homework can only count for 10 percent of a student's grade.

Students will no doubt be thrilled by the new policy, but teachers are worried it will encourage students to slack off on doing their assignments -- and even could penalize hardworking students who receive higher marks for effort, reports KTLA.

But it's being done to try to create a level academic playing field. The policy claims that "varying degrees of access to academic support, for whatever reason, should not penalize a student so severely that it prevents the student from passing a class, nor should it inflate the grade," and is a refection of the many issues that face LA's students.

The policy doesn't state how much homework should be assigned, only that it count for less. Homework completion is already an issue, where, the Times says, in non-honors classes teachers said they were lucky if only half the class completed assignments. Teachers plan to assign homework the way they did before the policy, but wonder if students will both with it at all.

Los Angeles isn't the first school district to adopt new policies on homework. In New Jersey, several school districts have or are considering banning home work on weekends, as well as placing limits on the amount of home work so students can spend time focusing on activities outside of academia. One New Jersey district will vote this summer to set an simple formula for the amount of home work a child should have -- ten minutes of homework per grade, reports ABC.

Other school districts like Cuyahoga Falls High School in Ohio are adopting the same policy as LAUSD. A Superintendent told Patch, “We do not want 50 percent of a child’s grade to be based on collecting notebook papers and keeping a folder all year long. That’s not going to demonstrate the child’s mastery of those standards."

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