25 Reasons Homework Should Be Banned (Busywork Arguments)

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As students across the globe plow through heaps of homework each night, one question lingers in the minds of educators, parents, and students alike: should homework be banned?

This question is not new, yet it continues to spark lively debate as research findings, anecdotal evidence, and personal experiences paint a complex picture of the pros and cons of homework.

On one hand, proponents of homework argue that it reinforces classroom learning, encourages a disciplined work ethic, and provides teachers with valuable insight into student comprehension. They see homework as an extension of classroom instruction that solidifies and enriches learning while fostering important skills like time management and self-discipline. It also offers an opportunity for parents to be involved in their children's education.

However, some people say there are a lot of downsides. They argue that excessive homework can lead to stress and burnout, reduce time for extracurricular activities and family interactions, exacerbate educational inequalities, and even negatively impact students' mental health.

child stressed about homework

This article presents 25 reasons why we might need to seriously consider this radical shift in our educational approach. But first, lets share some examples of what homework actually is.

Examples of Homework

These examples cover a wide range of subjects and complexity levels, reflecting the variety of homework assignments students might encounter throughout their educational journey.

  • Spelling lists to memorize for a test
  • Math worksheets for practicing basic arithmetic operations
  • Reading assignments from children's books
  • Simple science projects like growing a plant
  • Basic geography assignments like labeling a map
  • Art projects like drawing a family portrait
  • Writing book reports or essays
  • Advanced math problems
  • Research projects on various topics
  • Lab reports for science experiments
  • Reading and responding to literature
  • Preparing presentations on various topics
  • Advanced math problems involving calculus or algebra
  • Reading classic literature and writing analytical essays
  • Research papers on historical events
  • Lab reports for advanced science experiments
  • Foreign language exercises
  • Preparing for standardized tests
  • College application essays
  • Extensive research papers
  • In-depth case studies
  • Advanced problem-solving in subjects like physics, engineering, etc.
  • Thesis or dissertation writing
  • Extensive reading and literature reviews
  • Internship or practicum experiences

Lack of proven benefits

measured scientific results

Homework has long been a staple of traditional education, dating back centuries. However, the actual efficacy of homework in enhancing learning outcomes remains disputed. A number of studies indicate that there's no conclusive evidence supporting the notion that homework improves academic performance, especially in primary education . In fact, research suggests that for younger students, the correlation between homework and academic achievement is weak or even negative .

Too much homework can often lead to increased stress and decreased enthusiasm for learning. This issue becomes particularly pressing when considering the common 'more is better' approach to homework, where the quantity of work given to students often outweighs the quality and effectiveness of the tasks. For instance, spending countless hours memorizing facts for a history test may not necessarily translate to better understanding or long-term retention of the subject matter.

However, it's worth noting that homework isn't completely devoid of benefits. It can help foster self-discipline, time management skills, and the ability to work independently. But, these positive outcomes are usually more pronounced in older students and when homework assignments are thoughtfully designed and not excessive in volume.

When discussing the merits and drawbacks of homework, it's critical to consider the nature of the assignments. Routine, repetitive tasks often associated with 'drill-and-practice' homework, such as completing rows of arithmetic problems or copying definitions from a textbook, rarely lead to meaningful learning. On the other hand, assignments that encourage students to apply what they've learned in class, solve problems, or engage creatively with the material can be more beneficial.

Increased stress

stressed student

Homework can often lead to a significant increase in stress levels among students. This is especially true when students are burdened with large volumes of homework, leaving them with little time to relax or pursue other activities. The feeling of constantly racing against the clock to meet deadlines can contribute to anxiety, frustration, and even burnout.

Contrary to popular belief, stress does not necessarily improve performance or productivity. In fact, high levels of stress can negatively impact memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function. This counteracts the very purpose of homework, which is intended to reinforce learning and improve academic outcomes.

However, one might argue that homework can teach students about time management, organization, and how to handle pressure. These are important life skills that could potentially prepare them for future responsibilities. But it's essential to strike a balance. The pressure to complete homework should not come at the cost of a student's mental wellbeing.

Limited family time

student missing their family

Homework often infringes upon the time students can spend with their families. After spending the entire day in school, children come home to yet more academic work, leaving little room for quality family interactions. This limited family time can hinder the development of important interpersonal skills and familial bonds.

Moreover, family time isn't just about fun and relaxation. It also plays a crucial role in the social and emotional development of children. Opportunities for unstructured play, family conversations, and shared activities can contribute to children's well-being and character building.

Nonetheless, advocates of homework might argue that it can be a platform for parental involvement in a child's education. While this may be true, the involvement should not transform into parental control or cause friction due to differing expectations and pressures.

Reduced physical activity

student doing homework looking outside

Homework can often lead to reduced physical activity by eating into the time students have for sports, recreation, and simply being outdoors. Physical activity is essential for children's health, well-being, and even their academic performance. Research suggests that physical activity can enhance cognitive abilities, improve concentration, and reduce symptoms of ADHD .

Homework, especially when it's boring and repetitive, can deter students from engaging in physical activities, leading to a sedentary lifestyle. This lack of balance between work and play can contribute to physical health problems such as obesity, poor posture, and related health concerns.

Homework proponents might point out that disciplined time management could allow students to balance both work and play. However, given the demanding nature of many homework assignments, achieving this balance is often easier said than done.

Negative impact on sleep

lack of sleep

A significant concern about homework is its impact on students' sleep patterns. Numerous studies have linked excessive homework to sleep deprivation in students. Children often stay up late to complete assignments, reducing the amount of sleep they get. Lack of sleep can result in a host of issues, from poor academic performance and difficulty concentrating to physical health problems like weakened immunity.

Even the quality of sleep can be affected. The stress and anxiety from a heavy workload can lead to difficulty falling asleep or restless nights. And let's not forget that students often need to wake up early for school, compounding the negative effects of late-night homework sessions.

On the other hand, some argue that homework can teach children time management skills, suggesting that effective organization could help prevent late-night work. However, when schools assign excessive amounts of homework, even the best time management might not prevent encroachment on sleep time.

Homework can exacerbate existing educational inequalities. Not all students have access to a conducive learning environment at home, necessary resources, or support from educated family members. For these students, homework can become a source of stress and disadvantage rather than an opportunity to reinforce learning.

Children from lower socio-economic backgrounds might need to contribute to household chores or part-time work, limiting the time they have for homework. This can create a gap in academic performance and grades, reflecting not on the students' abilities but their circumstances.

While homework is meant to level the playing field by providing additional learning time outside school, it often does the opposite. It's worth noting that students from privileged backgrounds can often access additional help like tutoring, further widening the gap.

Reduced creativity and independent thinking

Homework, particularly when it involves rote learning or repetitive tasks, can stifle creativity and independent thinking. Students often focus on getting the "right" answers to please teachers rather than exploring different ideas and solutions. This can hinder their ability to think creatively and solve problems independently, skills that are increasingly in demand in the modern world.

Homework defenders might claim that it can also promote independent learning. True, when thoughtfully designed, homework can encourage this. But, voluminous or repetitive tasks tend to promote compliance over creativity.

Diminished interest in learning

Overburdening students with homework can diminish their interest in learning. After long hours in school followed by more academic tasks at home, learning can begin to feel like a chore. This can lead to a decline in intrinsic motivation and an unhealthy association of learning with stress and exhaustion.

In theory, homework can deepen interest in a subject, especially when it involves projects or research. Yet, an excess of homework, particularly routine tasks, might achieve the opposite, turning learning into a source of stress rather than enjoyment.

Inability to pursue personal interests

Homework can limit students' ability to pursue personal interests. Hobbies, personal projects, and leisure activities are crucial for personal development and well-being. With heavy homework loads, students may struggle to find time for these activities, missing out on opportunities to discover new interests and talents.

Supporters of homework might argue that it teaches students to manage their time effectively. However, even with good time management, an overload of homework can crowd out time for personal interests.

Excessive workload

The issue of excessive workload is a common complaint among students. Spending several hours on homework after a full school day can be mentally and physically draining. This workload can lead to burnout, decreased motivation, and negative attitudes toward school and learning.

While homework can help consolidate classroom learning, too much can be counterproductive. It's important to consider the overall workload of students, including school, extracurricular activities, and personal time, when assigning homework.

Limited time for reflection

Homework can limit the time students have for reflection. Reflection is a critical part of learning, allowing students to digest and integrate new information. With the constant flow of assignments, there's often little time left for this crucial process. Consequently, the learning becomes superficial, and the true understanding of subjects can be compromised.

Although homework is meant to reinforce what's taught in class, the lack of downtime for reflection might hinder deep learning. It's important to remember that learning is not just about doing, but also about thinking.

Increased pressure on young children

Young children are particularly vulnerable to the pressures of homework. At an age where play and exploration are vital for cognitive and emotional development, too much homework can create undue pressure and stress. This pressure can instigate a negative relationship with learning from an early age, potentially impacting their future attitude towards education.

Advocates of homework often argue that it prepares children for the rigors of their future academic journey. However, placing too much academic pressure on young children might overshadow the importance of learning through play and exploration.

Lack of alignment with real-world skills

Traditional homework often lacks alignment with real-world skills. Assignments typically focus on academic abilities at the expense of skills like creativity, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. These are crucial for success in the modern workplace and are often under-emphasized in homework tasks.

Homework can be an opportunity to develop these skills when properly structured. However, tasks often focus on memorization and repetition, rather than cultivating skills relevant to the real world.

Loss of motivation

Excessive homework can lead to a loss of motivation. The constant pressure to complete assignments and meet deadlines can diminish a student's intrinsic motivation to learn. This loss of motivation might not only affect their academic performance but also their love of learning, potentially having long-term effects on their educational journey.

Some believe homework instills discipline and responsibility. But, it's important to balance these benefits against the potential for homework to undermine motivation and engagement.

Disruption of work-life balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is as important for students as it is for adults. Overloading students with homework can disrupt this balance, leaving little time for relaxation, socializing, and extracurricular activities. All of these are vital for a student's overall development and well-being.

Homework supporters might argue that it prepares students for the workloads they'll face in college and beyond. But it's also crucial to ensure students have time to relax, recharge, and engage in non-academic activities for a well-rounded development.

Impact on mental health

There's a growing body of evidence showing the negative impact of excessive homework on students' mental health. The stress and anxiety from heavy homework loads can contribute to issues like depression, anxiety, and even thoughts of suicide. Student well-being should be a top priority in education, and the impact of homework on mental health cannot be ignored.

While some might argue that homework helps students develop resilience and coping skills, it's important to ensure these potential benefits don't come at the expense of students' mental health.

Limited time for self-care

With excessive homework, students often find little time for essential self-care activities. These can include physical exercise, proper rest, healthy eating, mindfulness, or even simple leisure activities. These activities are critical for maintaining physical health, emotional well-being, and cognitive function.

Some might argue that managing homework alongside self-care responsibilities teaches students valuable life skills. However, it's important that these skills don't come at the cost of students' health and well-being.

Decreased family involvement

Homework can inadvertently lead to decreased family involvement in a child's learning. Parents often feel unqualified or too busy to help with homework, leading to missed opportunities for family learning interactions. This can also create stress and conflict within the family, especially when parents have high expectations or are unable to assist.

Some believe homework can facilitate parental involvement in education. But, when it becomes a source of stress or conflict, it can discourage parents from engaging in their child's learning.

Reinforcement of inequalities

Homework can unintentionally reinforce inequalities. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds might lack access to resources like private tutors or a quiet study space, placing them at a disadvantage compared to their more privileged peers. Additionally, these students might have additional responsibilities at home, further limiting their time to complete homework.

While the purpose of homework is often to provide additional learning opportunities, it can inadvertently reinforce existing disparities. Therefore, it's essential to ensure that homework doesn't favor students who have more resources at home.

Reduced time for play and creativity

Homework can take away from time for play and creative activities. These activities are not only enjoyable but also crucial for the cognitive, social, and emotional development of children. Play allows children to explore, imagine, and create, fostering innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Some may argue that homework teaches discipline and responsibility. Yet, it's vital to remember that play also has significant learning benefits and should be a part of every child's daily routine.

Increased cheating and academic dishonesty

The pressure to complete homework can sometimes lead to increased cheating and academic dishonesty. When faced with a large volume of homework, students might resort to copying from friends or searching for answers online. This undermines the educational value of homework and fosters unhealthy academic practices.

While homework is intended to consolidate learning, the risk of promoting dishonest behaviors is a concern that needs to be addressed.

Strained teacher-student relationships

Excessive homework can strain teacher-student relationships. If students begin to associate teachers with stress or anxiety from homework, it can hinder the development of a positive learning relationship. Furthermore, if teachers are perceived as being unfair or insensitive with their homework demands, it can impact the overall classroom dynamic.

While homework can provide an opportunity for teachers to monitor student progress, it's important to ensure that it doesn't negatively affect the teacher-student relationship.

Negative impact on family dynamics

Homework can impact family dynamics. Parents might feel compelled to enforce homework completion, leading to potential conflict, stress, and tension within the family. These situations can disrupt the harmony in the household and strain relationships.

Homework is sometimes seen as a tool to engage parents in their child's education. However, it's crucial to ensure that this involvement doesn't turn into a source of conflict or pressure.

Cultural and individual differences

Homework might not take into account cultural and individual differences. Education is not a one-size-fits-all process, and what works for one student might not work for another. Some students might thrive on hands-on learning, while others prefer auditory or visual learning methods. By standardizing homework, we might ignore these individual learning styles and preferences.

Homework can also overlook cultural differences. For students from diverse cultural backgrounds, certain types of homework might seem irrelevant or difficult to relate to, leading to disengagement or confusion.

Encouragement of surface-level learning

Homework often encourages surface-level learning instead of deep understanding. When students are swamped with homework, they're likely to rush through assignments to get them done, rather than taking the time to understand the concepts. This can result in superficial learning where students memorize information to regurgitate it on assignments and tests, instead of truly understanding and internalizing the knowledge.

While homework is meant to reinforce classroom learning, the quality of learning is more important than the quantity. It's important to design homework in a way that encourages deep, meaningful learning instead of mere rote memorization.

Related posts:

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  • General Adaptation Syndrome Theory
  • Careers in Psychology
  • The Stress Response (General Adaptation Syndome)

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15 Should Homework Be Banned Pros and Cons

Homework was a staple of the public and private schooling experience for many of us growing up. There were long nights spent on book reports, science projects, and all of those repetitive math sheets. In many ways, it felt like an inevitable part of the educational experience. Unless you could power through all of your assignments during your free time in class, then there was going to be time spent at home working on specific subjects.

More schools are looking at the idea of banning homework from the modern educational experience. Instead of sending work home with students each night, they are finding alternative ways to ensure that each student can understand the curriculum without involving the uncertainty of parental involvement.

Although banning homework might seem like an unorthodox process, there are legitimate advantages to consider with this effort. There are some disadvantages which some families may encounter as well.

These are the updated lists of the pros and cons of banning homework to review.

List of the Pros of Banning Homework

1. Giving homework to students does not always improve their academic outcomes. The reality of homework for the modern student is that we do not know if it is helpful to have extra work assigned to them outside of the classroom. Every study that has looked at the subject has had design flaws which causes the data collected to be questionable at best. Although there is some information to suggest that students in seventh grade and higher can benefit from limited homework, banning it for students younger than that seems to be beneficial for their learning experience.

2. Banning homework can reduce burnout issues with students. Teachers are seeing homework stress occur in the classroom more frequently today than ever before. Almost half of all high school teachers in North America have seen this issue with their students at some point during the year. About 25% of grade school teachers say that they have seen the same thing.

When students are dealing with the impact of homework on their lives, it can have a tremendously adverse impact. One of the most cited reasons for students dropping out of school is that they cannot complete their homework on time.

3. Banning homework would increase the amount of family time available to students. Homework creates a significant disruption to family relationships. Over half of all parents in North America say that they have had a significant argument with their children over homework in the past month. 1/3 of families say that homework is their primary source of struggle in the home. Not only does it reduce the amount of time that everyone has to spend together, it reduces the chances that parents have to teach their own skills and belief systems to their kids.

4. It reduces the negative impact of homework on the health of a student. Many students suffer academically when they cannot finish a homework assignment on time. Although assumptions are often made about the time management skills of the individual when this outcome occurs, the reasons why it happens is usually more complex. It may be too difficult, too boring, or there may not be enough time in the day to complete the work.

When students experience failure in this area, it can lead to severe mental health issues. Some perceive themselves as a scholarly failure, which translates to an inability to live life successfully. It can disrupt a desire to learn. There is even an increased risk of suicide for some youth because of this issue. Banning it would reduce these risks immediately.

5. Eliminating homework would allow for an established sleep cycle. The average high school student requires between 8-10 hours of sleep to function at their best the next day. Grade-school students may require an extra hour or two beyond that figure. When teachers assign homework, then it increases the risk for each individual that they will not receive the amount that they require each night.

When children do not get enough sleep, a significant rest deficit occurs which can impact their ability to pay attention in school. It can cause unintended weight gain. There may even be issues with emotional control. Banning homework would help to reduce these risks as well.

6. It increases the amount of socialization time that students receive. People who are only spending time in school and then going home to do more work are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation. When these emotions are present, then a student is more likely to feel “down and out” mentally and physically. They lack meaningful connections with other people. These feelings are the health equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes per day. If students are spending time on homework, then they are not spending time connecting with their family and friends.

7. It reduces the repetition that students face in the modern learning process. Most of the tasks that homework requires of students is repetitive and uninteresting. Kids love to resolve challenges on tasks that they are passionate about at that moment in their lives. Forcing them to complete the same problems repetitively as a way to “learn” core concepts can create issues with knowledge retention later in life. When you add in the fact that most lessons sent for homework must be done by themselves, banning homework will reduce the repetition that students face, allowing for a better overall outcome.

8. Home environments can be chaotic. Although some students can do homework in a quiet room without distractions, that is not the case for most kids. There are numerous events that happen at home which can pull a child’s attention away from the work that their teacher wants them to do. It isn’t just the Internet, video games, and television which are problematic either. Household chores, family issues, employment, and athletic requirements can make it a challenge to get the assigned work finished on time.

List of the Cons of Banning Homework

1. Homework allows parents to be involved with the educational process. Parents need to know what their children are learning in school. Even if they ask their children about what they are learning, the answers tend to be in generalities instead of specifics. By sending home work from the classroom, it allows parents to see and experience the work that their kids are doing when they are in school during the day. Then moms and dads can get involved with the learning process to reinforce the core concepts that were discovered by their children each day.

2. It can help parents and teachers identify learning disabilities. Many children develop a self-defense mechanism which allows them to appear like any other kid that is in their classroom. This process allows them to hide learning disabilities which may be hindering their educational progress. The presence of homework makes it possible for parents and teachers to identify this issue because kids can’t hide their struggles when they must work 1-on-1 with their parents on specific subjects. Banning homework would eliminate 50% of the opportunities to identify potential issues immediately.

3. Homework allows teachers to observe how their students understand the material. Teachers often use homework as a way to gauge how well a student is understanding the materials they are learning. Although some might point out that assignments and exams in the classroom can do the same thing, testing often requires preparation at home. It creates more anxiety and stress sometimes then even homework does. That is why banning it can be problematic for some students. Some students experience more pressure than they would during this assessment process when quizzes and tests are the only measurement of their success.

4. It teaches students how to manage their time wisely. As people grow older, they realize that time is a finite commodity. We must manage it wisely to maximize our productivity. Homework assignments are a way to encourage the development of this skill at an early age. The trick is to keep the amount of time required for the work down to a manageable level. As a general rule, students should spend about 10 minutes each school day doing homework, organizing their schedule around this need. If there are scheduling conflicts, then this process offers families a chance to create priorities.

5. Homework encourages students to be accountable for their role. Teachers are present in the classroom to offer access to information and skill-building opportunities that can improve the quality of life for each student. Administrators work to find a curriculum that will benefit the most people in an efficient way. Parents work hard to ensure their kids make it to school on time, follow healthy routines, and communicate with their school district to ensure the most effective learning opportunities possible. None of that matters if the student is not invested in the work in the first place. Homework assignments not only teach children how to work independently, but they also show them how to take responsibility for their part of the overall educational process.

6. It helps to teach important life lessons. Homework is an essential tool in the development of life lessons, such as communicating with others or comprehending something they have just read. It teaches kids how to think, solve problems, and even build an understanding for the issues that occur in our society right now. Many of the issues that lead to the idea to ban homework occur because someone in the life of a student communicated to them that this work was a waste of time. There are times in life when people need to do things that they don’t like or want to do. Homework helps a student begin to find the coping skills needed to be successful in that situation.

7. Homework allows for further research into class materials. Most classrooms offer less than 1 hour of instruction per subject during the day. For many students, that is not enough time to obtain a firm grasp on the materials being taught. Having homework assignments allows a student to perform more research, using their at-home tools to take a deeper look into the materials that would otherwise be impossible if homework was banned. That process can lead to a more significant understanding of the concepts involved, reducing anxiety levels because they have a complete grasp on the materials.

The pros and cons of banning homework is a decision that ultimately lies with each school district. Parents always have the option to pursue homeschooling or online learning if they disagree with the decisions that are made in this area. Whether you’re for more homework or want to see less of it, we can all agree on the fact that the absence of any reliable data about its usefulness makes it a challenge to know for certain which option is the best one to choose in this debate.

Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

  • Posted January 17, 2012
  • By Lory Hough

Sign: Are you down with or done with homework?

The debate over how much schoolwork students should be doing at home has flared again, with one side saying it's too much, the other side saying in our competitive world, it's just not enough.

It was a move that doesn't happen very often in American public schools: The principal got rid of homework.

This past September, Stephanie Brant, principal of Gaithersburg Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Md., decided that instead of teachers sending kids home with math worksheets and spelling flash cards, students would instead go home and read. Every day for 30 minutes, more if they had time or the inclination, with parents or on their own.

"I knew this would be a big shift for my community," she says. But she also strongly believed it was a necessary one. Twenty-first-century learners, especially those in elementary school, need to think critically and understand their own learning — not spend night after night doing rote homework drills.

Brant's move may not be common, but she isn't alone in her questioning. The value of doing schoolwork at home has gone in and out of fashion in the United States among educators, policymakers, the media, and, more recently, parents. As far back as the late 1800s, with the rise of the Progressive Era, doctors such as Joseph Mayer Rice began pushing for a limit on what he called "mechanical homework," saying it caused childhood nervous conditions and eyestrain. Around that time, the then-influential Ladies Home Journal began publishing a series of anti-homework articles, stating that five hours of brain work a day was "the most we should ask of our children," and that homework was an intrusion on family life. In response, states like California passed laws abolishing homework for students under a certain age.

But, as is often the case with education, the tide eventually turned. After the Russians launched the Sputnik satellite in 1957, a space race emerged, and, writes Brian Gill in the journal Theory Into Practice, "The homework problem was reconceived as part of a national crisis; the U.S. was losing the Cold War because Russian children were smarter." Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end.

The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late '60s and '70s argued that children should be free to play and explore — similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier. By the early-1980s, however, the pendulum swung again with the publication of A Nation at Risk , which blamed poor education for a "rising tide of mediocrity." Students needed to work harder, the report said, and one way to do this was more homework.

For the most part, this pro-homework sentiment is still going strong today, in part because of mandatory testing and continued economic concerns about the nation's competitiveness. Many believe that today's students are falling behind their peers in places like Korea and Finland and are paying more attention to Angry Birds than to ancient Babylonia.

But there are also a growing number of Stephanie Brants out there, educators and parents who believe that students are stressed and missing out on valuable family time. Students, they say, particularly younger students who have seen a rise in the amount of take-home work and already put in a six- to nine-hour "work" day, need less, not more homework.

Who is right? Are students not working hard enough or is homework not working for them? Here's where the story gets a little tricky: It depends on whom you ask and what research you're looking at. As Cathy Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework , points out, "Homework has generated enough research so that a study can be found to support almost any position, as long as conflicting studies are ignored." Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth and a strong believer in eliminating all homework, writes that, "The fact that there isn't anything close to unanimity among experts belies the widespread assumption that homework helps." At best, he says, homework shows only an association, not a causal relationship, with academic achievement. In other words, it's hard to tease out how homework is really affecting test scores and grades. Did one teacher give better homework than another? Was one teacher more effective in the classroom? Do certain students test better or just try harder?

"It is difficult to separate where the effect of classroom teaching ends," Vatterott writes, "and the effect of homework begins."

Putting research aside, however, much of the current debate over homework is focused less on how homework affects academic achievement and more on time. Parents in particular have been saying that the amount of time children spend in school, especially with afterschool programs, combined with the amount of homework given — as early as kindergarten — is leaving students with little time to run around, eat dinner with their families, or even get enough sleep.

Certainly, for some parents, homework is a way to stay connected to their children's learning. But for others, homework creates a tug-of-war between parents and children, says Liz Goodenough, M.A.T.'71, creator of a documentary called Where Do the Children Play?

"Ideally homework should be about taking something home, spending a few curious and interesting moments in which children might engage with parents, and then getting that project back to school — an organizational triumph," she says. "A nag-free activity could engage family time: Ask a parent about his or her own childhood. Interview siblings."

Illustration by Jessica Esch

Instead, as the authors of The Case Against Homework write, "Homework overload is turning many of us into the types of parents we never wanted to be: nags, bribers, and taskmasters."

Leslie Butchko saw it happen a few years ago when her son started sixth grade in the Santa Monica-Malibu (Calif.) United School District. She remembers him getting two to four hours of homework a night, plus weekend and vacation projects. He was overwhelmed and struggled to finish assignments, especially on nights when he also had an extracurricular activity.

"Ultimately, we felt compelled to have Bobby quit karate — he's a black belt — to allow more time for homework," she says. And then, with all of their attention focused on Bobby's homework, she and her husband started sending their youngest to his room so that Bobby could focus. "One day, my younger son gave us 15-minute coupons as a present for us to use to send him to play in the back room. … It was then that we realized there had to be something wrong with the amount of homework we were facing."

Butchko joined forces with another mother who was having similar struggles and ultimately helped get the homework policy in her district changed, limiting homework on weekends and holidays, setting time guidelines for daily homework, and broadening the definition of homework to include projects and studying for tests. As she told the school board at one meeting when the policy was first being discussed, "In closing, I just want to say that I had more free time at Harvard Law School than my son has in middle school, and that is not in the best interests of our children."

One barrier that Butchko had to overcome initially was convincing many teachers and parents that more homework doesn't necessarily equal rigor.

"Most of the parents that were against the homework policy felt that students need a large quantity of homework to prepare them for the rigorous AP classes in high school and to get them into Harvard," she says.

Stephanie Conklin, Ed.M.'06, sees this at Another Course to College, the Boston pilot school where she teaches math. "When a student is not completing [his or her] homework, parents usually are frustrated by this and agree with me that homework is an important part of their child's learning," she says.

As Timothy Jarman, Ed.M.'10, a ninth-grade English teacher at Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington, N.C., says, "Parents think it is strange when their children are not assigned a substantial amount of homework."

That's because, writes Vatterott, in her chapter, "The Cult(ure) of Homework," the concept of homework "has become so engrained in U.S. culture that the word homework is part of the common vernacular."

These days, nightly homework is a given in American schools, writes Kohn.

"Homework isn't limited to those occasions when it seems appropriate and important. Most teachers and administrators aren't saying, 'It may be useful to do this particular project at home,'" he writes. "Rather, the point of departure seems to be, 'We've decided ahead of time that children will have to do something every night (or several times a week). … This commitment to the idea of homework in the abstract is accepted by the overwhelming majority of schools — public and private, elementary and secondary."

Brant had to confront this when she cut homework at Gaithersburg Elementary.

"A lot of my parents have this idea that homework is part of life. This is what I had to do when I was young," she says, and so, too, will our kids. "So I had to shift their thinking." She did this slowly, first by asking her teachers last year to really think about what they were sending home. And this year, in addition to forming a parent advisory group around the issue, she also holds events to answer questions.

Still, not everyone is convinced that homework as a given is a bad thing. "Any pursuit of excellence, be it in sports, the arts, or academics, requires hard work. That our culture finds it okay for kids to spend hours a day in a sport but not equal time on academics is part of the problem," wrote one pro-homework parent on the blog for the documentary Race to Nowhere , which looks at the stress American students are under. "Homework has always been an issue for parents and children. It is now and it was 20 years ago. I think when people decide to have children that it is their responsibility to educate them," wrote another.

And part of educating them, some believe, is helping them develop skills they will eventually need in adulthood. "Homework can help students develop study skills that will be of value even after they leave school," reads a publication on the U.S. Department of Education website called Homework Tips for Parents. "It can teach them that learning takes place anywhere, not just in the classroom. … It can foster positive character traits such as independence and responsibility. Homework can teach children how to manage time."

Annie Brown, Ed.M.'01, feels this is particularly critical at less affluent schools like the ones she has worked at in Boston, Cambridge, Mass., and Los Angeles as a literacy coach.

"It feels important that my students do homework because they will ultimately be competing for college placement and jobs with students who have done homework and have developed a work ethic," she says. "Also it will get them ready for independently taking responsibility for their learning, which will need to happen for them to go to college."

The problem with this thinking, writes Vatterott, is that homework becomes a way to practice being a worker.

"Which begs the question," she writes. "Is our job as educators to produce learners or workers?"

Slate magazine editor Emily Bazelon, in a piece about homework, says this makes no sense for younger kids.

"Why should we think that practicing homework in first grade will make you better at doing it in middle school?" she writes. "Doesn't the opposite seem equally plausible: that it's counterproductive to ask children to sit down and work at night before they're developmentally ready because you'll just make them tired and cross?"

Kohn writes in the American School Board Journal that this "premature exposure" to practices like homework (and sit-and-listen lessons and tests) "are clearly a bad match for younger children and of questionable value at any age." He calls it BGUTI: Better Get Used to It. "The logic here is that we have to prepare you for the bad things that are going to be done to you later … by doing them to you now."

According to a recent University of Michigan study, daily homework for six- to eight-year-olds increased on average from about 8 minutes in 1981 to 22 minutes in 2003. A review of research by Duke University Professor Harris Cooper found that for elementary school students, "the average correlation between time spent on homework and achievement … hovered around zero."

So should homework be eliminated? Of course not, say many Ed School graduates who are teaching. Not only would students not have time for essays and long projects, but also teachers would not be able to get all students to grade level or to cover critical material, says Brett Pangburn, Ed.M.'06, a sixth-grade English teacher at Excel Academy Charter School in Boston. Still, he says, homework has to be relevant.

"Kids need to practice the skills being taught in class, especially where, like the kids I teach at Excel, they are behind and need to catch up," he says. "Our results at Excel have demonstrated that kids can catch up and view themselves as in control of their academic futures, but this requires hard work, and homework is a part of it."

Ed School Professor Howard Gardner basically agrees.

"America and Americans lurch between too little homework in many of our schools to an excess of homework in our most competitive environments — Li'l Abner vs. Tiger Mother," he says. "Neither approach makes sense. Homework should build on what happens in class, consolidating skills and helping students to answer new questions."

So how can schools come to a happy medium, a way that allows teachers to cover everything they need while not overwhelming students? Conklin says she often gives online math assignments that act as labs and students have two or three days to complete them, including some in-class time. Students at Pangburn's school have a 50-minute silent period during regular school hours where homework can be started, and where teachers pull individual or small groups of students aside for tutoring, often on that night's homework. Afterschool homework clubs can help.

Some schools and districts have adapted time limits rather than nix homework completely, with the 10-minute per grade rule being the standard — 10 minutes a night for first-graders, 30 minutes for third-graders, and so on. (This remedy, however, is often met with mixed results since not all students work at the same pace.) Other schools offer an extended day that allows teachers to cover more material in school, in turn requiring fewer take-home assignments. And for others, like Stephanie Brant's elementary school in Maryland, more reading with a few targeted project assignments has been the answer.

"The routine of reading is so much more important than the routine of homework," she says. "Let's have kids reflect. You can still have the routine and you can still have your workspace, but now it's for reading. I often say to parents, if we can put a man on the moon, we can put a man or woman on Mars and that person is now a second-grader. We don't know what skills that person will need. At the end of the day, we have to feel confident that we're giving them something they can use on Mars."

Read a January 2014 update.

Homework Policy Still Going Strong

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Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in.

debate on should we ban homework

It's no secret that kids hate homework. And as students grapple with an ongoing pandemic that has had a wide range of mental health impacts, is it time schools start listening to their pleas about workloads?

Some teachers are turning to social media to take a stand against homework. 

Tiktok user @misguided.teacher says he doesn't assign it because the "whole premise of homework is flawed."

For starters, he says, he can't grade work on "even playing fields" when students' home environments can be vastly different.

"Even students who go home to a peaceful house, do they really want to spend their time on busy work? Because typically that's what a lot of homework is, it's busy work," he says in the video that has garnered 1.6 million likes. "You only get one year to be 7, you only got one year to be 10, you only get one year to be 16, 18."

Mental health experts agree heavy workloads have the potential do more harm than good for students, especially when taking into account the impacts of the pandemic. But they also say the answer may not be to eliminate homework altogether.

Emmy Kang, mental health counselor at Humantold , says studies have shown heavy workloads can be "detrimental" for students and cause a "big impact on their mental, physical and emotional health."

"More than half of students say that homework is their primary source of stress, and we know what stress can do on our bodies," she says, adding that staying up late to finish assignments also leads to disrupted sleep and exhaustion.

Cynthia Catchings, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Talkspace , says heavy workloads can also cause serious mental health problems in the long run, like anxiety and depression. 

And for all the distress homework  can cause, it's not as useful as many may think, says Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, a psychologist and CEO of Omega Recovery treatment center.

"The research shows that there's really limited benefit of homework for elementary age students, that really the school work should be contained in the classroom," he says.

For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. 

"Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's taking away time from their friends, from their families, their extracurricular activities. And these are all very important things for a person's mental and emotional health."

Catchings, who also taught third to 12th graders for 12 years, says she's seen the positive effects of a no-homework policy while working with students abroad.

"Not having homework was something that I always admired from the French students (and) the French schools, because that was helping the students to really have the time off and really disconnect from school," she says.

The answer may not be to eliminate homework completely but to be more mindful of the type of work students take home, suggests Kang, who was a high school teacher for 10 years.

"I don't think (we) should scrap homework; I think we should scrap meaningless, purposeless busy work-type homework. That's something that needs to be scrapped entirely," she says, encouraging teachers to be thoughtful and consider the amount of time it would take for students to complete assignments.

The pandemic made the conversation around homework more crucial 

Mindfulness surrounding homework is especially important in the context of the past two years. Many students will be struggling with mental health issues that were brought on or worsened by the pandemic , making heavy workloads even harder to balance.

"COVID was just a disaster in terms of the lack of structure. Everything just deteriorated," Kardaras says, pointing to an increase in cognitive issues and decrease in attention spans among students. "School acts as an anchor for a lot of children, as a stabilizing force, and that disappeared."

But even if students transition back to the structure of in-person classes, Kardaras suspects students may still struggle after two school years of shifted schedules and disrupted sleeping habits.

"We've seen adults struggling to go back to in-person work environments from remote work environments. That effect is amplified with children because children have less resources to be able to cope with those transitions than adults do," he explains.

'Get organized' ahead of back-to-school

In order to make the transition back to in-person school easier, Kang encourages students to "get good sleep, exercise regularly (and) eat a healthy diet."

To help manage workloads, she suggests students "get organized."

"There's so much mental clutter up there when you're disorganized. ... Sitting down and planning out their study schedules can really help manage their time," she says.

Breaking up assignments can also make things easier to tackle.

"I know that heavy workloads can be stressful, but if you sit down and you break down that studying into smaller chunks, they're much more manageable."

If workloads are still too much, Kang encourages students to advocate for themselves.

"They should tell their teachers when a homework assignment just took too much time or if it was too difficult for them to do on their own," she says. "It's good to speak up and ask those questions. Respectfully, of course, because these are your teachers. But still, I think sometimes teachers themselves need this feedback from their students."

More: Some teachers let their students sleep in class. Here's what mental health experts say.

More: Some parents are slipping young kids in for the COVID-19 vaccine, but doctors discourage the move as 'risky'

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Nobody knows what the point of homework is

The homework wars are back.

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As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework. But whether or not students could complete it at home varied. For some, schoolwork became public-library work or McDonald’s-parking-lot work.

Luis Torres, the principal of PS 55, a predominantly low-income community elementary school in the south Bronx, told me that his school secured Chromebooks for students early in the pandemic only to learn that some lived in shelters that blocked wifi for security reasons. Others, who lived in housing projects with poor internet reception, did their schoolwork in laundromats.

According to a 2021 Pew survey , 25 percent of lower-income parents said their children, at some point, were unable to complete their schoolwork because they couldn’t access a computer at home; that number for upper-income parents was 2 percent.

The issues with remote learning in March 2020 were new. But they highlighted a divide that had been there all along in another form: homework. And even long after schools have resumed in-person classes, the pandemic’s effects on homework have lingered.

Over the past three years, in response to concerns about equity, schools across the country, including in Sacramento, Los Angeles , San Diego , and Clark County, Nevada , made permanent changes to their homework policies that restricted how much homework could be given and how it could be graded after in-person learning resumed.

Three years into the pandemic, as districts and teachers reckon with Covid-era overhauls of teaching and learning, schools are still reconsidering the purpose and place of homework. Whether relaxing homework expectations helps level the playing field between students or harms them by decreasing rigor is a divisive issue without conclusive evidence on either side, echoing other debates in education like the elimination of standardized test scores from some colleges’ admissions processes.

I first began to wonder if the homework abolition movement made sense after speaking with teachers in some Massachusetts public schools, who argued that rather than help disadvantaged kids, stringent homework restrictions communicated an attitude of low expectations. One, an English teacher, said she felt the school had “just given up” on trying to get the students to do work; another argued that restrictions that prohibit teachers from assigning take-home work that doesn’t begin in class made it difficult to get through the foreign-language curriculum. Teachers in other districts have raised formal concerns about homework abolition’s ability to close gaps among students rather than widening them.

Many education experts share this view. Harris Cooper, a professor emeritus of psychology at Duke who has studied homework efficacy, likened homework abolition to “playing to the lowest common denominator.”

But as I learned after talking to a variety of stakeholders — from homework researchers to policymakers to parents of schoolchildren — whether to abolish homework probably isn’t the right question. More important is what kind of work students are sent home with and where they can complete it. Chances are, if schools think more deeply about giving constructive work, time spent on homework will come down regardless.

There’s no consensus on whether homework works

The rise of the no-homework movement during the Covid-19 pandemic tapped into long-running disagreements over homework’s impact on students. The purpose and effectiveness of homework have been disputed for well over a century. In 1901, for instance, California banned homework for students up to age 15, and limited it for older students, over concerns that it endangered children’s mental and physical health. The newest iteration of the anti-homework argument contends that the current practice punishes students who lack support and rewards those with more resources, reinforcing the “myth of meritocracy.”

But there is still no research consensus on homework’s effectiveness; no one can seem to agree on what the right metrics are. Much of the debate relies on anecdotes, intuition, or speculation.

Researchers disagree even on how much research exists on the value of homework. Kathleen Budge, the co-author of Turning High-Poverty Schools Into High-Performing Schools and a professor at Boise State, told me that homework “has been greatly researched.” Denise Pope, a Stanford lecturer and leader of the education nonprofit Challenge Success, said, “It’s not a highly researched area because of some of the methodological problems.”

Experts who are more sympathetic to take-home assignments generally support the “10-minute rule,” a framework that estimates the ideal amount of homework on any given night by multiplying the student’s grade by 10 minutes. (A ninth grader, for example, would have about 90 minutes of work a night.) Homework proponents argue that while it is difficult to design randomized control studies to test homework’s effectiveness, the vast majority of existing studies show a strong positive correlation between homework and high academic achievement for middle and high school students. Prominent critics of homework argue that these correlational studies are unreliable and point to studies that suggest a neutral or negative effect on student performance. Both agree there is little to no evidence for homework’s effectiveness at an elementary school level, though proponents often argue that it builds constructive habits for the future.

For anyone who remembers homework assignments from both good and bad teachers, this fundamental disagreement might not be surprising. Some homework is pointless and frustrating to complete. Every week during my senior year of high school, I had to analyze a poem for English and decorate it with images found on Google; my most distinct memory from that class is receiving a demoralizing 25-point deduction because I failed to present my analysis on a poster board. Other assignments really do help students learn: After making an adapted version of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book for a ninth grade history project, I was inspired to check out from the library and read a biography of the Chinese ruler.

For homework opponents, the first example is more likely to resonate. “We’re all familiar with the negative effects of homework: stress, exhaustion, family conflict, less time for other activities, diminished interest in learning,” Alfie Kohn, author of The Homework Myth, which challenges common justifications for homework, told me in an email. “And these effects may be most pronounced among low-income students.” Kohn believes that schools should make permanent any moratoria implemented during the pandemic, arguing that there are no positives at all to outweigh homework’s downsides. Recent studies , he argues , show the benefits may not even materialize during high school.

In the Marlborough Public Schools, a suburban district 45 minutes west of Boston, school policy committee chair Katherine Hennessy described getting kids to complete their homework during remote education as “a challenge, to say the least.” Teachers found that students who spent all day on their computers didn’t want to spend more time online when the day was over. So, for a few months, the school relaxed the usual practice and teachers slashed the quantity of nightly homework.

Online learning made the preexisting divides between students more apparent, she said. Many students, even during normal circumstances, lacked resources to keep them on track and focused on completing take-home assignments. Though Marlborough Schools is more affluent than PS 55, Hennessy said many students had parents whose work schedules left them unable to provide homework help in the evenings. The experience tracked with a common divide in the country between children of different socioeconomic backgrounds.

So in October 2021, months after the homework reduction began, the Marlborough committee made a change to the district’s policy. While teachers could still give homework, the assignments had to begin as classwork. And though teachers could acknowledge homework completion in a student’s participation grade, they couldn’t count homework as its own grading category. “Rigorous learning in the classroom does not mean that that classwork must be assigned every night,” the policy stated . “Extensions of class work is not to be used to teach new content or as a form of punishment.”

Canceling homework might not do anything for the achievement gap

The critiques of homework are valid as far as they go, but at a certain point, arguments against homework can defy the commonsense idea that to retain what they’re learning, students need to practice it.

“Doesn’t a kid become a better reader if he reads more? Doesn’t a kid learn his math facts better if he practices them?” said Cathy Vatterott, an education researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. After decades of research, she said it’s still hard to isolate the value of homework, but that doesn’t mean it should be abandoned.

Blanket vilification of homework can also conflate the unique challenges facing disadvantaged students as compared to affluent ones, which could have different solutions. “The kids in the low-income schools are being hurt because they’re being graded, unfairly, on time they just don’t have to do this stuff,” Pope told me. “And they’re still being held accountable for turning in assignments, whether they’re meaningful or not.” On the other side, “Palo Alto kids” — students in Silicon Valley’s stereotypically pressure-cooker public schools — “are just bombarded and overloaded and trying to stay above water.”

Merely getting rid of homework doesn’t solve either problem. The United States already has the second-highest disparity among OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations between time spent on homework by students of high and low socioeconomic status — a difference of more than three hours, said Janine Bempechat, clinical professor at Boston University and author of No More Mindless Homework .

When she interviewed teachers in Boston-area schools that had cut homework before the pandemic, Bempechat told me, “What they saw immediately was parents who could afford it immediately enrolled their children in the Russian School of Mathematics,” a math-enrichment program whose tuition ranges from $140 to about $400 a month. Getting rid of homework “does nothing for equity; it increases the opportunity gap between wealthier and less wealthy families,” she said. “That solution troubles me because it’s no solution at all.”

A group of teachers at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, made the same point after the school district proposed an overhaul of its homework policies, including removing penalties for missing homework deadlines, allowing unlimited retakes, and prohibiting grading of homework.

“Given the emphasis on equity in today’s education systems,” they wrote in a letter to the school board, “we believe that some of the proposed changes will actually have a detrimental impact towards achieving this goal. Families that have means could still provide challenging and engaging academic experiences for their children and will continue to do so, especially if their children are not experiencing expected rigor in the classroom.” At a school where more than a third of students are low-income, the teachers argued, the policies would prompt students “to expect the least of themselves in terms of effort, results, and responsibility.”

Not all homework is created equal

Despite their opposing sides in the homework wars, most of the researchers I spoke to made a lot of the same points. Both Bempechat and Pope were quick to bring up how parents and schools confuse rigor with workload, treating the volume of assignments as a proxy for quality of learning. Bempechat, who is known for defending homework, has written extensively about how plenty of it lacks clear purpose, requires the purchasing of unnecessary supplies, and takes longer than it needs to. Likewise, when Pope instructs graduate-level classes on curriculum, she asks her students to think about the larger purpose they’re trying to achieve with homework: If they can get the job done in the classroom, there’s no point in sending home more work.

At its best, pandemic-era teaching facilitated that last approach. Honolulu-based teacher Christina Torres Cawdery told me that, early in the pandemic, she often had a cohort of kids in her classroom for four hours straight, as her school tried to avoid too much commingling. She couldn’t lecture for four hours, so she gave the students plenty of time to complete independent and project-based work. At the end of most school days, she didn’t feel the need to send them home with more to do.

A similar limited-homework philosophy worked at a public middle school in Chelsea, Massachusetts. A couple of teachers there turned as much class as possible into an opportunity for small-group practice, allowing kids to work on problems that traditionally would be assigned for homework, Jessica Flick, a math coach who leads department meetings at the school, told me. It was inspired by a philosophy pioneered by Simon Fraser University professor Peter Liljedahl, whose influential book Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics reframes homework as “check-your-understanding questions” rather than as compulsory work. Last year, Flick found that the two eighth grade classes whose teachers adopted this strategy performed the best on state tests, and this year, she has encouraged other teachers to implement it.

Teachers know that plenty of homework is tedious and unproductive. Jeannemarie Dawson De Quiroz, who has taught for more than 20 years in low-income Boston and Los Angeles pilot and charter schools, says that in her first years on the job she frequently assigned “drill and kill” tasks and questions that she now feels unfairly stumped students. She said designing good homework wasn’t part of her teaching programs, nor was it meaningfully discussed in professional development. With more experience, she turned as much class time as she could into practice time and limited what she sent home.

“The thing about homework that’s sticky is that not all homework is created equal,” says Jill Harrison Berg, a former teacher and the author of Uprooting Instructional Inequity . “Some homework is a genuine waste of time and requires lots of resources for no good reason. And other homework is really useful.”

Cutting homework has to be part of a larger strategy

The takeaways are clear: Schools can make cuts to homework, but those cuts should be part of a strategy to improve the quality of education for all students. If the point of homework was to provide more practice, districts should think about how students can make it up during class — or offer time during or after school for students to seek help from teachers. If it was to move the curriculum along, it’s worth considering whether strategies like Liljedahl’s can get more done in less time.

Some of the best thinking around effective assignments comes from those most critical of the current practice. Denise Pope proposes that, before assigning homework, teachers should consider whether students understand the purpose of the work and whether they can do it without help. If teachers think it’s something that can’t be done in class, they should be mindful of how much time it should take and the feedback they should provide. It’s questions like these that De Quiroz considered before reducing the volume of work she sent home.

More than a year after the new homework policy began in Marlborough, Hennessy still hears from parents who incorrectly “think homework isn’t happening” despite repeated assurances that kids still can receive work. She thinks part of the reason is that education has changed over the years. “I think what we’re trying to do is establish that homework may be an element of educating students,” she told me. “But it may not be what parents think of as what they grew up with. ... It’s going to need to adapt, per the teaching and the curriculum, and how it’s being delivered in each classroom.”

For the policy to work, faculty, parents, and students will all have to buy into a shared vision of what school ought to look like. The district is working on it — in November, it hosted and uploaded to YouTube a round-table discussion on homework between district administrators — but considering the sustained confusion, the path ahead seems difficult.

When I asked Luis Torres about whether he thought homework serves a useful part in PS 55’s curriculum, he said yes, of course it was — despite the effort and money it takes to keep the school open after hours to help them do it. “The children need the opportunity to practice,” he said. “If you don’t give them opportunities to practice what they learn, they’re going to forget.” But Torres doesn’t care if the work is done at home. The school stays open until around 6 pm on weekdays, even during breaks. Tutors through New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development programs help kids with work after school so they don’t need to take it with them.

As schools weigh the purpose of homework in an unequal world, it’s tempting to dispose of a practice that presents real, practical problems to students across the country. But getting rid of homework is unlikely to do much good on its own. Before cutting it, it’s worth thinking about what good assignments are meant to do in the first place. It’s crucial that students from all socioeconomic backgrounds tackle complex quantitative problems and hone their reading and writing skills. It’s less important that the work comes home with them.

Jacob Sweet is a freelance writer in Somerville, Massachusetts. He is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, among other publications.

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Should We Ban Homework?

The cons of homework are starting to outweigh the pros.

Should Schools Ban Homework

Recent research shows that teenagers have doubled the amount of time they spend on homework since the 1990s. This is in spite of other, well-documented research that calls the efficacy of homework into question, albeit in the younger grades. Why are students spending so much time on homework if the impact is zero (for younger kids) or moderate (for older ones)? Should we ban homework? These are the questions teachers, parents, and lawmakers are asking.

Bans proposed and implemented in the U.S. and abroad

The struggle of whether or not to assign homework is not a new one. In 2017, a Florida superintendent banned homework for elementary schools in the entire district, with one very important exception: reading at home. The United States isn’t the only country to question the benefits of homework. Last August, the Philippines proposed a bill  to ban homework completely, citing the need for rest, relaxation, and time with family. Another bill there proposed no weekend homework, with teachers running the risk of fines or two years in prison. (Yikes!) While a prison sentence may seem extreme, there are real reasons to reconsider homework.

Refocus on mental health and educate the “whole child”

Prioritizing mental health is at the forefront of the homework ban movement. Leaders say they want to give students time to develop other hobbies, relationships, and balance in their lives.

This month two Utah elementary schools gained national recognition for officially banning homework. The results are significant, with psychologist referrals for anxiety decreasing by 50 percent. Many schools are looking for ways to refocus on wellness, and homework can be a real cause of stress.

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Research supports a ban for elementary schools

Supporters of a homework ban often cite research from John Hattie, who concluded that elementary school homework has no effect on academic progress. In a podcast he said, “Homework in primary school has an effect of around zero. In high school it’s larger. (…) Which is why we need to get it right. Not why we need to get rid of it. It’s one of those lower hanging fruit that we should be looking in our primary schools to say, ‘Is it really making a difference?'”

In the upper grades, Hattie’s research shows that homework has to be purposeful, not busy work. And the reality is, most teachers don’t receive training on how to assign homework that is meaningful and relevant to students.

Parents push back, too

In October this Washington Post article made waves in parenting and education communities when it introduced the idea that, even if homework is assigned, it doesn’t have to be completed for the student to pass the class. The writer explains how her family doesn’t believe in homework, and doesn’t participate. In response, other parents started “opting out” of homework, citing research that homework in elementary school doesn’t further intelligence or academic success. 

Of course, homework has its defenders, especially in the upper grades

“I think some homework is a good idea,” says Darla E. in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook. “Ideally, it forces the parents to take some responsibility for their child’s education. It also reinforces what students learn and instills good study habits for later in life.”

Jennifer M. agrees. “If we are trying to make students college-ready, they need the skill of doing homework.”

And the research does support some homework in middle and high school, as long as it is clearly tied to learning and not overwhelming.

We’d love to hear your thoughts—do you think schools should ban homework? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, why you should stop assigning reading homework.

Should We Ban Homework?

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Should homework be banned?

Social media has sparked into life about whether children should be given homework - should students be freed from this daily chore? Dr Gerald Letendre, a professor of education at Pennsylvania State University, investigates.

We’ve all done it: pretended to leave an essay at home, or stayed up until 2am to finish a piece of coursework we’ve been ignoring for weeks. Homework, for some people, is seen as a chore that’s ‘wrecking kids’ or ‘killing parents’, while others think it is an essential part of a well-rounded education. The problem is far from new: public debates about homework have been raging since at least the early-1900s, and recently spilled over into a Twitter feud between Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan.

Ironically, the conversation surrounding homework often ignores the scientific ‘homework’ that researchers have carried out. Many detailed studies have been conducted, and can guide parents, teachers and administrators to make sensible decisions about how much work should be completed by students outside of the classroom.

So why does homework stir up such strong emotions? One reason is that, by its very nature, it is an intrusion of schoolwork into family life. I carried out a study in 2005, and found that the amount of time that children and adolescents spend in school, from nursery right up to the end of compulsory education, has greatly increased over the last century . This means that more of a child’s time is taken up with education, so family time is reduced. This increases pressure on the boundary between the family and the school.

Plus, the amount of homework that students receive appears to be increasing, especially in the early years when parents are keen for their children to play with friends and spend time with the family.

Finally, success in school has become increasingly important to success in life. Parents can use homework to promote, or exercise control over, their child’s academic trajectory, and hopefully ensure their future educational success. But this often leaves parents conflicted – they want their children to be successful in school, but they don’t want them to be stressed or upset because of an unmanageable workload.

François Hollande says homework is unfair, as it penalises children who have a difficult home environment © Getty Images

However, the issue isn’t simply down to the opinions of parents, children and their teachers – governments also like to get involved. In the autumn of 2012, French president François Hollande hit world headlines after making a comment about banning homework, ostensibly because it promoted inequality. The Chinese government has also toyed with a ban, because of concerns about excessive academic pressure being put on children.

The problem is, some politicians and national administrators regard regulatory policy in education as a solution for a wide array of social, economic and political issues, perhaps without considering the consequences for students and parents.

Does homework work?

Homework seems to generally have a positive effect for high school students, according to an extensive range of empirical literature. For example, Duke University’s Prof Harris Cooper carried out a meta-analysis using data from US schools, covering a period from 1987 to 2003. He found that homework offered a general beneficial impact on test scores and improvements in attitude, with a greater effect seen in older students. But dig deeper into the issue and a complex set of factors quickly emerges, related to how much homework students do, and exactly how they feel about it.

In 2009, Prof Ulrich Trautwein and his team at the University of Tübingen found that in order to establish whether homework is having any effect, researchers must take into account the differences both between and within classes . For example, a teacher may assign a good deal of homework to a lower-level class, producing an association between more homework and lower levels of achievement. Yet, within the same class, individual students may vary significantly in how much homework improves their baseline performance. Plus, there is the fact that some students are simply more efficient at completing their homework than others, and it becomes quite difficult to pinpoint just what type of homework, and how much of it, will affect overall academic performance.

Over the last century, the amount of time that children and adolescents spend in school has greatly increased

Gender is also a major factor. For example, a study of US high school students carried out by Prof Gary Natriello in the 1980s revealed that girls devote more time to homework than boys, while a follow-up study found that US girls tend to spend more time on mathematics homework than boys. Another study, this time of African-American students in the US, found that eighth grade (ages 13-14) girls were more likely to successfully manage both their tasks and emotions around schoolwork, and were more likely to finish homework.

So why do girls seem to respond more positively to homework? One possible answer proposed by Eunsook Hong of the University of Nevada in 2011 is that teachers tend to rate girls’ habits and attitudes towards work more favourably than boys’. This perception could potentially set up a positive feedback loop between teacher expectations and the children’s capacity for academic work based on gender, resulting in girls outperforming boys. All of this makes it particularly difficult to determine the extent to which homework is helping, though it is clear that simply increasing the time spent on assignments does not directly correspond to a universal increase in learning.

Can homework cause damage?

The lack of empirical data supporting homework in the early years of education, along with an emerging trend to assign more work to this age range, appears to be fuelling parental concerns about potential negative effects. But, aside from anecdotes of increased tension in the household, is there any evidence of this? Can doing too much homework actually damage children?

Evidence suggests extreme amounts of homework can indeed have serious effects on students’ health and well-being. A Chinese study carried out in 2010 found a link between excessive homework and sleep disruption: children who had less homework had better routines and more stable sleep schedules. A Canadian study carried out in 2015 by Isabelle Michaud found that high levels of homework were associated with a greater risk of obesity among boys, if they were already feeling stressed about school in general.

For useful revision guides and video clips to assist with learning, visit BBC Bitesize . This is a free online study resource for UK students from early years up to GCSEs and Scottish Highers.

It is also worth noting that too much homework can create negative effects that may undermine any positives. These negative consequences may not only affect the child, but also could also pile on the stress for the whole family, according to a recent study by Robert Pressman of the New England Centre for Pediatric Psychology. Parents were particularly affected when their perception of their own capacity to assist their children decreased.

What then, is the tipping point, and when does homework simply become too much for parents and children? Guidelines typically suggest that children in the first grade (six years old) should have no more that 10 minutes per night, and that this amount should increase by 10 minutes per school year. However, cultural norms may greatly affect what constitutes too much.

A study of children aged between 8 and 10 in Quebec defined high levels of homework as more than 30 minutes a night, but a study in China of children aged 5 to 11 deemed that two or more hours per night was excessive. It is therefore difficult to create a clear standard for what constitutes as too much homework, because cultural differences, school-related stress, and negative emotions within the family all appear to interact with how homework affects children.

Should we stop setting homework?

In my opinion, even though there are potential risks of negative effects, homework should not be banned. Small amounts, assigned with specific learning goals in mind and with proper parental support, can help to improve students’ performance. While some studies have generally found little evidence that homework has a positive effect on young children overall, a 2008 study by Norwegian researcher Marte Rønning found that even some very young children do receive some benefit. So simply banning homework would mean that any particularly gifted or motivated pupils would not be able to benefit from increased study. However, at the earliest ages, very little homework should be assigned. The decisions about how much and what type are best left to teachers and parents.

As a parent, it is important to clarify what goals your child’s teacher has for homework assignments. Teachers can assign work for different reasons – as an academic drill to foster better study habits, and unfortunately, as a punishment. The goals for each assignment should be made clear, and should encourage positive engagement with academic routines.

Parents who play an active role in homework routines can help give their kids a more positive experience of learning © Getty Images

Parents should inform the teachers of how long the homework is taking, as teachers often incorrectly estimate the amount of time needed to complete an assignment, and how it is affecting household routines. For young children, positive teacher support and feedback is critical in establishing a student’s positive perception of homework and other academic routines. Teachers and parents need to be vigilant and ensure that homework routines do not start to generate patterns of negative interaction that erode students’ motivation.

Likewise, any positive effects of homework are dependent on several complex interactive factors, including the child’s personal motivation, the type of assignment, parental support and teacher goals. Creating an overarching policy to address every single situation is not realistic, and so homework policies tend to be fixated on the time the homework takes to complete. But rather than focusing on this, everyone would be better off if schools worked on fostering stronger communication between parents, teachers and students, allowing them to respond more sensitively to the child’s emotional and academic needs.

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The Pros and Cons of Homework

Updated: December 7, 2023

Published: January 23, 2020

The-Pros-and-Cons-Should-Students-Have-Homework

Homework is a word that most students dread hearing. After hours upon hours of sitting in class , the last thing we want is more schoolwork over our precious weekends. While it’s known to be a staple of traditional schooling, homework has also become a rather divise topic. Some feel as though homework is a necessary part of school, while others believe that the time could be better invested. Should students have homework? Have a closer look into the arguments on both sides to decide for yourself.

A college student completely swamped with homework.

Photo by  energepic.com  from  Pexels

Why should students have homework, 1. homework encourages practice.

Many people believe that one of the positive effects of homework is that it encourages the discipline of practice. While it may be time consuming and boring compared to other activities, repetition is needed to get better at skills. Homework helps make concepts more clear, and gives students more opportunities when starting their career .

2. Homework Gets Parents Involved

Homework can be something that gets parents involved in their children’s lives if the environment is a healthy one. A parent helping their child with homework makes them take part in their academic success, and allows for the parent to keep up with what the child is doing in school. It can also be a chance to connect together.

3. Homework Teaches Time Management

Homework is much more than just completing the assigned tasks. Homework can develop time management skills , forcing students to plan their time and make sure that all of their homework assignments are done on time. By learning to manage their time, students also practice their problem-solving skills and independent thinking. One of the positive effects of homework is that it forces decision making and compromises to be made.

4. Homework Opens A Bridge Of Communication

Homework creates a connection between the student, the teacher, the school, and the parents. It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student.

5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time

Homework allows for more time to complete the learning process. School hours are not always enough time for students to really understand core concepts, and homework can counter the effects of time shortages, benefiting students in the long run, even if they can’t see it in the moment.

6. Homework Reduces Screen Time

Many students in North America spend far too many hours watching TV. If they weren’t in school, these numbers would likely increase even more. Although homework is usually undesired, it encourages better study habits and discourages spending time in front of the TV. Homework can be seen as another extracurricular activity, and many families already invest a lot of time and money in different clubs and lessons to fill up their children’s extra time. Just like extracurricular activities, homework can be fit into one’s schedule.

A female student who doesn’t want to do homework.

The Other Side: Why Homework Is Bad

1. homework encourages a sedentary lifestyle.

Should students have homework? Well, that depends on where you stand. There are arguments both for the advantages and the disadvantages of homework.

While classroom time is important, playground time is just as important. If children are given too much homework, they won’t have enough playtime, which can impact their social development and learning. Studies have found that those who get more play get better grades in school , as it can help them pay closer attention in the classroom.

Children are already sitting long hours in the classroom, and homework assignments only add to these hours. Sedentary lifestyles can be dangerous and can cause health problems such as obesity. Homework takes away from time that could be spent investing in physical activity.

2. Homework Isn’t Healthy In Every Home

While many people that think homes are a beneficial environment for children to learn, not all homes provide a healthy environment, and there may be very little investment from parents. Some parents do not provide any kind of support or homework help, and even if they would like to, due to personal barriers, they sometimes cannot. Homework can create friction between children and their parents, which is one of the reasons why homework is bad .

3. Homework Adds To An Already Full-Time Job

School is already a full-time job for students, as they generally spend over 6 hours each day in class. Students also often have extracurricular activities such as sports, music, or art that are just as important as their traditional courses. Adding on extra hours to all of these demands is a lot for children to manage, and prevents students from having extra time to themselves for a variety of creative endeavors. Homework prevents self discovery and having the time to learn new skills outside of the school system. This is one of the main disadvantages of homework.

4. Homework Has Not Been Proven To Provide Results

Endless surveys have found that homework creates a negative attitude towards school, and homework has not been found to be linked to a higher level of academic success.

The positive effects of homework have not been backed up enough. While homework may help some students improve in specific subjects, if they have outside help there is no real proof that homework makes for improvements.

It can be a challenge to really enforce the completion of homework, and students can still get decent grades without doing their homework. Extra school time does not necessarily mean better grades — quality must always come before quantity.

Accurate practice when it comes to homework simply isn’t reliable. Homework could even cause opposite effects if misunderstood, especially since the reliance is placed on the student and their parents — one of the major reasons as to why homework is bad. Many students would rather cheat in class to avoid doing their homework at home, and children often just copy off of each other or from what they read on the internet.

5. Homework Assignments Are Overdone

The general agreement is that students should not be given more than 10 minutes a day per grade level. What this means is that a first grader should be given a maximum of 10 minutes of homework, while a second grader receives 20 minutes, etc. Many students are given a lot more homework than the recommended amount, however.

On average, college students spend as much as 3 hours per night on homework . By giving too much homework, it can increase stress levels and lead to burn out. This in turn provides an opposite effect when it comes to academic success.

The pros and cons of homework are both valid, and it seems as though the question of ‘‘should students have homework?’ is not a simple, straightforward one. Parents and teachers often are found to be clashing heads, while the student is left in the middle without much say.

It’s important to understand all the advantages and disadvantages of homework, taking both perspectives into conversation to find a common ground. At the end of the day, everyone’s goal is the success of the student.

Related Articles

Is Homework Good for Kids? Here’s What the Research Says

A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.

The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in Texas went viral last week , earning praise from parents across the country who lament the heavy workload often assigned to young students. Brandy Young told parents she would not formally assign any homework this year, asking students instead to eat dinner with their families, play outside and go to bed early.

But the question of how much work children should be doing outside of school remains controversial, and plenty of parents take issue with no-homework policies, worried their kids are losing a potential academic advantage. Here’s what you need to know:

For decades, the homework standard has been a “10-minute rule,” which recommends a daily maximum of 10 minutes of homework per grade level. Second graders, for example, should do about 20 minutes of homework each night. High school seniors should complete about two hours of homework each night. The National PTA and the National Education Association both support that guideline.

But some schools have begun to give their youngest students a break. A Massachusetts elementary school has announced a no-homework pilot program for the coming school year, lengthening the school day by two hours to provide more in-class instruction. “We really want kids to go home at 4 o’clock, tired. We want their brain to be tired,” Kelly Elementary School Principal Jackie Glasheen said in an interview with a local TV station . “We want them to enjoy their families. We want them to go to soccer practice or football practice, and we want them to go to bed. And that’s it.”

A New York City public elementary school implemented a similar policy last year, eliminating traditional homework assignments in favor of family time. The change was quickly met with outrage from some parents, though it earned support from other education leaders.

New solutions and approaches to homework differ by community, and these local debates are complicated by the fact that even education experts disagree about what’s best for kids.

The research

The most comprehensive research on homework to date comes from a 2006 meta-analysis by Duke University psychology professor Harris Cooper, who found evidence of a positive correlation between homework and student achievement, meaning students who did homework performed better in school. The correlation was stronger for older students—in seventh through 12th grade—than for those in younger grades, for whom there was a weak relationship between homework and performance.

Cooper’s analysis focused on how homework impacts academic achievement—test scores, for example. His report noted that homework is also thought to improve study habits, attitudes toward school, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and independent problem solving skills. On the other hand, some studies he examined showed that homework can cause physical and emotional fatigue, fuel negative attitudes about learning and limit leisure time for children. At the end of his analysis, Cooper recommended further study of such potential effects of homework.

Despite the weak correlation between homework and performance for young children, Cooper argues that a small amount of homework is useful for all students. Second-graders should not be doing two hours of homework each night, he said, but they also shouldn’t be doing no homework.

Not all education experts agree entirely with Cooper’s assessment.

Cathy Vatterott, an education professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, supports the “10-minute rule” as a maximum, but she thinks there is not sufficient proof that homework is helpful for students in elementary school.

“Correlation is not causation,” she said. “Does homework cause achievement, or do high achievers do more homework?”

Vatterott, the author of Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs , thinks there should be more emphasis on improving the quality of homework tasks, and she supports efforts to eliminate homework for younger kids.

“I have no concerns about students not starting homework until fourth grade or fifth grade,” she said, noting that while the debate over homework will undoubtedly continue, she has noticed a trend toward limiting, if not eliminating, homework in elementary school.

The issue has been debated for decades. A TIME cover in 1999 read: “Too much homework! How it’s hurting our kids, and what parents should do about it.” The accompanying story noted that the launch of Sputnik in 1957 led to a push for better math and science education in the U.S. The ensuing pressure to be competitive on a global scale, plus the increasingly demanding college admissions process, fueled the practice of assigning homework.

“The complaints are cyclical, and we’re in the part of the cycle now where the concern is for too much,” Cooper said. “You can go back to the 1970s, when you’ll find there were concerns that there was too little, when we were concerned about our global competitiveness.”

Cooper acknowledged that some students really are bringing home too much homework, and their parents are right to be concerned.

“A good way to think about homework is the way you think about medications or dietary supplements,” he said. “If you take too little, they’ll have no effect. If you take too much, they can kill you. If you take the right amount, you’ll get better.”

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21 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

homework pros and cons

The homework debate has strong arguments on both sides. Commonly-cited reasons why homework should be banned include the idea that it is often counterproductive, stifles students’ creativity, and limits their freedom outside the classroom.

Students already have up to 7 hours of schoolwork to complete 5 days a week; adding more contributes to increased anxiety, burnout, and overall poor performance.

But arguments for homework include the fact it does increase student grades (Cooper, Robinson & Patall, 2006), it instils discipline, and it helps to reinforce what was learned into long-term memory.

The following are common arguments for banning homework – note that this is an article written to stimulate debate points on the topic, so it only presents one perspective. For the other side of the argument, it’s worth checking out my article on the 27 pros and cons of homework .

Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

1. it contributes to increased anxiety.

If there’s one word that describes middle-school and high-school students, it’s anxiety. In my homework statistics article , I cite research showing that 74% of students cite homework as a source of stress.

They have so much to juggle, from the novelty of adolescence to the realization that they must soon start preparing for college and their life after (Pressman et al., 2015).

It’s a lot to manage, and adding homework that reduces their free time and makes them even more restricted is downright harmful. The natural outcome of this dogpile of pressure is anxiety, and many students often feel overwhelmed, both by the hours and hours of coursework in a day and the extensive homework they are assigned (Galloway, Conner & Pope, 2013).

Because teachers often don’t communicate with one another over curricula, major assignments can overlap such that students have to tackle numerous large projects at once, which contributes to severe anxiety over good grades.

In response to this, some students check out of school entirely, letting their academic future go to waste. While, of course, it’s not fair to strawman and say that homework is to blame for all these cases, it may indeed by a contributing factor.

2. It Offers Less Social Time

Homework cuts out free time. Children already spend the better part of their day learning in a school environment, and when they come home, they need to socialize.

Whether it’s family or friends, a social balance is important. Depending on the coursework they’re assigned, homework can detrimentally affect students’ social life, which feed back into more of our first gripe about homework: its anxiety-inducing nature.

Furthermore, social time is extremely important for children to grow up well-balanced and confident. If a child is highly intelligent (book smart) but lacks to social skills we might call street smarts , they may struggle in adulthood.

3. It Detracts from Play Time

Play is extremely important for children’s physical, social, and cognitive development . In fact, children naturally learn through play .

So, when children get home from school, they need a few hours to play. They’re actually learning when playing! If playing with friends, they’re learning social skills; but playing alone also stimulates creative and analytical thinking skills.

Play is also a different type of learning than the learning that commonly happens at school. So, allowing children to play at home gives their brain a break from ‘school learning’ and lets them learn through active and even relaxing methods.

4. It Discourages Physical Exercise and Contributes to Obesity

Exercise is an important part of life for everyone, but especially for children. Developing a positive self-image and disciplining oneself is an important skill to learn, one that becomes much more difficult when homework is in the picture.

Homework can demand a lot of attention that kids could be spending exercising or socializing. These two important life pursuits can be left by the wayside, leaving students feeling confused, depressed, and anxious about the future.

Physical exercise should be considered a key feature of a child’s holistic development. It helps keep children healthy, can reduce anxiety, and support healthy immune systems. It also helps with physical development such as supporting fine and gross motor skills .

In fact, some scholars (Ren et al., 2017) have even identified excessive homework as a contributing factor for childhood obesity.

5. It Disrupts Sleep Patterns

Everyone knows the trope of a college student staying up late to finish their homework or cram for a test.

While it would be unfair to credit homework exclusively for an unhealthy sleep schedule, the constant pressure to finish assignments on time often yields one of two results.

Students can either burn the midnight oil to make sure their homework is done, or they can check out of school entirely and ignore their academic interests. Neither is an acceptable way to live.

This point is particularly pertinent to teenagers. They are not lazy; teens need 12-13 hours of sleep every day because their bodies are changing so dramatically.

To pile additional homework on them that interferes with the circadian rhythm is not just unhelpful—it may be downright harmful (Yeo et al., 2020).

6. It Involves Less Guidance

If there’s one thing that’s beneficial about the in-person learning experience, it’s the ability to raise one’s hand and let the teacher know when something is unclear or difficult to understand.

That handheld process isn’t available for homework; in fact, homework matters little in the grand scheme of learning. It’s just busywork that’s supposed to help students consolidate their knowledge.

In reality, homework becomes something that students resent and can fill them with feelings of frustration—something that would be much more readily addressed if the same content was covered in-person with a teacher to guide the student through the assignment.

7. It’s Regularly Rote Learning

In most subjects, homework isn’t reflective of the skills students need to learn to thrive in the workforce. Instead, it often simply involves rote learning (repetition of tasks) that is not seen as the best way to learn.

A main goal of education is to train up vocational professionals with defined skills. But more often than not, homework winds up as a bland set of word problems that have no basis in the real world.

Walking through real-world examples under the guidance of a teacher is much more beneficial to student learning.

8. It Can Detract from a Love of Learning

If you know what it’s like to doze off during a boring class or meeting, then you can relate to the difficulty students have paying attention in class.

That motivation starts to dwindle when students must complete assignments on their own time, often under immense pressure.

It’s not a healthy way to inspire kids to learn about different subjects and develop a love of learning.

Students already need to sit through hours and hours of class on end in-person. This learning time should be used more effectively to eliminate the need for home.

When children finally get out of class at the end of the day, they need to socialize and exercise, not spend even longer staring at a book to complete a bunch of unhelpful practice questions.

9. It Convolutes the Subject

Another important consideration about homework is that it can often be counterproductive.

That’s because teachers don’t always use the full curriculum material for their teaching, and they may choose to develop their own homework rather than to use the resources offered by the curriculum provider.

This homework can often be off-subject, extremely niche, or unhelpful in explaining a subject that students are studying.

Students who don’t understand a subject and don’t have resources to rely on will eventually give up. That risk becomes even more prevalent when you factor in the scope, complexity, and type of assignment.

Students need to be taught in a safe environment where they can feel free to ask questions and learn at their own pace. Of course, there’s no fairytale way to perfect this ideal, but what is clear is that homework is not beneficial to the learning environment for many students.

10. It’s Not What Kids Want

Lastly, homework should be banned because it’s generally not what students want. From elementary to college level, most students harbor some sort of resentment towards homework.

It might be easy to dismiss this to say that the students “aren’t living in the real world.” The truth of the matter is that the real world is a lot more nuanced, creative, and diverse than the repetitive, broad, and often stagnant homework.

It’s easy to understand why most students wish that more time in school had been spent on learning how to live rather than trying to figure out how many apples Johnny had. Subjects like car maintenance, entrepreneurship, computer skills, socialization, networking, tax filing, finances, and survival are touched on at best and ignored at worst.

It’s not enough for students to be able to regurgitate information on a piece of paper; in the end, the education system should teach them how to be self-sufficient, something that might be much easier to do if resources were divested from homework and poured into more beneficial subject material.

Consider these 11 Additional Reasons

  • Decreases time with parents – Homework may prevent parents and children from spending quality time together.
  • Hidden costs – Families often feel pressure to purchase internet and other resources to help their children to complete their homework.
  • Is inequitable – some children have parents to help them while others don’t. Similarly, some children have internet access to help while others don’t (see: Kralovec & Buell, 2001).
  • Easy to cheat – Unsupervised homework time makes it easy for children to simply cheat on their work so they can get on with play time!
  • Lack of downtime – Children need time where they aren’t doing anything. Time that is unstructured helps them to develop hobbies and interests .
  • Detracts from reading – Children could be spending their time reading books and developing their imaginations rather than working on repetitive homework tasks.
  • Take up parental time – Parents, who have just spent all day working, are increasingly expected to spend their time doing ‘teaching’ with their children at home.
  • Discourages club membership – If children are too busy with homework, they may not be able to join clubs and sporting groups that can help them make friends and develop extracurricular skills.
  • Makes it hard for college students to make a living – In college, where homework is extensive, students often can’t juggle homework with their weekend and night-time jobs. As a result, it pushes them further into student poverty.
  • Contributes to poor work-life culture – From early ages, we’re sending a message to children that they should take their work home with them. This can spill over into the workplace, where they’ll be expected to continue working for their company even after the workday ends.
  • Can reinforce faulty learning – When children learn in isolation during homework time, they may end up practicing their work completely wrong! They need intermittent support to make sure their practice is taking them down the right path.

Students may need to demonstrate their understanding of a topic to progress; that, at least, is a reflection of the real world. What’s not helpful is when students are peppered day and night with information that they need to regurgitate on a piece of paper.

For positive outcomes to come from homework, parents and teachers need to work together. It depends a lot on the type of homework provided as well as the age of the student and the need to balance homework with time to do other things in your life.

Cooper, H., Robinson, J. C., & Patall, E. A. (2006). Does homework improve academic achievement? A synthesis of research, 1987–2003.  Review of educational research ,  76 (1), 1-62.

Galloway, M., Conner, J., & Pope, D. (2013). Nonacademic effects of homework in privileged, high-performing high schools.  The journal of experimental education ,  81 (4), 490-510. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00220973.2012.745469

Kralovec, E., & Buell, J. (2001).  The end of homework: How homework disrupts families, overburdens children, and limits learning . Beacon Press.

Pressman, R. M., Sugarman, D. B., Nemon, M. L., Desjarlais, J., Owens, J. A., & Schettini-Evans, A. (2015). Homework and family stress: With consideration of parents’ self confidence, educational level, and cultural background.  The American Journal of Family Therapy ,  43 (4), 297-313. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/01926187.2015.1061407

Ren, H., Zhou, Z., Liu, W., Wang, X., & Yin, Z. (2017). Excessive homework, inadequate sleep, physical inactivity and screen viewing time are major contributors to high paediatric obesity.  Acta Paediatrica ,  106 (1), 120-127. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/apa.13640

Yeo, S. C., Tan, J., Lo, J. C., Chee, M. W., & Gooley, J. J. (2020). Associations of time spent on homework or studying with nocturnal sleep behavior and depression symptoms in adolescents from Singapore.  Sleep Health ,  6 (6), 758-766. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2020.04.011

Chris

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Homework should be banned.

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Homework and Its Role in Constructive Pedagogy

The site contains research and statistics on both sides of the homework debate.

Define : 

Homework:  a task set by teachers for students to complete outside of the time allotted for a normal school day.

Banned:  Disallow homework in K-8 grades in the U.S. public schools

Homework produces large amount of pointless work of little educational value, but marking it ties up much of teachers’ time. Add in correcting it  and the time it takes up in class going over it. Altogether, this leaves teachers tired and with little time to prepare more effective, inspiring lessons. Also, reversely, homework can function as a safety net for bad teachers in that they know that even if they do a poor job on their lessons and teaching during class they can always just pile on homework and hope that they can then use this as a sign that they are good teachers. A good teacher shouldn’t need to resort to homework to teach for them, which is why homework is unfair to the teachers who don’t need to assign it while the bad ones who do get credit for that from their employers.

“Teachers in many of the nations that outperform the U.S. on student achievement tests--such as Japan, Denmark and the Czech Republic--tend to assign less homework than American teachers, but instructors in low-scoring countries like Greece, Thailand and Iran tend to pile it on,” Time Magazine,  The Myth About Homework

Time Magazine

Homework de-motivates kids to learn. Most see it as a consequence of going to school. Studies have shown that many children find doing homework very stressful, boring and tiring. Often teachers underestimate how long a task will take, or set an unrealistic deadline. Sometimes because a teacher has not explained something new well in class, the homework task is impossible. So children end up paying with their free time for the failings of their teachers. They also suffer punishments if work is done badly or late. After years of bad homework experiences, it is no wonder that many children come to dislike education and switch off, or drop out too early.

"It's one thing to say we are wasting kids' time and straining parent-kid relationships, but what's unforgivable is if homework is damaging our kids' interest in learning, undermining their curiosity."  The Homework Myth  by Alfie Kohn.

The Homework Myth  by Alfie Kohn.

Homework is discriminatory in that it gives unfair advantages to certain types of people depending on their home environment. In school everyone is equal, but home is a different story. Middle-class families with books and computers will be able to help their children much more than poorer families can. This can mean working class children end up with worse grades and more punishments for undone or badly done homework. On the other hand pushy parents may even end up doing their kids’ homework for them – cheating. Even worse, kids who live in an abusive or volatile home environment (something completely out of the kids control) end up having their homework counting against them and compared to kids who benefit from doing work at home.

Common sense; there are plenty of homes where education is not the #1 priority and some where it is. This imbalance only comes out with homework and skewers results unfairly.

Homework takes up a lot of time, usually enough to push off many extracurricular a student might want to do. Being young is not just about doing schoolwork. It should also about being physically active, exploring the environment through play, doing creative things like music and art, and playing a part in the community. It is also important for young people to build bonds with others, especially family and friends, but homework often squeezes the time available for all these things.

According to the American Educational Research Association released this statement: “Whenever homework crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time that should be devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents.”

Alos, Curt Dudley-Marlin, a professor at Boston College, interviewed dozens of families and  found that, “the demands of homework disrupted…family relationships and led to stress and conflict.”

American Educational Research Association

Homework has little educational worth and adds nothing to the time spent in school. Some schools and some countries don’t bother with homework at all, and their results do not seem to suffer from it. Studies show that homework adds nothing to standardized test scores for primary/ elementary pupils. International comparisons of older students have found no positive relationship between the amount of homework set and average test scores. If anything, countries with more homework got worse results!

Harris Cooper, of Duke University, found that students in middle school who do more than 60-90 min. a night perform worse on standardized tests than those who do 20-30 min. a night.

Homework does little to develop good study skills. First off, many children, after a long and hard school day, end up plagiarizing off of either another student’s work or a professional manuscript. With the Internet, copying has just been made easier. All a student has to do is copy and paste a few paragraphs onto a blank word document and they have their report. This isn’t even considering the massive input parents have on their child’s homework, ranging from checking over answers to even writing a paper for their child. All of this is extremely prevalent in today’s society, and it makes teachers spend ten times as much effort deciding whether a student created a paper or copied off some one else than actually grading the work. Therefore, homework should be banned due to these unavoidable consequences that occur with it.

The pressure to complete homework can also lead to students cheating by copying from other students or obtaining help other than tutoring, such as getting their parents to complete it for them. Students who “perceive that achievement is defined by schools and teachers in terms of grades and performance, worry about school, and believe they can get rewards for doing well in class such as getting out of homework" are more likely to cheat, and to "avoid using deep level cognitive processing strategies such as trying different ways to solve a problem."  The American Psychological Association (1998)

The American Psychological Association (1998)

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Should We Ban Homework?

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Introduction

The debate surrounding homework has persisted for decades, with some proponents arguing that it is an essential component of the educational process, while others claim it causes undue stress for students and their families. In recent years, this conversation has gained renewed interest as more schools and educators consider banning homework altogether. This article will examine the arguments for and against banning homework, helping us understand the potential consequences of such a decision.

Proponents of Banning Homework

1. Promotes better work-life balance: One of the primary reasons people propose banning homework is to improve students’ work-life balance. With extracurricular activities, family time, and other responsibilities, students might struggle to find time to complete homework assignments on top of their schoolwork.

2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Excessive homework can lead to increased stress and anxiety in students. By eliminating homework from their daily lives, students may be less likely to suffer from burnout or feel overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities.

3. Encourages alternative forms of learning: Without homework looming over their heads, students could have more opportunities to explore different forms of learning outside of school. This promotes project-based learning, volunteer experiences, and other avenues for personal growth.

Opponents of Banning Homework

1. Reinforces classroom learning: Those against banning homework emphasize its role in reinforcing concepts taught in class. They argue that completing assignments outside of school helps students retain knowledge more effectively.

2. Develops time management skills: Many educators believe that assigning homework helps students develop crucial time management skills by requiring them to allocate resources efficiently throughout their day.

3. Prepares for post-secondary education: College and university programs generally assign significant amounts of coursework outside the classroom. By completing homework during their K-12 education, students are better prepared for the demands they’ll face in higher education.

The debate over homework is complex and multifaceted. While banning homework could potentially improve students’ quality of life and promote alternative learning methods, it may also hinder their academic progress and the development of important life skills. Ultimately, the decision to ban homework should be carefully considered by individual schools, educators, and parents. Finding the right balance of academic rigor and personal well-being may require a combination of approaches that work best for each student’s unique needs.Introduction

The debate surrounding homework has persisted for decades, with some proponents arguing that it is an essential component of the educational process, while others claim it causes undue stress for students and their families. In recent years, this conversation has gained renewed interest as more schools and educators consider banning homework altogether. This article will examine the arguments for and against banning homework, helping us understand the potential consequences of such a decision. Proponents of Banning Homework 1. Promotes better work-life balance: One of the primary reasons people propose banning homework is to improve students’ work-life balance. With extracurricular activities, family time, and other responsibilities, students might struggle to find time to complete homework assignments on top of their schoolwork. 2. Reduces stress and anxiety: Excessive homework can lead to increased stress and anxiety in students. By eliminating homework from their daily lives, students may be less likely to suffer from burnout or feel overwhelmed by their academic responsibilities. 3. Encourages alternative forms of learning: Without homework looming over their heads, students could have more opportunities to explore different forms of learning outside of school. This promotes project-based learning, volunteer experiences, and other avenues for personal growth.

The debate over homework is complex and multifaceted. While banning homework could potentially improve students’ quality of life and promote alternative learning methods, it may also hinder their academic progress and the development of important life skills. Ultimately, the decision to ban homework should be carefully considered by individual schools, educators, and parents. Finding the right balance of academic rigor and personal well-being may require a combination of approaches that work best for each student’s unique needs.

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No More Homework: 12 Reasons We Should Get Rid of It Completely

Last Updated: May 4, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Finn Kobler . Finn Kobler graduated from USC in 2022 with a BFA in Writing for Screen/Television. He is a two-time California State Champion and record holder in Original Prose/Poetry, a 2018 finalist for the Los Angeles Youth Poet Laureate, and he's written micro-budget films that have been screened in over 150 theaters nationwide. Growing up, Finn spent every summer helping his family's nonprofit arts program, Showdown Stage Company, empower people through accessible media. He hopes to continue that mission with his writing at wikiHow. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 133,353 times. Learn more...

The amount of homework students are given has increased dramatically in the 21st century, which has sparked countless debates over homework’s overall value. While some have been adamant that homework is an essential part of a good education, it’s been proven that too much homework negatively affects students’ mood, classroom performance, and overall well-being. In addition, a heavy homework load can stress families and teachers. Here are 12 reasons why homework should be banned (or at least heavily reduced).

School is already a full-time job.

Students already spend approximately seven hours a day at school.

  • For years, teachers have followed the “10-minute rule” giving students roughly 10 minutes of homework per grade level. However, recent studies have shown students are completing 3+ hours of homework a night well before their senior years even begin. [2] X Trustworthy Source American Psychological Association Leading scientific and professional organization of licensed psychologists Go to source

Homework negatively affects students’ health.

Homework takes a toll physically.

Homework interferes with student’s opportunities to socialize.

Childhood and adolescence are extraordinary times for making friends.

Homework hinders students’ chances to learn new things.

Students need time to self-actualize.

Homework lowers students’ enthusiasm for school.

Homework makes the school feel like a chore.

Homework can lower academic performance.

Homework is unnecessary and counterproductive for high-performing students.

Homework cuts into family time.

Too much homework can cause family structures to collapse.

Homework is stressful for teachers.

Homework can also lead to burnout for teachers.

Homework is often irrelevant and punitive.

Students who don’t understand the lesson get no value from homework.

  • There are even studies that have shown homework in primary school has no correlation with classroom performance whatsoever. [9] X Research source

Homework encourages cheating.

Mandatory homework makes cheating feel like students’ only option.

Homework is inequitable.

Homework highlights the achievement gap between rich and poor students.

Other countries have banned homework with great results.

Countries like Finland have minimal homework and perform well academically.

  • There are even some U.S. schools that have adopted this approach with success. [13] X Research source

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  • ↑ https://www.edutopia.org/no-proven-benefits
  • ↑ https://www.apa.org/monitor/2016/03/homework
  • ↑ https://healthier.stanfordchildrens.org/en/health-hazards-homework/
  • ↑ https://teensneedsleep.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/galloway-nonacademic-effects-of-homework-in-privileged-high-performing-high-schools.pdf
  • ↑ https://time.com/4466390/homework-debate-research/
  • ↑ https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00220485.2022.2075506?role=tab&scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=vece20
  • ↑ https://kappanonline.org/teacher-stress-balancing-demands-resources-mccarthy/
  • ↑ https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-life-homework-pros-cons-20180807-story.html
  • ↑ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6294446/
  • ↑ https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/06/homework-inequality-parents-schedules-grades/485174/
  • ↑ https://www.bbc.com/news/education-37716005
  • ↑ https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-homework-its-the-new-thing-in-u-s-schools-11544610600

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The Homework Debate 2021: Do Primary Schoolers Really Need Homework?

the homework debate

The homework debate resurfaces every year without fail. It is a popular topic with parents, primary school teachers, online tutors, and politicians alike. Should homework be banned? Is homework at primary school necessary? Do pupils receive enough education in class that homework is nothing but a waste of time? – These are all questions that you have no doubt heard before.

Is the homework debate even relevant in the context of COVID-19? As an  online maths tuition service  for KS1 and KS2 pupils, we believe so! Sometimes we set our students homework. We believe that this debate is more relevant now than it has ever been. Let’s discover why…

debate on should we ban homework

Helping Kids 'do' Mental Maths

Courses are running from June 1st – June 5th , 2021 .

In just two classes, our tutors can help your child develop fast calculation skills, applying them to all types of maths problems!

“Homework should be banned!” – The call to action

Our children are too tired!

Is it the case that we put too much pressure on children these days? At the age of 7, UK primary school pupils are expected to sit their Key Stage 1 SATs test. This continues in primary school up until Year 6 when they are expected to prepare for and sit their Key Stage 2 SATs test.

Some parents argue that this leaves little time for kids to wind down at home. When can they find the time to indulge in sports, hobbies, and creative interests if their time is consumed by homework? Let’s not forget the added stress caused by the UK Coronavirus lockdown.

Primary school homework does more harm than good:

A BBC Newsround report from 2018 consulted education experts on their views of the homework debate. Nansi Ellis, Assistant General Secretary at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers argued that homework gets in the way of all the good things kids enjoy. It does not always boost performance in class.

She also highlighted that it demands a lot of parents, not only their time but also of their own educational understanding. This sometimes backfires as the methods of learning in school twenty or thirty years ago are likely not the same as those taught nowadays. This can risk causing further confusion.

BBC Newsround’s own survey of the homework debate and how much homework primary school pupils receive found that parents thought:

The results of a homework debate survey by BBC Newsround from 2018

Where is the proof?

The same BBC report saw Ellis claim that while teachers setting homework is in theory supposed to better results, there is no proof of this being the case. Rosamund McNeil from the teacher’s organisation NUT highlighted that cases abroad support this. In Finland, pupils are set minimal homework but it remains one of the most educationally successful countries in the world.

The homework debate is not just about students – it’s about teachers too!

Homework is time-consuming. Teachers must plan it and mark it, in addition to preparing their classroom lessons and reporting on pupils’ progress. Time constraints can force teachers to work late into the night at home which opens an entirely new can of worms. Overworked teachers are less effective in class. Perhaps it would be more efficient for schools to ban homework altogether.

The other side of the homework debate: Why our kids need homework

It has long been the view that homework acts as a supplement to what has been taught in class. It is an opportunity for pupils to review areas of work they might not understand, focusing their learning.

Homework for primary school students is a good thing!

Homework can be fun and imaginative, an opportunity for parents to bond with their children over education. Take the classic example of counting peas on the dinner plate to learn multiplication tables. Homework does not always have to be completed in a book or on a worksheet. It can often reflect the creativity of the teacher who can inspire children to take their learnings and apply them to the real world. Pricing a shopping list is an awesome way to practise maths while acquiring life skills!

In May 2021 we asked our social media community for their thoughts on this debate. More than two-thirds agreed that homework should not be banned. 

Think Academy instagram poll

The UK is falling behind the rest of the world:

Once upon a time the UK may have had the best education system in the world. Now is not that time. Studies suggest that  UK literacy and maths rates are falling  while in other countries they continue to rise.

As a result, many teachers and parents agree that our children require further encouragement. This is not the time to ban homework in the UK. Especially when we take into consideration the months of lost learning caused by the COVID-19 UK lockdown. This is the time to help primary school children catch up, and homework can support the effort.

The homework debate in the context of COVID-19

We touched on this earlier before considering both sides of the argument in the UK homework debate. However, with home learning more popular than ever, is there still a place for homework in UK primary school education?

The homework debate solution: Online tuition

It’s engaging for children; it reflects what they have been learning in class and saves time for both parents and teachers.  Online tuition has soared in popularity through 2020  and 2021, and could be the solution for people on both sides of the homework debate.

Read more :  How online maths tutors are helping KS1 & KS2 pupils succeed.

In the UK there are tons of tuition services helping to provide kids with a competitive edge using an extracurricular push. You can view a list of the top 15 here:  Discover the UK’s best online tutors.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this topic, please feel free to let us know in the comment below or in our Facebook group  UK Primary School Maths – Tutoring & Tips,  we will reply to you as soon as we can.  

You may also like to read:

How Think Academy’s Online Maths Courses can Help Your Child Better Prepare KS2 SATs?

Top 5 Back to School Tips  Compiled by Think Academy’s Education Experts for 2020

KS1 SATs – How to Prepare Your Little One for Their First Test!

Primary School Maths Tutors – Tips for Parents: How to Find the Right Tutor with the UK’s TOP 15 Online Maths Tutors!

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Just 1 company appears to meet requirements in several states eyeing AI-powered surveillance to spot school shooters. ‘Probably the most egregious thing that I have ever read’

computer screen shows man holding gun

Kansas could soon offer up to $5 million in grants for schools to outfit surveillance cameras with artificial intelligence systems that can spot people carrying guns. But the governor needs to approve the expenditures and the schools must meet some very specific criteria.

The AI software must be patented, “designated as qualified anti-terrorism technology,” in compliance with certain security industry standards, already in use in at least 30 states and capable of detecting “three broad firearm classifications with a minimum of 300 subclassifications” and “at least 2,000 permutations,” among other things.

Only one company currently meets all those criteria: the same organization that touted them to Kansas lawmakers crafting the state budget. That company, ZeroEyes, is a rapidly growing firm founded by military veterans after the fatal  shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School  in Florida.

The legislation  pending before Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly highlights two things. After  numerous high-profile shootings , school security has become a multibillion-dollar industry. And in state capitols, some companies are successfully persuading policymakers to write their particular corporate solutions into state law.

ZeroEyes also appears to be the only firm qualified for state firearms detection programs under laws enacted last year in Michigan and Utah, bills passed earlier this year in Florida and Iowa and legislation proposed in Colorado, Louisiana and Wisconsin.

On Friday, Missouri became the latest state to pass legislation geared toward ZeroEyes, offering $2.5 million in matching grants for schools to buy firearms detection software designated as “qualified anti-terrorism technology.”

“We’re not paying legislators to write us into their bills,” ZeroEyes co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer Sam Alaimo said. But “if they’re doing that, it means I think they’re doing their homework, and they’re making sure they’re getting a vetted technology.”

ZeroEyes uses artificial intelligence with surveillance cameras to identify visible guns, then flashes an alert to an operations center staffed around the clock by former law enforcement officers and military veterans. If verified as a legitimate threat by ZeroEyes personnel, an alert is sent to school officials and local authorities.

The goal is to “get that gun before that trigger’s squeezed, or before that gun gets to the door,” Alaimo said.

Few question the technology. But some do question the legislative tactics.

The super-specific Kansas bill — particularly the requirement that a company have its product in at least 30 states — is “probably the most egregious thing that I have ever read” in legislation, said Jason Stoddard, director of school safety and security for Charles County Public Schools in Maryland.

Stoddard is chairperson of the newly launched National Council of School Safety Directors, which formed to set standards for school safety officials and push back against vendors who are increasingly  pitching particular products to lawmakers .

When states allot millions of dollars for certain products, it often leaves less money for other important school safety efforts, such as electronic door locks, shatter-resistant windows, communication systems and security staff, he said.

“The artificial-intelligence-driven weapons detection is absolutely wonderful,” Stoddard said. “But it’s probably not the priority that 95% of the schools in the United States need right now.”

The technology also can be costly, which is why some states are establishing grant programs. In Florida, legislation to implement ZeroEyes technology in schools in just two counties cost a total of about $929,000.

ZeroEyes is not the only company using surveillance systems with artificial intelligence to spot guns. One competitor, Omnilert, pivoted from emergency alert systems to firearms detection several years ago and also offers around-the-clock monitoring centers to quickly review AI-detected guns and pass alerts onto local officials.

But Omnilert does not yet have a patent for its technology. And it has not yet been designated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as an anti-terrorism technology under a 2002 federal law providing liability protections for companies. It has applied for both.

Though Omnilert is in hundreds of schools, its products aren’t in 30 states, said Mark Franken, Omnilert’s vice president of marketing. But he said that shouldn’t disqualify his company from state grants.

Franken has contacted the Kansas governor’s office in hopes she will line-item veto the specific criteria, which he said “create a kind of anti-competitive environment.”

In Iowa, legislation requiring schools to install firearms detection software was amended to give companies providing the technology until July 1, 2025, to receive federal designation as an anti-terrorism technology. But Democratic state Rep. Ross Wilburn said that designation was originally intended as an incentive for companies to develop technology.

“It was not put in place to provide, promote any type of advantage to one particular company or another,” Wilburn said during House debate.

In Kansas, ZeroEyes’ chief strategy officer presented an overview of its technology in February to the House K-12 Education Budget Committee. It included a live demonstration of its AI gun detection and numerous actual surveillance photos spotting guns at schools, parking lots and transit stations. The presentation also noted authorities arrested about a dozen people last year directly as a result of ZeroEyes alerts.

Kansas state Rep. Adam Thomas, a Republican, initially proposed to specifically name ZeroEyes in the funding legislation. The final version removed the company’s name but kept the criteria that essentially limits it to ZeroEyes.

House K-12 Budget Committee Chair Kristey Williams, a Republican, vigorously defended that provision. She argued during a negotiating meeting with senators that because of student safety, the state couldn’t afford the delays of a standard bidding process. She also touted the company’s technology as unique.

”We do not feel that there was another alternative,” Williams said last month.

The $5 million appropriation won’t cover every school, but Thomas said the amount could later increase once people see how well ZeroEyes technology works.

“I’m hopeful that it does exactly what we saw it do and prevents gun violence in the schools,” Thomas told The Associated Press, “and we can eventually get it in every school.”

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TikTok challenges U.S. ban in court, calling it unconstitutional

Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn

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TikTok's suit is in response to a law passed by Congress giving ByteDance up to a year to divest from TikTok and find a new buyer, or face a nationwide ban. Kiichiro Sato/AP hide caption

TikTok's suit is in response to a law passed by Congress giving ByteDance up to a year to divest from TikTok and find a new buyer, or face a nationwide ban.

TikTok and its parent company on Tuesday filed a legal challenge against the United States over a law that President Biden signed last month outlawing the app nationwide unless it finds a buyer within a year.

In the petition filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the company said the legislation exceeds the bounds of the constitution and suppresses the speech of millions of Americans.

"Banning TikTok is so obviously unconstitutional, in fact, that even the Act's sponsors recognized that reality, and therefore have tried mightily to depict the law not as a ban at all, but merely a regulation of TikTok's ownership," according to the filing.

The law, passed through Congress at lightning speed, which caught many inside TikTok off guard, is intended to force TikTok to be sold to a non-Chinese company in nine months, with the possibility of a three month extension if a possible sale is in play.

Yet lawyers for TikTok say the law offers the company a false choice, since fully divesting from its parent company, ByteDance, is "simply not possible: not commercially, not technologically, not legally," the challenge states. "And certainly not on the 270-day timeline required by the Act."

Anupam Chander, a law professor at Georgetown University who specializes in technology regulations, said if TikTok loses this legal fight, it will likely shut down in the U.S.

"The problem for TikTok is that they have a parent company that has these obligation in China, but they're trying to live by free speech rules by the United States," Chander said in an interview. "The question is whether American courts will believe that that's even possible."

TikTok says law based on "speculative and analytically flawed concerns"

Lawmakers in Washington have long been suspicious of TikTok, fearing its Chinese owner could use the popular app to spy on Americans or spread dangerous disinformation.

But in the company's legal petition, lawyers for TikTok say invoking "national security" does not give the government a free pass to violate the First Amendment, especially, TikTok, argues, when no public evidence has been presented of the Chinese government using the app as a weapon against Americans.

Possible TikTok ban could be 'an extinction-level event' for the creator economy

Possible TikTok ban could be 'an extinction-level event' for the creator economy

According to the filing, the law is based on "speculative and analytically flawed concerns about data security and content manipulation — concerns that, even if grounded in fact, could be addressed through far less restrictive and more narrowly tailored means."

New DOJ Filing: TikTok's Owner Is 'A Mouthpiece' Of Chinese Communist Party

New DOJ Filing: TikTok's Owner Is 'A Mouthpiece' Of Chinese Communist Party

Constitutional scholars say there are few ways for the government to restrict speech in a way that would survive a legal challenge. One of those ways is if the government can demonstrate a national security risk. Also key, legal experts say, is the government showing the speech suppression was the least restrictive option on the table.

TikTok said Congress ignored less restrictive ways of addressing the government's national security concerns.

"If Congress can do this, it can circumvent the First Amendment by invoking national security and ordering the publisher of any individual newspaper or website to sell to avoid being shut down," the filing states. "And for TikTok, any such divestiture would disconnect Americans from the rest of the global community."

Since more than 90% of TikTok's users are outside of America, Georgetown's Chander said selling the U.S.-based app to a different owner would cannibalize its own business.

"You can't really create a TikTok U.S., while having a different company manage TikTok Canada," Chander said in an interview. "What you're doing essentially is creating a rival between two TikToks," he said. " It may be better to take your marbles out of the United States and hope to make money outside of the U.S., rather than sell it at a fire-sale price."

TikTok critics call app a 'spy balloon on your phone'

The filing sets off what could be the most important battle for TikTok. It has been fending off legal challenges to its existence since former President Trump first sought to ban the app through an executive order in the summer of 2020. That effort was blocked by federal courts.

Since then, Democrats and Republicans have shown a rare moment of unity around calls to pressure TikTok to sever its ties with ByteDance, the Beijing-based tech giant that owns the video-streaming app.

Trump's Ban On TikTok Suffers Another Legal Setback

Congress has never before passed legislation that could outright ban a wildly popular social media app, a gesture the U.S. government has criticized authoritarian nations for doing.

In the case of TikTok, however, lawmakers have called the app a "spy balloon on your phone," emphasizing how the Chinese government could gain access to the personal data of U.S. citizens.

Worries also persist in Washington that Beijing could influence the views of Americans by dictating what videos are boosted on the platform. That concern has only become heightened seven months before a presidential election.

Yet the fears so far indeed remain hypothetical.

There is no publicly available example of the Chinese government attempting to use TikTok as an espionage or data collection tool. And no proof that the Chinese government has ever had a hand over what TikTok's 170 million American users see every day on the app.

TikTok says it offers U.S. a plan that would shut app down if it violated agreement

TikTok, for its part, says it has invested $2 billion on a plan, dubbed Project Texas, to separate its U.S. operation from its Chinese parent company. It deleted all of Americans' data from foreign servers and relocated all of the data to servers on U.S. soil overseen by the Austin-based tech company Oracle.

While the plan was intended to build trust with U.S. lawmakers and users, reports surfaced showing that data was still moving between staff in California and Beijing.

In the filing on Tuesday, TikTok said it submitted an agreement to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which has been probing the app for five years, that would allow the U.S. to suspend TikTok if it violated terms set forth in a national security plan.

But, lawyers for TikTok say, the deal was swept aside, "in favor of the politically expedient and punitive approach," the petition states.

Mnuchin claims he will place a bid to buy TikTok, even though app is not for sale

Despite the new law giving TikTok the ultimatum of selling or being shut down, there are many questions around how the app could even be bought by another company or group of investors.

Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told NPR on Monday, he is planning to assemble a group of investors to try to purchase TikTok without the app's algorithm.

Mnuchin, who declined to answer additional questions, said in between sessions at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles that the proposal to buy the app is still in the works, but he would not say when it would be formally submitted.

One major obstacle in any possible sale of TikTok is a glaring problem: The app is not for sale.

TikTok Ban Averted: Trump Gives Oracle-Walmart Deal His 'Blessing'

TikTok Ban Averted: Trump Gives Oracle-Walmart Deal His 'Blessing'

Despite the new law in the U.S., ByteDance says it does not intend to let go of the service. Furthermore, winning the support of China would be necessary, and officials in Beijing are adamantly against any forced sale.

In 2020, amid the Trump administration's clamp down on the app, China added "content-recommendation algorithms" to its export-control list, effectively adding new regulations over how TikTok's all-powerful algorithm could ever be sold.

ByteDance, not TikTok, developed and controls the algorithm that determines what millions see on the app every day. The technology has become the envy of Silicon Valley, and no U.S. tech company has been able dislodge TikTok's firm hold on the short-form video market. Experts say key to its success is its highly engaging and hyper-personalized video-ranking algorithm.

The algorithm, which involves millions of lines of software code developed by thousands of engineers over many years, cannot be easily transferred to the U.S., even if China did allow it, TikTok's challenge states.

Lawyers for TikTok argue that "any severance [of the algorithm] would leave TikTok without access to the recommendation engine that has created a unique style and community that cannot be replicated on any other platform today."

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Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand

The porn star testified for eight hours at donald trump’s hush-money trial. this is how it went..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

It’s 6:41 AM. I’m feeling a little stressed because I’m running late. It’s the fourth week of Donald J. Trump’s criminal trial. It’s a white collar trial. Most of the witnesses we’ve heard from have been, I think, typical white collar witnesses in terms of their professions.

We’ve got a former publisher, a lawyer, accountants. The witness today, a little less typical, Stormy Daniels, porn star in a New York criminal courtroom in front of a jury more accustomed to the types of witnesses they’ve already seen. There’s a lot that could go wrong.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Michael Barbaro. This is “The Daily.”

Today, what happened when Stormy Daniels took the stand for eight hours in the first criminal trial of Donald J. Trump. As before, my colleague Jonah Bromwich was inside the courtroom.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

It’s Friday, May 10th.

So it’s now day 14 of this trial. And I think it’s worth having you briefly, and in broad strokes, catch listeners up on the biggest developments that have occurred since you were last on, which was the day that opening arguments were made by both the defense and the prosecution. So just give us that brief recap.

Sure. It’s all been the prosecution’s case so far. And prosecutors have a saying, which is that the evidence is coming in great. And I think for this prosecution, which is trying to show that Trump falsified business records to cover up a sex scandal, to ease his way into the White House in 2016, the evidence has been coming in pretty well. It’s come in well through David Pecker, former publisher of The National Enquirer, who testified that he entered into a secret plot with Trump and Michael Cohen, his fixer at the time, to suppress negative stories about Trump, the candidate.

It came in pretty well through Keith Davidson, who was a lawyer to Stormy Daniels in 2016 and negotiated the hush money payment. And we’ve seen all these little bits and pieces of evidence that tell the story that prosecutors want to tell. And the case makes sense so far. We can’t tell what the jury is thinking, as we always say.

But we can tell that there’s a narrative that’s coherent and that matches up with the prosecution’s opening statement. Then we come to Tuesday. And that day really marks the first time that the prosecution’s strategy seems a little bit risky because that’s the day that Stormy Daniels gets called to the witness stand.

OK, well, just explain why the prosecution putting Stormy Daniels on the stand would be so risky. And I guess it makes sense to answer that in the context of why the prosecution is calling her as a witness at all.

Well, you can see why it makes sense to have her. The hush money payment was to her. The cover-up of the hush money payment, in some ways, concerns her. And so she’s this character who’s very much at the center of this story. But according to prosecutors, she’s not at the center of the crime. The prosecution is telling a story, and they hope a compelling one. And arguably, that story starts with Stormy Daniels. It starts in 2006, when Stormy Daniels says that she and Trump had sex, which is something that Trump has always denied.

So if prosecutors were to not call Stormy Daniels to the stand, you would have this big hole in the case. It would be like, effect, effect, effect. But where is the cause? Where is the person who set off this chain reaction? But Stormy Daniels is a porn star. She’s there to testify about sex. Sex and pornography are things that the jurors were not asked about during jury selection. And those are subjects that bring up all kinds of different complex reactions in people.

And so, when the prosecutors bring Stormy Daniels to the courtroom, it’s very difficult to know how the jurors will take it, particularly given that she’s about to describe a sexual episode that she says she had with the former president. Will the jurors think that makes sense, as they sit here and try to decide a falsifying business records case, or will they ask themselves, why are we hearing this?

So the reason why this is the first time that the prosecution’s strategy is, for journalists like you, a little bit confusing, is because it’s the first time that the prosecution seems to be taking a genuine risk in what they’re putting before these jurors. Everything else has been kind of cut and dry and a little bit more mechanical. This is just a wild card.

This is like live ammunition, to some extent. Everything else is settled and controlled. And they know what’s going to happen. With Stormy Daniels, that’s not the case.

OK, so walk us through the testimony. When the prosecution brings her to the stand, what actually happens?

It starts, as every witness does, with what’s called direct examination, which is a fancy word for saying prosecutors question Stormy Daniels. And they have her tell her story. First, they have her tell the jury about her education and where she grew up and her professional experience. And because of Stormy Daniels’s biography, that quickly goes into stripping, and then goes into making adult films.

And I thought the prosecutor who questioned her, Susan Hoffinger, had this nice touch in talking about that, because not only did she ask Daniels about acting in adult films. But she asked her about writing and directing them, too, emphasizing the more professional aspects of that work and giving a little more credit to the witness, as if to say, well, you may think this or you may think that. But this is a person with dignity who took what she did seriously. Got it.

What’s your first impression of Daniels as a witness?

It’s very clear that she’s nervous. She’s speaking fast. She’s laughing to herself and making small jokes. But the tension in the room is so serious from the beginning, from the moment she enters, that those jokes aren’t landing. So it just feels, like, really heavy and still and almost oppressive in there. So Daniels talking quickly, seeming nervous, giving more answers than are being asked of her by the prosecution, even before we get to the sexual encounter that she’s about to describe, all of that presents a really discomfiting impression, I would say.

And how does this move towards the encounter that Daniels ultimately has?

It starts at a golf tournament in 2006, in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Daniels meets Trump there. There are other celebrities there, too. They chatted very briefly. And then she received a dinner invitation from him. She thought it over, she says. And she goes to have dinner with Trump, not at a restaurant, by the way. But she’s invited to join him in the hotel suite.

So she gets to the hotel suite. And his bodyguard is there. And the hotel door is cracked open. And the bodyguard greets her and says she looks nice, this and that. And she goes in. And there’s Donald Trump, just as expected. But what’s not expected, she says, is that he’s not wearing what you would wear to a dinner with a stranger, but instead, she says, silk or satin pajamas. She asked him to change, she says. And he obliges.

He goes, and he puts on a dress shirt and dress pants. And they sit down at the hotel suite’s dining room table. And they have a kind of bizarre dinner. Trump is asking her very personal questions about pornography and safe sex. And she testifies that she teased him about vain and pompous he is. And then at some point, she goes to the bathroom. And she sees that he has got his toiletries in there, his Old Spice, his gold tweezers.

Very specific details.

Yeah, we’re getting a ton of detail in this scene. And the reason we’re getting those is because prosecutors are trying to elicit those details to establish that this is a credible person, that this thing did happen, despite what Donald Trump and his lawyers say. And the reason you can know it happened, prosecutors seem to be saying, is because, look at all these details she can still summon up.

She comes out of the bathroom. And she says that Donald Trump is on the hotel bed. And what stands out to me there is what she describes as a very intense physical reaction. She says that she blacked out. And she quickly clarifies, she doesn’t mean from drugs or alcohol. She means that, she says, that the intensity of this experience was such that, suddenly, she can’t remember every detail. The prosecution asks a question that cuts directly to the sex. Essentially, did you start having sex with him? And Daniels says that she did. And she continues to provide more details than even, I think, the prosecution wanted.

And I think we don’t want to go chapter and verse through this claimed sexual encounter. But I wonder what details stand out and which details feel important, given the prosecution’s strategy here.

All the details stand out because it’s a story about having had sex with a former president. And the more salacious and more private the details feel, the more you’re going to remember them. So we’ll remember that Stormy Daniels said what position they had sex in. We’ll remember that she said he didn’t use a condom. Whether that’s important to the prosecution’s case, now, that’s a much harder question to answer, as we’ve been saying.

But what I can tell you is, as she’s describing having had sex with Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is sitting right there, and Eric Trump, his son, is sitting behind him, seeming to turn a different color as he hears this embarrassment of his father being described to a courtroom full of reporters at this trial, it’s hard to even describe the energy in that room. It was like nothing I had ever experienced. And it was just Daniels’s testimony and, seemingly, the former President’s emotions. And you almost felt like you were trapped in there with both of them as this description was happening.

Well, I think it’s important to try to understand why the prosecution is getting these details, these salacious, carnal, pick your word, graphic details about sex with Donald Trump. What is the value, if other details are clearly making the point that she’s recollecting something?

Well, I think, at this point, we can only speculate. But one thing we can say is, this was uncomfortable. This felt bad. And remember, prosecutor’s story is not about the sex. It’s about trying to hide the sex. So if you’re trying to show a jury why it might be worthwhile to hide a story, it might be worth —

Providing lots of salacious details that a person would want to hide.

— exposing them to how bad that story feels and reminding them that if they had been voters and they had heard that story, and, in fact, they asked Daniels this very question, if you hadn’t accepted hush money, if you hadn’t signed that NDA, is this the story you would have told? And she said, yes. And so where I think they’re going with this, but we can’t really be sure yet, is that they’re going to tell the jurors, hey, that story, you can see why he wanted to cover that up, can’t you?

You mentioned the hush money payments. What testimony does Daniels offer about that? And how does it advance the prosecution’s case of business fraud related to the hush money payments?

So little evidence that it’s almost laughable. She says that she received the hush money. But we actually already heard another witness, her lawyer at the time, Keith Davidson, testify that he had received the hush money payment on her behalf. And she testified about feeling as if she had to sell this story because the election was fast approaching, almost as if her leverage was slipping away because she knew this would be bad for Trump.

That feels important. But just help me understand why it’s important.

Well, what the prosecution has been arguing is that Trump covered up this hush money payment in order to conceal a different crime. And that crime, they say, was to promote his election to the presidency by illegal means.

Right, we’ve talked about this in the past.

So when Daniels ties her side of the payment into the election, it just reminds the jurors maybe, oh, right, this is what they’re arguing.

So how does the prosecution end this very dramatic, and from everything you’re saying, very tense questioning of Stormy Daniels about this encounter?

Well, before they can even end, the defense lawyers go and they consult among themselves. And then, with the jury out of the room, one of them stands up. And he says that the defense is moving for a mistrial.

On what terms?

He says that the testimony offered by Daniels that morning is so prejudicial, so damning to Trump in the eyes of the jury, that the trial can no longer be fair. Like, how could these jurors have heard these details and still be fair when they render their verdict? And he says a memorable expression. He says, you can’t un-ring that bell, meaning they heard it. They can’t un-hear it. It’s over. Throw out this trial. It should be done.

Wow. And what is the response from the judge?

So the judge, Juan Merchan, he hears them out. And he really hears them out. But at the end of their arguments, he says, I do think she went a little too far. He says that. He said, there were things that were better left unsaid.

By Stormy Daniels?

By Stormy Daniels. And he acknowledges that she is a difficult witness. But, he says, the remedy for that is not a mistrial, is not stopping the whole thing right now. The remedy for that is cross-examination. If the defense feels that there are issues with her story, issues with her credibility, they can ask her whatever they want. They can try to win the jury back over. If they think this jury has been poisoned by this witness, well, this is their time to provide the antidote. The antidote is cross-examination. And soon enough, cross-examination starts. And it is exactly as intense and combative as we expected.

We’ll be right back.

So, Jonah, how would you characterize the defense’s overall strategy in this intense cross-examination of Stormy Daniels?

People know the word impeach from presidential impeachments. But it has a meaning in law, too. You impeach a witness, and, specifically, their credibility. And that’s what the defense is going for here. They are going to try to make Stormy Daniels look like a liar, a fraud, an extortionist, a money-grubbing opportunist who wanted to take advantage of Trump and sought to do so by any means necessary.

And what did that impeachment strategy look like in the courtroom?

The defense lawyer who questions Stormy Daniels is a woman named Susan Necheles. She’s defended Trump before. And she’s a bit of a cross-examination specialist. We even saw her during jury selection bring up these past details to confront jurors who had said nasty things about Trump on social media with. And she wants to do the same thing with Daniels. She wants to bring up old interviews and old tweets and things that Daniels has said in the past that don’t match what Daniels is saying from the stand.

What’s a specific example? And do they land?

Some of them land. And some of them don’t. One specific example is that Necheles confronts Daniels with this old tweet, where Daniels says that she’s going to dance down the street if Trump goes to jail. And what she’s trying to show there is that Daniels is out for revenge, that she hates Trump, and that she wants to see him go to jail. And that’s why she’s testifying against him.

And Daniels is very interesting during the cross-examination. It’s almost as if she’s a different person. She kind of squares her shoulders. And she sits up a little straighter. And she leans forward. Daniels is ready to fight. But it doesn’t quite land. The tweet actually says, I’ll dance down the street when he’s selected to go to jail.

And Daniels goes off on this digression about how she knows that people don’t get selected to go to jail. That’s not how it works. But she can’t really unseat this argument, that she’s a political enemy of Donald Trump. So that one kind of sticks, I would say. But there are other moves that Necheles tries to pull that don’t stick.

So unlike the prosecution, which typically used words like adult, adult film, Necheles seems to be taking every chance she can get to say porn, or pornography, or porn star, to make it sound base or dirty. And so when she starts to ask Daniels about actually being in pornography, writing, acting, and directing sex films, she tries to land a punch line, Necheles does. She says, so you have a lot of experience making phony stories about sex appear to be real, right?

As if to say, perhaps this story you have told about entering Trump’s suite in Lake Tahoe and having sex with him was made up.

Just another one of your fictional stories about sex. But Daniels comes back and says, the sex in the films, it’s very much real, just like what happened to me in that room. And so, when you have this kind of combat of a lawyer cross-examining very aggressively and the witness fighting back, you can feel the energy in the room shift as one lands a blow or the other does. But here, Daniels lands one back. And the other issue that I think Susan Necheles runs into is, she tries to draw out disparities from interviews that Daniels gave, particularly to N-TOUCH, very early on once the story was out.

It’s kind of like a tabloid magazine?

But some of the disparities don’t seem to be landing quite like Necheles would want. So she tries to do this complicated thing about where the bodyguard was in the room when Daniels walked into the room, as described in an interview in a magazine. But in that magazine interview, as it turns out, Daniels mentioned that Trump was wearing pajamas. And so, if I’m a juror, I don’t care where the bodyguard is. I’m thinking about, oh, yeah, I remember that Stormy Daniels said now in 2024 that Trump was wearing pajamas.

I’m curious if, as somebody in the room, you felt that the defense was effective in undermining Stormy Daniels’s credibility? Because what I took from the earlier part of our conversation was that Stormy Daniels is in this courtroom on behalf of the prosecution to tell a story that’s uncomfortable and has the kind of details that Donald Trump would be motivated to try to hide. And therefore, this defense strategy is to say, those details about what Trump might want to hide, you can’t trust them. So does this back and forth effectively hurt Stormy Daniels’s credibility, in your estimation?

I don’t think that Stormy Daniels came off as perfectly credible about everything she testified about. There are incidents that were unclear or confusing. There were things she talked about that I found hard to believe, when she, for instance, denied that she had attacked Trump in a tweet or talked about her motivations. But about what prosecutors need, that central story, the story of having had sex with him, we can’t know whether it happened.

But there weren’t that many disparities in these accounts over the years. In terms of things that would make me doubt the story that Daniels was telling, details that don’t add up, those weren’t present. And you don’t have to take my word for that, nor should you. But the judge is in the room. And he says something very, very similar.

What does he say? And why does he say it?

Well, he does it when the defense, again, at the end of the day on Thursday, calls for a mistrial.

With a similar argument as before?

Not only with a similar argument as before, but, like, almost the exact same argument. And I would say that I was astonished to see them do this. But I wasn’t because I’ve covered other trials where Trump is the client. And in those trials, the lawyers, again and again, called for a mistrial.

And what does Judge Marchan say in response to this second effort to seek a mistrial?

Let me say, to this one, he seems a little less patient. He says that after the first mistrial ruling, two days before, he went into his chambers. And he read every decision he had made about the case. He took this moment to reflect on the first decision. And he found that he had, in his own estimation, which is all he has, been fair and not allowed evidence that was prejudicial to Trump into this trial. It could continue. And so he said that again. And then he really almost turned on the defense. And he said that the things that the defense was objecting to were things that the defense had made happen.

He says that in their opening statement, the defense could have taken issue with many elements of the case, about whether there were falsified business records, about any of the other things that prosecutors are saying happened. But instead, he says, they focused their energy on denying that Trump ever had sex with Daniels.

And so that was essentially an invitation to the prosecution to call Stormy Daniels as a witness and have her say from the stand, yes, I had this sexual encounter. The upshot of it is that the judge not only takes the defense to task. But he also just says that he finds Stormy Daniels’s narrative credible. He doesn’t see it as having changed so much from year to year.

Interesting. So in thinking back to our original question here, Jonah, about the idea that putting Stormy Daniels on the stand was risky, I wonder if, by the end of this entire journey, you’re reevaluating that idea because it doesn’t sound like it ended up being super risky. It sounded like it ended up working reasonably well for the prosecution.

Well, let me just assert that it doesn’t really matter what I think. The jury is going to decide this. There’s 12 people. And we can’t know what they’re thinking. But my impression was that, while she was being questioned by the prosecution for the prosecution’s case, Stormy Daniels was a real liability. She was a difficult witness for them.

And the judge said as much. But when the defense cross-examined her, Stormy Daniels became a better witness, in part because their struggles to discredit her may have actually ended up making her story look more credible and stronger. And the reason that matters is because, remember, we said that prosecutors are trying to fill this hole in their case. Well, now, they have. The jury has met Stormy Daniels. They’ve heard her account. They’ve made of it what they will. And now, the sequence of events that prosecutors are trying to line up as they seek prison time for the former President really makes a lot of sense.

It starts with what Stormy Daniels says with sex in a hotel suite in 2006. It picks up years later, as Donald Trump is trying to win an election and, prosecutors say, suppressing negative stories, including Stormy Daniels’s very negative story. And the story that prosecutors are telling ends with Donald Trump orchestrating the falsification of business records to keep that story concealed.

Well, Jonah, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

Of course, thanks for having me.

The prosecution’s next major witness will be Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer who arranged for the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. Cohen is expected to take the stand on Monday.

Here’s what else you need to know today. On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a defiant response to warnings from the United States that it would stop supplying weapons to Israel if Israel invades the Southern Gaza City of Rafah. So far, Israel has carried out a limited incursion into the city where a million civilians are sheltering, but has threatened a full invasion. In a statement, Netanyahu said, quote, “if we need to stand alone, we will stand alone.”

Meanwhile, high level ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been put on hold in part because of anger over Israel’s incursion into Rafah.

A reminder, tomorrow, we’ll be sharing the latest episode of our colleague’s new show, “The Interview” This week on “The Interview,” Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with radio host Charlamagne Tha God about his frustrations with how Americans talk about politics.

If me as a Black man, if I criticize Democrats, then I’m supporting MAGA. But if I criticize, you know, Donald Trump and Republicans, then I’m a Democratic shill. Why can’t I just be a person who deals in nuance?

Today’s episode was produced by Olivia Natt and Michael Simon Johnson. It was edited by Lexie Diao, with help from Paige Cowett, contains original music by Will Reid and Marion Lozano, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro. See you on Monday.

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  • May 13, 2024   •   27:46 How Biden Adopted Trump’s Trade War With China
  • May 10, 2024   •   27:42 Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand
  • May 9, 2024   •   34:42 One Strongman, One Billion Voters, and the Future of India
  • May 8, 2024   •   28:28 A Plan to Remake the Middle East
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  • May 3, 2024   •   25:33 The Protesters and the President
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  • April 30, 2024   •   27:40 The Secret Push That Could Ban TikTok

Hosted by Michael Barbaro

Featuring Jonah E. Bromwich

Produced by Olivia Natt and Michael Simon Johnson

Edited by Lexie Diao

With Paige Cowett

Original music by Will Reid and Marion Lozano

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

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This episode contains descriptions of an alleged sexual liaison.

What happened when Stormy Daniels took the stand for eight hours in the first criminal trial of former President Donald J. Trump?

Jonah Bromwich, one of the lead reporters covering the trial for The Times, was in the room.

On today’s episode

debate on should we ban homework

Jonah E. Bromwich , who covers criminal justice in New York for The New York Times.

A woman is walking down some stairs. She is wearing a black suit. Behind her stands a man wearing a uniform.

Background reading

In a second day of cross-examination, Stormy Daniels resisted the implication she had tried to shake down Donald J. Trump by selling her story of a sexual liaison.

Here are six takeaways from Ms. Daniels’s earlier testimony.

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Jonah E. Bromwich covers criminal justice in New York, with a focus on the Manhattan district attorney’s office and state criminal courts in Manhattan. More about Jonah E. Bromwich

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IMAGES

  1. Debate the ban homework. seamo-official.org

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  2. DEBATE PROJECT

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  3. Top 17 reason Why Homework Should Be Banned

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  4. Debate on Homework Should be Abolished

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  5. Major 20 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

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  6. Should homework be banned? The big debate

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COMMENTS

  1. Homework Pros and Cons

    From dioramas to book reports, from algebraic word problems to research projects, whether students should be given homework, as well as the type and amount of homework, has been debated for over a century. []While we are unsure who invented homework, we do know that the word "homework" dates back to ancient Rome. Pliny the Younger asked his followers to practice their speeches at home.

  2. Should We Get Rid of Homework?

    The authors believe this meritocratic narrative is a myth and that homework — math homework in particular — further entrenches the myth in the minds of teachers and their students.

  3. 25 Reasons Homework Should Be Banned (Busywork Arguments)

    Excessive workload. The issue of excessive workload is a common complaint among students. Spending several hours on homework after a full school day can be mentally and physically draining. This workload can lead to burnout, decreased motivation, and negative attitudes toward school and learning.

  4. Should homework be banned? The big debate

    Should homework be banned? The big debate Homework is a polarising topic. It can cause students to feel stressed or anxious. ... Subscribe to our blog and we'll send you a fortnightly digest of the blog posts you may have missed, plus links to free resources to support your teaching and learning. I found this helpful.

  5. 15 Should Homework Be Banned Pros and Cons

    Banning homework would help to reduce these risks as well. 6. It increases the amount of socialization time that students receive. People who are only spending time in school and then going home to do more work are at a higher risk of experiencing loneliness and isolation.

  6. Are You Down With or Done With Homework?

    Many earlier laws limiting homework were abolished, and the longterm trend toward less homework came to an end. The debate re-emerged a decade later when parents of the late '60s and '70s argued that children should be free to play and explore — similar anti-homework wellness arguments echoed nearly a century earlier.

  7. Is it time to get rid of homework? Mental health experts weigh in

    For older students, Kang says, homework benefits plateau at about two hours per night. "Most students, especially at these high achieving schools, they're doing a minimum of three hours, and it's ...

  8. Why Homework Should Be Banned From Schools

    American high school students, in fact, do more homework each week than their peers in the average country in the OECD, a 2014 report found. It's time for an uprising. Already, small rebellions ...

  9. Why does homework exist?

    The homework wars are back. By Jacob Sweet Updated Feb 23, 2023, 6:04am EST. As the Covid-19 pandemic began and students logged into their remote classrooms, all work, in effect, became homework ...

  10. Should Schools Ban Homework?

    Bans proposed and implemented in the U.S. and abroad. The struggle of whether or not to assign homework is not a new one. In 2017, a Florida superintendent banned homework for elementary schools in the entire district, with one very important exception: reading at home. The United States isn't the only country to question the benefits of ...

  11. Should homework be banned?

    Should homework be banned? - BBC Science Focus Magazine

  12. Don't Bother, Homework Is Pointless

    November 12, 2014. Almost all research shows that elementary school homework is pointless. If families understood that, they would be thrilled to lose that nightly routine where the adults cajole ...

  13. The Pros and Cons: Should Students Have Homework?

    It allows everyone to get to know each other better, and parents can see where their children are struggling. In the same sense, parents can also see where their children are excelling. Homework in turn can allow for a better, more targeted educational plan for the student. 5. Homework Allows For More Learning Time.

  14. Is Homework Good for Kids? Here's What the Research Says

    A s kids return to school, debate is heating up once again over how they should spend their time after they leave the classroom for the day.. The no-homework policy of a second-grade teacher in ...

  15. The Pros & Cons of Homework Bans

    Pros of Homework Bans. 1. Homework May Not Improve Academic Outcomes. Unfortunately, as highly debated as homework is, there has been little conclusive or scientific research indicating its ...

  16. Should Homework Be Banned?

    Yes. Generally, the link between homework and achievement scores is stronger for math compared to subjects like English and history. For middle school students especially, math homework can strengthen school performance. There is not a lot of research into the quality of homework. Most experts agree that homework should be reinforcing what kids ...

  17. 21 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned (2024)

    Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned. 1. It Contributes to Increased Anxiety. If there's one word that describes middle-school and high-school students, it's anxiety. In my homework statistics article, I cite research showing that 74% of students cite homework as a source of stress. They have so much to juggle, from the novelty of ...

  18. Homework should be banned

    Banned: Disallow homework in K-8 grades in the U.S. public schools. 1. Homework puts an unfair burden on teachers. Warrant: Homework produces large amount of pointless work of little educational value, but marking it ties up much of teachers' time. Add in correcting it and the time it takes up in class going over it.

  19. Should We Ban Homework?

    While banning homework could potentially improve students' quality of life and promote alternative learning methods, it may also hinder their academic progress and the development of important life skills. Ultimately, the decision to ban homework should be carefully considered by individual schools, educators, and parents.

  20. 12 Reasons Why Homework Should Be Banned

    Homework negatively affects students' health. Download Article. Homework takes a toll physically. Recent studies have demonstrated that too much homework can disrupt a student's sleep cycle, and cause stress headaches, stomach problems, and depression. [3] 3.

  21. Should We Ban Homework? Homework Debate For Teachers

    Is homework useful? Or is it just extra workload for Teachers? Should we encourage homework or ban it completely? In this video we debate for and against set...

  22. Should Homework be Banned?

    In this debate, we look at two sides of the debate about whether homework should be banned in schools. We start with looking at our hypothetical character na...

  23. The Homework Debate 2021: Should homework be banned in the UK?

    Helping Kids 'do' Mental Maths. Courses are running from June 1st - June 5th, 2021. In just two classes, our tutors can help your child develop fast calculation skills, applying them to all types of maths problems! "Homework should be banned!". - The call to action.

  24. Just 1 company appears to meet requirements in several states ...

    On Friday, Missouri became the latest state to pass legislation geared toward ZeroEyes, offering $2.5 million in matching grants for schools to buy firearms detection software designated as ...

  25. TikTok challenges U.S. ban in court, calling it unconstitutional

    TikTok sues U.S. ban in court, says it violates the first amendment The high-stakes legal battle could determine the future of the popular app in the U.S. TikTok's legal filing calls the ban law ...

  26. A Plan to Remake the Middle East

    So now you have two of the three parties to this agreement, the Saudis and the Americans, basically asking a new price after October 7th, and saying to the Israelis, if we're going to do this ...

  27. How Biden Adopted Trump's Trade War With China

    We have a $500 billion deficit, trade deficit, with China. We're going to turn it around. And we have the cards. Don't forget — jim tankersley. They're ripping us off. They're stealing ...

  28. Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand

    transcript. Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand The porn star testified for eight hours at Donald Trump's hush-money trial. This is how it went. 2024-05-10T06:00:09-04:00