Why This Superintendent Banned Homework For Elementary School Students

Jaime Lutz - Author

Nov. 18 2019, Updated 2:20 p.m. ET

Source: Shutterstock

Florida Superintendent Heidi Maier is banning homework for elementary school students in her district. Instead, she's asking them to read for 20 minutes each night. Where was this woman when I was a kid?!

"It's only the second week of school and I have more homework that I've ever had before 🙃" writes one student on Twitter. 

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Though it might seem like this cool superintendent is just three kindergartners in a trench coat, she's actually banning the homework for a good reason: research shows that it just doesn't improve academic performance for kids this young. Reading, on the other hand, does. 

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“The quality of homework assigned is so poor that simply getting kids to read replacing homework with self-selected reading was a more powerful alternative,” said Richard Allington, a reading acquisition expert, in an email to The Washington Post. “Maybe some kinds of homework might raise achievement but if so that type of homework is uncommon in U.S. schools.”

One person wrote, "My 1st grader, who has never had homework before, has SO MUCH HOMEWORK. 3rd grader has barely had any at all. O has just HOURS of it." 

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Kids will be able to select their own book with help from educators, and children without a parent available to help them read at home will have access to volunteers, audiobooks, and other resources, according to Maier.

"I have to read a whole book, do homework and learn a song for band by today..... I CANTTTT HELP MEEEE," shared this user along with the memes below. 

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Middle and high school students, however, won't be so lucky in Maier's district. So don't expect Algebra homework to be a thing of the past anytime soon.

According to Cass on Twitter, "go to school all day, come home, do homework all night, go to bed. love life!"

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