The School districts across the land passed restrictions on homework, culminating in a 1901 statewide prohibition of homework in California for any student under the age of 15.The crusade would remain powerful through 1913, before a world war and other concerns bumped it from the spotlight.
Nevertheless, anti-homework sentiment would remain a touchstone of progressive education throughout the twentieth century.
As a political force, it would lie dormant for years before bubbling up to mobilize proponents of free play and “the whole child.” Advocates would, if educators did not comply, seek to impose homework restrictions through policy making.
Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provide a good look at trends in homework for nearly the past three decades. The data are from the long-term trend NAEP assessment’s student questionnaire, a survey of homework practices featuring both consistently-worded questions and stable response categories.
The question asks: “How much time did you spend on homework yesterday?
Their experiences, as dramatic as they are, may not represent the common experience of American households with school-age children.
In the analysis below, data are analyzed from surveys that are methodologically designed to produce reliable information about the experiences of all Americans.depicts homework as one aspect of an overwrought, pressure-cooker school system that constantly pushes students to perform and destroys their love of learning.The film’s website claims over 6,000 screenings in more than 30 countries.” Responses are shown for NAEP’s three age groups: 9, 13, and 17.Today’s youngest students seem to have more homework than in the past.An overwhelming majority of students, at least two-thirds, depending on age, had an hour or less of homework each night.Surprisingly, even the homework burden of college-bound high school seniors was discovered to be rather light, less than an hour per night or six hours per week.The 2003 Brown Center Report on American Education included a study investigating the homework controversy.Examining the most reliable empirical evidence at the time, the study concluded that the dramatic claims about homework were unfounded.Exhausted Kids (and Parents) Fight Back.” Feature stories about students laboring under an onerous homework burden ran in newspapers from coast to coast.Photos of angst ridden children became a journalistic staple.