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Some of the surveys have existed long enough to illustrate meaningful trends.The question is whether strong empirical evidence confirms the anecdotes about overworked kids and outraged parents.Nevertheless, anti-homework sentiment would remain a touchstone of progressive education throughout the twentieth century.
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.Public opinion polls also contradicted the prevailing story. Most said their children’s homework load was about right.Parents wanting more homework out-numbered those who wanted less. Several popular anti-homework books fill store shelves (whether virtual or brick and mortar).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?In 2011, the ran a front page article about the homework restrictions adopted by schools in Galloway, NJ, describing “a wave of districts across the nation trying to remake homework amid concerns that high stakes testing and competition for college have fueled a nightly grind that is stressing out children and depriving them of play and rest, yet doing little to raise achievement, especially in elementary grades.” In the article, Vicki Abeles, the director of featured an article, “My Daughter’s Homework is Killing Me,” by a Manhattan writer who joined his middle school daughter in doing her homework for a week.Most nights the homework took more than three hours to complete. It’s not because the popular press is creating a fiction.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.