Parents outraged after school bans homework, tells students to spend time on other pursuits

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Student Neza Kavcic does her homework. (Credit: Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty Images)

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KIPS BAY, N.Y. — A New York elementary school is abolishing traditional homework assignments and telling kids to go play instead.

outraging parents who say they may pull their kids out of the school.

Teachers at  P.S. 116 have stopped assigning take-home math worksheets and essays, encouraging students to spend their homework time reading books and interacting with their families, DNAinfo reported.

“The topic of homework has received a lot of attention lately, and the negative effects of homework have been well established,” Principal Jane HsuHsu wrote in a letter to parents.

“They include: children’s frustration and exhaustion, lack of time for other activities and family time and, sadly for many, loss of interest in learning.

“In fact, you may be surprised to learn that there have been a variety of studies conducted on the effects of homework in the elementary grades and not one of them could provide any evidence that directly links traditional homework practices with current, or even future, academic success.”

The school spent more than a year “analyzing studies focused on the effects of traditional homework” and decided the Pre-K through fifth grade students should spend their after school time on other pursuits.  The letter recommends limiting the time kids spend on TV, computers and video games, and told parents with concerns contact the school directly.

Many have, and they aren’t pleased, according to DNAinfo. Multiple parents have threatened to remove their children from the school for fear they aren’t getting a quality education.

“They didn’t have much to begin with, but now homework is obsolete,” Daniel Tasman, father of a second-grader, told the website. “I think they should have homework — some of it is about discipline. I want (my daughter) to have fun, but I also want her to be working towards a goal.”

“This is their time to learn now, when they have good memory,” said Stanley, a 33-year-old Murray Hill resident with a third-grade son at P.S. 116.

“I give him extra work, though. I go to Barnes & Nobles and give him my own homework.”


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