Does Homework Help or Hurt?

Homework is a constant variable in the life of a student. It is the dependable stream of worksheets and readings meant for practice and to develop further understanding of the topic.

Even young students begin the cycle of returning home from school and having further work. Research has been conducted showing the real benefits of homework. According to the Center For Public Education, researchers have found that the link between homework and academic achievement contradicts itself. Little evidence proves homework increases test scores of students, especially those of high school students. Other studies have shown homework improves achievement, but mainly in younger grade levels. For example, in a 1984 study, daily, graded homework improved academic achievement especially those of fourth and fifth graders.

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In another study conducted in 1999, among fourth graders, there was no difference in math scores depending on homework. The National Center for Educational Statistics found high school students spend an average of 6.8 hours of homework each week. Arrowhead sophomore, Sarah Bell, says on average she does 14 hours of homework per week. Retired AHS English teacher Frank Balistreri, says reading outside of school is crucial and effective to both English and Social Studies, but he does not believe that “busy” work is beneficial. Some researchers and teachers claim homework is a necessary learning tool in order to prepare them for later in life and teach them responsibility, according to the Center For Public Education. Balistreri says, “If it is homework that has something to do with real life and if it’s not too much.” Balistreri says he believes high school teachers need to keep in touch with the business world and college.