Importance of LAUSD Homework Will Be Reduced

Most kids are out of school now, so there's zero homework anyway. And kids being kids, looking ahead to next fall is probably not a popular topic.

But children in the Los Angeles Unified School District who attend fall classes, and those who attend summer school, will discover that it's a new day as far as homework goes.

The Chief Academic Officer at LAUSD, Judy Elliott, says homework can no longer count for more than 10 percent of a student's grade. That policy will reward youngsters who have difficult home situations, and perhaps punish those who work very hard at home to make up for shortcomings in class.

"When we did an analysis of the state test scores and how students were doing in their grades," says Elliott, "what we found  was students were proficient or advanced on the testing, but they were failing their academic classes, and then we had the vice versa."

That analysis led school officials to conclude that more emphasis should be placed on classroom activity.

The teachers union doesn't have an official position on this issue. But some teachers don't like it because it takes away their ability to adjust curriculum to individual students.

"I’m a very big believer in local control of schools," says UTLA Chief A.J. Duffy, "and that means let teachers and administrators and parents make these decisions themselves."

The way school district officials see it, it's important to grade on academics and not on habits. Although good habits do count.

"Homework is about responsibility," says Elliott, "S it really should be graded as part of work habits and attitude and whatnot and not so necessarily as much about academics."


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