Educators debate merits of homework

CBS 21

Now that school is off and running for many kids, the “h” word is becoming a reality. Homework will soon be coming home but the benefits of the take home work is being questioned by some education professionals.

“We try to focus on what is positive and what works,” said Eastern York High School Principal Tim Mitzel.

Some new research in the education field suggests homework, especially for elementary school kids, is counterproductive. The argument is that homework can frustrate younger students and parents. Instead, homework non-believers think kids should be spending more time playing, sleeping or experiencing life.

“We are not going in that direction. I think it's good for kids to learn independence, having to finish an assignment at home or doing something at home,” said Dr. Emilie Lonardi, Superintendent of the West York Area School District.

Before you get too excited kids, it doesn’t appear many, if any, school districts in Central Pennsylvania are jumping on the no homework train. Out of the handful we talked with, all think extending the book time to home life is important.

“I think education is important. I think having our kids be prepared for the complexities of life is very important,” Mitzel said.

As principal of Eastern York High School, Mitzel puts a premium on education and preparing kids for college and career. He believes homework can be a useful tool which should be applied on a case-by-case basis.

“If homework works, continue it. If it doesn't work, don't use it,” he said.

For kids in the West York Area School District, it doesn’t look like the homework is going away anytime soon.

“I think homework is a probably from the students point of view an evil. I call it a necessary evil,” Dr. Lonardi said.