A public elementary school in New York Cityhas stopped giving its students homework.
P.S. 116 Principal Jane Hsu wrote a letter to parents last month detailing the decision, explaining that after more than a year of analyzing studies, the school had concluded that students’ after-school time would be better spent on activities like reading at their own pace and playing rather than working on class assignments.
Hsu’s letter says that many studies indicate that there is no connection between homework and academic success. Indeed, there are some studies that show that the link between homework and success is dubious at the primary school level.
A seminal 1989 study on homework by Harris Cooper, a social psychologist who researches education, found that doing homework led students to perform better in school as they grew older. In later grades, students who did homework performed increasingly better than students who did not. In 2006, Cooper published a study that analyzed 15 years' worth of data on the effectiveness of homework. He found that homework had a more positive impact on students as they aged, and identified stronger correlations between homework and achievement for students in grades seven through 12 than for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.