Should kids get homework on snow days?
I found myself between arguments about what kids should and shouldn’t be doing while schools are closed by back-to-back snow storms that have left the Washington D.C. region paralyzed for days on end.
I’ve been writing about this issue , saying that kids should in fact do something other than play video games. I've also asked children of different ages whether they think they should be studying, and, knowing that they just had Christmas break and that spring break beckons, they invariably giggle somewhat sheepishly and say “yes.”
Post education reporters and editors had an e-mail discussion about an email we received, which asked how many teachers were using Blackboard communications to post assignments. School systems have spent millions of dollars to install Blackboard on their websites. The emailer said her children's teachers were not using it, and she was irritated.
Here’s the way an e-mail among education editors and reporters went (punctuation as written):
Wrote one reporter:
Besides the obvious reason that people given a day off will generally take the day off, there's a real equity issue about distance learning--not every kid or parent can access this stuff every day. Real, sustained online access is a barrier for many kids. So schools that try to teach kids at home risk widening the gap between haves and have-nots.
that's true, but why leave the majority of kids who CAN be doing work doing nothing?....
Then another education editor weighed in:
This is Washington super-achievement run amok. Let the kids have a few days off. It won't kill them.
To which the reporter responded:
Easy for you to say!
Your kids are already in college...
Who's going stir crazy this week at YOUR house?
To which I say: I’ll ask my readers to make the call. I'd love to hear from parents and teachers about what is possible.
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| February 10, 2010; 6:30 AM ET
Categories: Homework, Learning | Tags: homework
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