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A University of Michigan study last year found homework increasing overall from 1981 to 1997 with the biggest increase falling on students aged 6 to 8 whose homework load tripled Piscataway is one of many school districts to ban or severely limit homework across the country The school board in this district of about 7000 students limited it on weeknights from 30 minutes in elementary school to two hours in high school discouraged homework on weekends and prohibited teachers from grading it or using it as punishment The school board which unanimously voted for the policy said homework was putting too much pressure on students already over scheduled lives too often dragging parents into helping finish it doing it and becoming a substitute for good teaching in the classroom Some parents and teachers worry that fewer assignments will leave students less prepared for college A few studies suggest that rigorous homework leads to better scores but most researchers say there is no correlation Experts say it is hard if not impossible to know how many school districts nationwide limit homework The National PTA and the National Education Association the nations largest teachers union encourage limits similar to the ones imposed here On the other hand in 1998 the rural community of Akron NY outraged some parents by imposing minimum daily requirements that are about the same as what Piscataway sets as a maximum There is no question that officials in Piscataway have tapped into a growing frustration among parents who say that homework is consuming not only their childrens lives but their own Were attacking the fabric of an institution said the superintendent Ronald E Bolandi I think weve opened up peoples eyes If Piscataway is in the forefront so be it It was really not so long ago in the 1930s that cities including New York and Chicago banned or limited homework and the American Child Health Association classified it as child
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