El Paso ISD Explains New No Homework Policy
The El Paso Independent School District changed their regulations on homework for elementary school children in grades 2 - 5. We had some questions about the new regulations and how they would work. I asked Gustavo Reveles, a spokesperson for EPISD, these questions:
1. David Call told us that the homework was to be capped at 10 - 30 minutes, but the homework timetable in the memo is twice that. Which one will teachers be following?
2. If kids take longer to do homework and "grading should be adjusted to reflect time spent completing work", how will teachers know that? Will parents have to make notations on the homework to inform teachers how long homework actually took?
3. The memo states that "quantity and quality" of homework should be tailored individually because "one-size fits all" is counterproductive. How will teachers tailor assignments for individual children and if they don't, will there be a grading curve for children who can't keep up academically?
I got this answer back. You decide whether he answered my questions adequately:
The District is working on a regulation (basically, a practice that is not policy) regarding this issue. Please note that this practice applies only to elementary school students. Attached you'll find a memo outlining the details. Also, here is a statement from Tamekia Brown, our Chief Academics Officer, regarding this matter:
Effective immediately, Academics & School Leadership is defining homework practices for K-5 students to reflect ten minutes times the grade level as reflected on the attached memo to Superintendent Cabrera. Of note, these times reflect time spent doing homework, acknowledge that some students take longer to do homework, and grading should be adjusted to reflect time spent completing work. There is one exception for 2nd grade as we introduce some time for mathematics, but for all other grade levels, it is consistent with ten minute rule. We believe homework is an important part of the education process and adds value when done in moderation and with an individual student's best interest in mind. We believe homework for an elementary child should reinforce learning and be differentiated based on what students have shown they can do independently. We believe that children should have time in the evenings to play, spend time with family, and engage in other activities that will h elp them to grow into well rounded individuals. We believe that literacy serves as a building block for all learning that a student experiences throughout life and is essential to elementary age students. We believe that numeracy is the foundation for all STEM related academic and career experiences an elementary child will have and therefore should be reinforced through homework.