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LAUSD's Super. Deasy Axes Lame Less-Homework Policy

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It wasn't his policy, and he doesn't really like it: Los Angeles Unified School District John Deasy is sending the district's lame new less-homework policy to detention until it can shape up and be better for their students.

The LAUSD's controversial homework policy went into effect this summer, and mandates that homework represent no more than 10% of a student's total grade. The wisdom behind this policy was that homework aggravated the tender financial inequality in the classroom and district; the theory was that when kids go home, they don't all have the same chance to do their homework, or do it well.

In a statement issued today, Deasy says he's uneasy about the policy, which was approved before he took the Super's job, and wants to work on it a bit more: "After careful consideration, I have decided to postpone implementation of the District’s homework policy. While well-intentioned, I am not confident that the initial policy received sufficient comments and general input from parents, teachers, and board members. We cannot and will not implement a policy of this magnitude without actively soliciting and incorporating recommendations from our constituencies."

You know, they meant well (yay, more time for test taking, which, as we all know, is what measures knowledge and aptitude), but giving homework such a low role in the education experience just might not be the brightest idea.

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"I continue to believe that this District needs a policy that properly balances homework with other critical factors—tests, classroom participation, and others—in determining student performance," adds Deasy.

The plan is to have Jaime Aquino, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, work on a new homework policy for the LAUSD, which will be submitted to Deasy by January 1, 2012. Here's hoping Aquino does his homework on time, and checks out the existing research about the connection between homework and achievement.