On April 16th 2008, Toronto Canada became one of the first jurisdictions in North America to pass a substantive homework reform policy.
The policy reduces the homework burden on middle school and high school students and all but eliminates homework in the elementary grades. In addition, homework will no longer be allowed during vacations.
The new policy mandates that teacher’s co-ordinate their efforts and that the homework that is sent home is “clearly articulated and carefully planned” and “require no additional teaching outside the classroom”.
This policy is a major breakthrough for those of us who have been advocating for homework reform.
When I started to write this it was intended to be a “how to” guide for anyone who wanted to replicate what we have achieved in Toronto. But when I read it it seemed preachy.
I guess what I really want to communicate is, just start. Every situation is different, every school board is different, and every community is different, but just start somewhere.