Manatee Co. School Board member thinks kids should not do homework

Charlie Kennedy believes elementary school students should not be assigned homework

AP Photo

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — Many kids in the Tampa Bay area are dreading the start of school next month, but some already have reason to rejoice — a Manatee County school board member is thinking about getting rid of homework.

Board member Charlie Kennedy feels the extra work doesn’t benefit young children, so he believes that elementary school students should not be assigned homework. Instead, he feels parents should instead spend that time reading to their kids.

Kennedy was inspired after learning about a no-homework policy that was put in place in Marion County.

“There’s really no measurable or long term benefit to elementary students taking home homework on a daily basis,” said Kennedy.

Numerous studies have not found a direct link between homework and student success.

In fact, one study found students in Japan and Finland are given less homework but still outperform US students.

“Sometimes kids are just taking things home for the sake of it, it’s not really meaningful work,” explained Kennedy.

Instead, Kennedy feels parents should use that time to read with their kids.

“Reading is just so fundamental to every academic pursuit, that if we can work on that, if we can solidify that in elementary school, that kid’s gonna have a great foundation going forward to middle and high school,” said Kennedy.

Mother Suki Trupia think it’s a great idea.

“I agree with that, homework can kind of be tedious and take a lot of your family time, especially if you’re already doing what you need to do as a proactive parent,” said Trupia.

She already reads to her two young girls every night and has seen some great benefits.

“It teaches them expression, it teaches them words that they would normally not use on a daily basis, it gives them character, they tend to emulate the parent more,” explained Trupia.

But other parents are concerned.

“They’ll be stuck on their phones or playing video games when they don’t have homework, parents don’t know what they’re bringing home or what they’re doing in school so it helps the parents stay in touch and stay included in their schooling,” said parent Krysten O’Donnell.

Kennedy feels students should still be assigned long-term projects at home.

“This is not a blanket ban on any work going home, it’s more of a let’s stop and look at the quality of the work that we’re requiring students to do,” said Kennedy

He plans to bring up the idea in an upcoming school board meeting. The policy would not apply to middle or high school students.

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