LAUSD Declares Homework Racist, Classist
How to deal with the rude K-12 achievement gap in Los Angeles? District officials have a new solution that should be pretty popular all-around.
Based on the theory that homework is more likely to be completed by kids with a secure home life and involved parents -- aka, the white middle class -- LAUSD is forcing teachers to cap homework at 10 percent of a student's grade, beginning next month.
"Varying degrees of access to academic support at home, for whatever reason, should not penalize a student so severely that it prevents the student from passing a class, nor should it inflate the grade. ... While some students do not have the opportunity to do homework while away from school thus failing to return assignments, for others, it is difficult to be sure that it was the student who actually did the work."
Good to know someone's finally onto those insufferable little brats (future "handicapped narcissists" blubbering to their shrinks about their perfect childhoods) who suck Otter Pop 'front the tube while Mom and Dad fill out their multiplication tables. And, as Gawker notes, "If you dislike this policy you're probably a jerk who doesn't care about poor kids or those who live in fucked up homes. You're also a humongous nerd."
But we can't think of a better way to discourage kids -- privileged or not -- from doing homework than by telling them they can get a B+ without even glancing at the stack. Having been not-so-much of homework-doers ourselves, we can attest that this policy would have been the cherry atop the whole "handicapped narcissism" thing.
Students in the Times piece seem to be on the same page as our high-school selves:
"I do my homework, but I don't do it too often," said Marshall junior Lexus Bailey, whose schedule includes honors classes. "I'll tell myself I'm going to do my homework, then I don't."
"It's a waste of time and a poor reflection of whether I'm learning the subject," said Marshall senior Manny Hernandez, who is developing his own janitorial business outside of school hours. "And it's so easy to copy other students' homework, it's ridiculous."
Maybe teachers should just stop assigning shitty homework?
According to an article in EduGuide, "in order to learn, children must add new knowledge to old knowledge -- kind of like building a bridge." (Gag.) Studies showed that by the time students reached high school, they did 25 percent better on tests with the reinforcement of homework.
We've contacted some humongous nerds for comment, because we're still not quite convinced an awesome homework policy is worth an even dumber graduating class at LAUSD.
Update: Sorry, but it's time to nerd out. If you're interested in the repercussions this might have on 1 in 10 California kids, continue to Page 2.