Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Homework Keeps Kids Busy, Too Busy For What's Really Important

 Elmbrook homework policy on agenda

The Elmbrook School Board may vote tonight on a new district policy that would limit most homework to no more than 10% of a student's overall grade, while allowing greater grade weight for larger take-home projects.

A 50-member district grading and reporting task force had recommended in May 2006 that most homework not be graded at all - a change that drew criticism and ridicule from some talk radio hosts and bloggers.

Meting out poor grades for early homework assignments while students are learning and practicing new concepts can cause students to give up, believing they can't make up for the low grades with latter work, task force research says.

Once students have time to practice concepts, they should be graded on whether they have mastered those concepts, said Eileen Depka, assistant superintendent for educational services.

Teachers also can make major homework projects more than 10% of a student's overall grades, such as science projects or term papers, under the proposed new policy.

Extra credit can only be awarded for work that is directly tied to the curriculum and not for other class activities such as collecting goods to donate to needy children.

Depka said teachers and administrators have supported the homework changes.

Other task force recommendations, such as moving to a 10-point grading scale (90 to 100 represents an A) from the existing 7-point scale (93 to 100 is an A), and adding extra grade weight to trancripted credit courses offered at technical colleges, have not been implemented.


conversation with paulette and sara. pbs program on homework, little value, keeps kids away from family time family dinner 

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