Editorial: Does homework really add up?


Faithlyn Leveillee

Homework op-ed cartoon.

Penelope Jaeger, Staff writer

The common held belief that homework improves grades has long been debated by teachers and students alike, and more often than not, we’ve taken the teacher’s word for it. Due to this, the typical high schooler spends an average of four hours per night on homework.

Four hours each night adds up, quickly amounting to 20 hours each week. With school time already taking up 35 hours per week, students are left with about 13 hours each day for spending time with family and friends, doing activities they enjoy, participating in extracurriculars, and even basic needs like eating, sleeping, and transportation.

THese expectations take a toll on a students’ health and happiness. According to a poll, 56% of students reported having experienced physical symptoms of stress such as headaches, exhaustion, weight loss, and stomach problems. Not to mention, high schoolers have the same levels of anxiety nowadays as psychiatric patients in the early 1950s. Homework also has the disadvantage of having to be done at home. Often times students have questions about the work and parents don’t always know the answer. This forces students to either fill in correct answers for the sake of completion versus leaving them blank to do it correctly the next day, when it’s due.

So is homework worth it? Not according to the facts. In global education rankings done in 2019, the U.S. has a total score of 1498. Compare that to Fance’s score of 1491. The peculiar this is, homework is banned in France.

By having some free time, French students are healthier, happier, and able to focus better in school. In math, France is ten points ahead of the U.S., with a score of 497 compared to a score of 487. And, despite math being commonly being one of the subjects with averagely the most amount of homework, French students are doing better at it.

According to research done by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD for short, four hours of homework assignments weekly had a “negligible effect”, if any. So, instead of tiring our students to the breaking point, we should consider giving them some leeway, that way they can do better while they are actually at school.