School Homework Policy Analysis

 

 

A homework policy constitutes the principles that guide the assigning of tasks for students by teachers to be completed, outside the class. These principles are aimed to give the best outcomes for the students. The homework policy at the Prince William County School is aimed at enriching, enhancing, and extending the instructional program. The homework policy at this school aims to incorporate homework as a meaningful component of the instructional program. Such homework should only involve work for which the student is ready and should be well understood by the student. Teachers are required to offer feedback on the homework to the students. Assigning of such homework is at the teacher’s discretion.  The Associate Superintendent for Student Learning and Accountability or a designee does the implementation and the monitoring of this policy. The policy was adopted on June 18th 1974 and is reviewed from time to time, lastly on September 14th 2016. It will be next reviewed or revised in 2019. The stakeholders involved in this policy are the school board, students, teachers, and the Superintendent. The policy areas that require analysis include the concept of the homework as a meaningful compliment of the instructional program and the assigning of the homework based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s instructional needs.

There are several problems related to this policy. First the aim of this policy is ambiguous. By just stating that homework is intended as a meaningful component of the instructional problem, there is a lot left out in specific details. The question here is what aspects will it meaningful? The assignment is also stated as a teacher-student issue. This is not correct since, unlike classwork, homework is done outside school. It is therefore necessary to include the parents as important stakeholders. Consequently, parents’ roles have not been defined. Another ambiguity arises where the policy states that all assigned homework will receive feedback from the teacher. Of course, this is a good thing but by what time frame will the teacher give feedback? If a teacher takes too long, it could lose meaning, but also requires some time to evaluate the assignment.

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The policy does not however lack its merits especially by being student-oriented. It does this by stating that homework assignments should be understood by students and that it should only involve work for which the student is ready for. This ensures that teachers do not give homework that above a student’s level. It also does well to insist that the teachers give feedback to students on the homework. The part on focusing on the student’s instructional needs is also of importance. The objective that guides this whole policy is strong which states that the role of homework is to enrich, enhance, and extend the instructional program. The four main stakeholders in this policy, i.e., board, students, teachers, and the superintendent all have their roles well defined. This includes the support of the policy by the board, the role of the teacher in assigning homework by the policy guidelines, the role of the student in completing of the assignment, and the role of the superintendent in reviewing/revising the policy.

One of the alternative policies is the Arlington public schools policy. One of its cost implications is that the policy and the policy implementation manual should be published in brochures and all local school handbooks. It also requires the employment of instructional supervisors. The policy is however very elaborated, on everyone’s role in assignments. The benefits for the students are immense. Every grade is considered separately according to its needs. The parents can follow up on the student’s progress and become involved through communication with the teacher. The homework policy at Fairfax county public schools requires the input of the school employees, advanced learners, and parents regarding the homework. The costs are low in this policy with higher expected outcomes of supporting the instructional program.

References

Protheroe, N. (2009). Good homework policy. Principal89(1), 42-45.

Carr, N. S. (2013). Increasing the effectiveness of homework for all learners in the inclusive classroom. School Community Journal23(1), 169.

 

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