Revisions to CCSD homework policy to regulate assignments Regulations went into effect beginning March 31

To eliminate excessive homework, especially assignments that do not align with academic content standards, the Clark County School District’s (CCSD) Board of Trustees ratified new amendments to their homework regulations, P-1643 and R-6143, on March 31.

I’ve never given homework, so if I had to give homework, I would give it based on the individual needs of the student,” Dental Assisting instructor Dr. Michael Georges said. “Two different kids learn in too many different ways. I have never seen a purpose for it in my program area since most of the things we do are hands-on.”

Revisions to the regulations went into effect immediately and apply to all K-12 schools in the district.

“Teaching is one of the few professions where people who have no clue about teaching tell you what to do,” English instructor Mr. Albert Ocampo. “Who determines what is successful in terms of all these things? If you compare our course work to the rest of the world when our school days are already shorter, our workload, if you compare it to countries like India and Japan, is way lighter.”

Homework assignments should now appeal to the individual needs and academic abilities of students, avoiding routine work that only reinforces mastered skills.

“I don’t know how thoroughly teachers are going to incorporate the new policies, but it’ll be interesting to see how extensively they do it next year,” junior Carl Montemayor said. “I’m assuming AP classes won’t be affected as much, but I wonder if honors classes will receive less homework.”

Although the policy suggests elementary school students to receive homework based on their grade level (10 minutes of after-school work per grade level), secondary school students will not follow a time scale. Instead, teachers are encouraged to consider the outdoor and extracurricular activities of the students while assigning homework.

“[After taking mathematics and learning order of operations], however, they may be given homework related to something that is totally off topic,” Chief Student Achievement Officer Dr. Mike Barton said in this CCSD news release. “We’re trying to change the thinking that homework is an across-the-board, automatic requirement for all students, just because historically we’ve been assigning that homework.”

Despite the revisions, students in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes may not see their amount of homework affected.

“The new policy will probably not apply to me because I plan to take many AP classes next year,” junior Keena Venegas said. “We’re expected to take on extensive workloads to prepare for college.”

While revising the policy, the topic initiated discussions of grade reform and how teachers should calculate the weight of homework in a student’s overall grade.

“I never thought homework should contribute to a major portion of our grade,” senior Randell Beria said. “Our grades should reflect our productivity and performance in class instead of our ability to practice.”