At a Chicago-area K-8 school in a middle-class black area, students didn’t do homework. So teachers stopped assigning it, or made homework only 10 percent of the grade.
Caroline Lacey, a Marya Yates reading language arts teacher, sets aside 40 to 70 minutes of class time each week for students to read by themselves, a task that might otherwise be assigned as homework.
In other words, the teacher isn’t teaching about a third of the time; she’s a study hall monitor. In most schools, the “sustained silent reading” time is a separate period; it’s not taken out of class time.
Lee Dolan, a science teacher, hasn’t had a lunch period to herself in years, instead devoting that time to students looking to complete assignments.
Most 5th and 8th grade reading and writing scores are at or slightly above the state average, with math lagging. However, students may falter in high school, when they’ll have to manage their time and work without a teacher’s supervision.