Should teachers grade homework?

Increasingly, teachers are assigning homework but not grading it, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Educators say many of the daily assignments measure a student’s work ethic more than knowledge. Besides, they say, some papers come back with an obvious assist from mom and dad.

Homework should be seen as practice, says Ken O’Connor, a teacher turned consultant. Students benefit from feedback on what they need to improve, he says. “Nobody gets better from getting a 1 out of 10.”

The change comes as many schools revamp their entire approach to grades. The end-of-term average that for years lumped together tests, homework and class participation did not show whether students mastered a specific set of skills, teachers and curriculum experts said.

Now, many teachers calculate a student’s grade without regard for homework. They reserve that for a separate section of the report card that asks if “students complete homework on time.”

A St. Louis-area school district has told teachers to grade homework, but not to count the score in the final grade.

Some Detroit schools mailed activities packets to students in grades three through eight, telling them the homework is due on the first day of school.

Teachers, should homework be graded? If so, how much should it count in assessing the final grade?

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