Teachers, students question value of homework

- School doesn't end for children once they get home.  For generations, students have been expected to do homework. But a new movement is changing that: Many schools across the country are adopting the "no homework" trend.

Texas second-grade teacher Brandy Young sent home a letter to parents letting them know she wouldn't be assigning homework for the entire school year. It quickly went viral. On her website, she encouraged other teachers to do the same, saying, "Research has been unable to prove that homework improves student performance."

Dr. Yvonne Franco, a professor of education at the University of Tampa, agrees. "The research just doesn't show that deeper learning occurs from more hours of homework."

WATCH: Linda Hurtado will have a closer look at "no homework" schools on FOX 13 News at 10.

Center Academy Lutz takes a different approach to homework, in order to help their students who are already struggling with learning challenges.

"Our goal for our students is to have no homework," the academy's Andrew Guido explained. "We'd like them to work hard while they are here."

Eighth-grade student Alexandria Piburn says this tactic has been a game-changer. "I like it better because then you could just go up to the teacher right then and there and just ask them and everything, and then you can bring the easier stuff home."

"Going home and having that free time and not feeling stressed out that you don't have to continue to do work is the best thing. Then there are no struggles at home," her mom Randi added.  "There is no crying at home, and she feels accomplished."

Alexandria's teacher says students like her struggled in the public school setting.

"Her grades have gone up because she has the help throughout the day with her work," Magalie Mitchell offered.  "One of the reasons was because of the homework policy and they could not get their work completed or completed correctly."

We checked the homework policies of some Bay Area counties. According to Hillsborough County's policy, homework should not exceed a total of 15 to 20 minutes per night for kindergarten, 30 minutes for grades one through three, and 45 minutes in grades four and five.

In Pinellas County schools, homework is a teacher-by-teacher decision in all subject areas.

Polk County policy states that the number, frequency, and degree of difficulty of homework assignments should be based on the ability and needs of the student.

Alexandria says her school's policy has given her more time with her family and made her a better student.

"It'll also help me be able to just study more and put more time into my studying for school instead of like having to sit there and do homework as well."

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