Dear Future President,
Improving the lives of Americans is what many presidents set out to do. America's youth population could be improved drastically if students had less homework. This issue has been debated many times, but high school students should have less homework is because it will help improve their mental and physical health, help create better parent relationships, and help them be driven to continue education in the future.
School work is becoming a problem because it is affecting the mental and physical health of students. I understand that there are only so many hours in a day, and many teachers have a lot of material to cover. It can be easier for teachers to assign homework or a reading so that it can be discussed in class. As a teacher I can see how it may seem that you are not asking very much of your students, but when most students have seven classes, things can start to build up. Researchers from Healthline surveyed 4,300 students in California and found that seventy percent of students reported that they feel constant stress that is mostly homework related (Healthline). There has been a large increase in high school students being diagnosed with anxiety and depression due to stress (New York University). The average amount of sleep for a student is 7 hours when they need 9 ½ hours to be developmentally on track (Nationwide Children's). Most students play sports or do other extra curricular activities which can lead to a lay bedtime. This means that homework is not only mentally demanding, but also physically demanding and damaging to students' health.
Students are not the only ones being stressed over homework. Parents are also feeling a weight on their shoulders. From my experience, some teachers spend class time reviewing homework and answering questions. In some of my classes, we don't always get to the lesson because we are reviewing homework. This makes it challenging to do future assignments because we didn't not cover the material in class. I have definitely had arguments with my parents because they did not know how to be helpful when I didn't understand my homework and asked for their help. This often ends in frustration for both the parents and students. Families said that they have less interaction and students often have projects even on the “breaks” from school (New York University). Families should not have to worry about not spending time with their children or helping educate them because of homework. School work should not be affecting families as much as it does.
As I did research, it seems that as school becomes more demanding, students became less driven to do their work. “We are concerned that students in these high pressure schools can get burned out before college,” states Lenard Noelle, a senior research scientist with New York University College of Nursing (New York University). Many students have dropped extracurricular activities to focus on school which is leading to a lack in creativity (Healthline). Another huge issue is that “More than two-thirds of students said they used alcohol and drugs, primarily marijuana, to cope with stress,” say researchers from Healthline. All of these issues can cause students to burn out before college and be less successful. The root of these issues are homework.
How can we solve this problem? I think that we need to focus on making sure that teachers are assigning homework that is not just busy work, but things that will really improve students education. I think that teachers have to put more trust in their students, that they will come to them if the do not understand the material instead of just giving them homework to test their knowledge. Homework should directly relate to class and class discussion. With guidelines like these, we could really improve our students education and lives.
I hope you really consider these things and I hope to see changes soon.