A couple of fifth-graders in New York put their heads together and came up with a plan to put an end to homework.
Classmates, Niko Keeley and Christopher DeLeon, at Farley Elementary School in Stony Point, created a petition and gathered more than 150 signatures from students who had similar opinions regarding homework, WCBS-TV reported.
“I hate homework,” Niko, 11, said. “It stresses me out.”
The petition grabbed the attention of North Rockland County’s Assistant School Superintendent Kris Felicello when it landed on his desk.
Now, administrators are reviewing the district’s homework policies.
What’s the story?
It all started with a conversation between the pair of friends.
“He was like, ‘Chris, so I have an idea, I want no homework.’ And I was like, ‘OK, that sounds pretty good. I think everyone would agree on that,’” Christopher, 10, said.
“First thing, I think — no homework, paper, signatures,” Niko added.
And soon they put together the petition and began collecting signatures many students who agreed with the duo’s perspective.
Others had different reasons for signing the petition.
“Some people, their parents aren’t home to help them with their homework,” Niko said.
What did the superintendent say?
The superintendent said the district is still working on changes to the district’s homework, which were prompted by the petition.
“It’s not about banning homework. It’s about looking at it differently and how are we going to do it better,” Felicello said.
The district expects to implement the new policies in the fall 2019.
Do students need homework?
Some experts believe a no-homework policy can be detrimental to learning.
“They lose sort of an independence of themselves, of what they can do on their own,” Peggy MacNamara from Bank Street Graduate School of Education told WCBS.
But too much homework can also be a problem.
“If I’m giving you homework where you’re not learning anything from that homework, that’s not helpful homework,” MacNamara said, adding that homework should not be busy work.
She recommends about 30 minutes of meaningful homework for fifth-graders.
Christopher’s mom, Tricia DeLeon, who also happens to be a teacher at the school, had mixed feelings about the petition.
“I was a little nervous, like, ‘But I’m a teacher here, you’re supposed to be doing homework,’ that was the thought,” the mother said.
But she said she’s proud of the boys’ for taking the initiative to solve what they perceived as a problem.
As for Niko and Christopher, they are pleased with themselves for starting a conversation that could lead to better policies.
“It makes me feel like powerful and important,” Christopher said.