This article examines homework's place in American K-12 schooling over the last century and draws three main conclusions. First, homework has always aroused strong passions pro and con. Second, despite prominent press reports to the contrary in the early 20th century and again today, the best evidence suggests that most parents have consistently supported homework during the last 100 years. Third, homework practice is slow to change but is not unmovable, as evidenced by increases in high school homework in the decade after Sputnik and recent increases in homework for children in grades K-2. Nevertheless, the academic excellence movement of the last 20 years has succeeded in raising homework expectations only for the youngest children.


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