Florida county issues new 'no homework' policy for elementary school students

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According to the Tampa Bay Times, Marion County Superintendent Heidi Maier said research has shown that homework does not enhance learning.

It is daily homework that will no longer be a part of school life. She said students read with more enthusiasm when they pick their own texts. This is because the influences on homework are complex and no simple general finding is applicable to all students.

The superintendent is also introducing more playtime to the school day, giving students 20 minutes of "uninterrupted recess" in addition to their usual physical education class.

Parents will be asked to spend 20 minutes every evening with their kids, reading a variety of books, which need not be of academic value.

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Apart from the study that Maier based her decision on, there have been several reports in the past that have shown that children in elementary schools do far more hours of homework than is originally recommended.

The "no homework" mandate does not apply to middle and high school students. For example, assignments like science projects or research papers will still be assigned on occasion. Research shows that when a caring adult sits together with their child reading it can increase reading comprehension, Maier noted.

This is not the first time in elementary school has done away with homework.

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