Kips Bay, Manhattan: School Ditches Homework, Tells Kids To Play, Parents Are Outraged

A New York City public school in Kips Bay, Manhattan, has outraged parents — and, presumably, delighted kids — by completely ditching homework, instead telling kids to play, read, and spend time with their families, DNA Info is reporting.

Public School 116 (also known as The Mary Lindley Murray School) principal Janet Hsu sent home a letter with the kids last month, saying that math problems, spelling worksheets, and reading assignments are a thing of the past.

“The topic of homework has received a lot of attention lately, and the negative effects of homework have been well established. They include: children’s frustration and exhaustion, lack of time for other activities and family time and, sadly for many, loss of interest in learning.”

Every PS 116 student's dream just came true.
Every PS 116 student’s dream just came true.

“In fact, you may be surprised to learn that there have been a variety of studies conducted on the effects of homework in the elementary grades and not one of them could provide any evidence that directly links traditional homework practices with current, or even future, academic success.”

Principal Hsu’s letter doesn’t mention any specific homework studies by name. One such study that seems to back up the principal’s homework claims was conducted at Stanford University and came out in March 2014.

“Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good.”

The new no homework policy doesn’t mean that PS 116’s teachers and administrators want kids to vegetate in front of video games and the TV, however. Instead of homework, the school suggests kids read, play outside, and spend time with their families.

Despite whatever feelings the kids at PS 116 may have about the no homework policy, their parents are not feeling it, according to KDVR.

Daniel Tasman, father of a second-grader, says that it’s necessarily about the learning. Homework serves a larger purpose.

“I think they should have homework — some of it is about discipline. I want [my daughter] to have fun, but I also want her to be working towards a goal.”

Another parent, identified only as Stanley, says that he’ll be taking his third-grader to the bookstore to make up for the lack of homework assigned at school.

“I give him extra work, though. I go to Barnes & Nobles and give him my own homework.”

Do you think ending homework in elementary school is a good thing? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

[Images courtesy of Getty Images/FPG, JJanga]

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