Today, the NY Times looks at an issue crippling the city: The ruinous amount of homework assigned by private schools like Dalton, Trinity and Horace Mann, "Armed with neuroscience, self-analysis and common sense, some of New York City’s most competitive high schools, famed for their Marine-like mentality when it comes to homework, have begun to lighten the load for fear of crushing their teenage charges."
There are two camps, according to the Times: The Tiger Mom camp "...who see hard work as a rite of passage, part of what they pay $40,000 for and essential to making their children competitive. (One father commented wryly that it was unlikely that parents in India and China were fretting about overwork.)" and the parents and educators who cite evidence that children with over three hours of homework are stressed out and sleeping very little. Trinity even brought in a sleep consultant to guide re-thinking its workload. But whatever: People, City Councilman Peter Vallone was all over this in 2007!
New Yorker writer and father of two Dalton students Adam Gopnik supports the less homework movement, "There’s very little evidence that doing homework makes kids smarter. Even if it did, there are values other than achievement. For example, let’s be curious," adding, "The wind is blowing in the direction of sanity. There’s no value in stressing kids out. You are robbing them of their childhood." On the other hand, parents who think a measly three hours of homework are enough may be robbing their children of making sure they get A's, not A-minuses, on tests.