Homework has been a controversial issue in American education for over 100 years, and the arguments have changed little over time. Proponents of homework believe that it promotes increased learning, better study habits, and improved home-school communication. Opponents argue that it deprives children of time to spend on other worthwhile pursuits (including play), usurps parents' rights to plan their children's time after school, increases the achievement gap between higher and lower socioeconomic classes, harms children's health, and fails to produce academic benefits.

Parents have generally favored moderate amounts of homework, but educators' support for homework has been somewhat cyclical. In the nineteenth century, when pedagogy was based on drill, memorization, and recitation, homework was necessary if students were going to be able to recite memorized lessons ...

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