While some parents think their kids are being bombarded with homework assignments, the annual Brown Center Report on American Education paints quite a different picture.
The percentage of 17-year-olds who reported having between one and two hours of homework on a typical school night fell from 27% in 1984 to 23% in 2012. In another study, the University of California-Los Angeles found that the percentage of college freshmen nationwide who remembered having six or more hours of homework a week as a high school senior dropped from 50% in 1986 to 38% in 2012.
“It still doesn’t look like kids are overworked,” Tom Loveless, an education researcher who conducted the Brown Center Report for the Brookings Institute, told USA Today. “The percentage who are overworked is really small.”
The study should help combat the perception some parents have that homework loads are out of control. Some school districts are even thinking about placing time limits on assignments or making homework optional.
However, data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that the 17-year-olds who reported having no homework at all went from 27% in 1984 to 22% in 2012. The NAEP study also found that nine-year-olds were the only students who reported an increase in homework assignments, with 22% of the students reporting no homework in 2012 compared to 35% in 1984.