French Government Moves To Ban Homework To Achieve Social Equality

French President François Hollande has attracted considerable international attention in his new tax policies including a 75% tax rate for super wealthy citizens. Now, Hollande is moving to eradicate another inequity between wealthy and non-wealthy families: homework. Hollande believes that homework exacerbates the unfairness since wealthier parents have greater ability to work with their children at night than do average working parents.

Hollande stressed that “[a]n education program is, by definition, a societal program. Work should be done at school, rather than at home” to alleviate any unfairness.

There are good reasons to question the utility of homework and the loss of free time for our children. I happen to believe strongly in homework but I share the concern over the loss of time for our kids to simply relax and be kids. However, the suggestion that homework is yet another socio-economic unfairness is wrong in my view. Plenty of working class parents spend time with their kids on homework. Indeed, there is a well-based view of many immigrant and working-class families pushing their children harder to excel in schools. Affluent families often do not reflect the same sense of urgency and commitment. It is also, in my view, bizarre that France would seek to “even the playing field” by shrinking it. Homework allows kids to work under the supervision of their parents who have the greatest levels of influence. It is not easy. With four kids, Leslie and I find it increasingly tough to get through everyone’s assignments. However, it keeps us informed of their progress and allows us to address gaps in their classroom learning. With large public school classes, such gaps are common as teachers are spread thin in class.

To Hollande’s credit, he is also calling for more public teachers and resources — as opposed to our country which continues to diminishment our commitment to public education.

Source: Washington

32 thoughts on “French Government Moves To Ban Homework To Achieve Social Equality”

  1. “This extra time could include aides to help those who need it. Maybe hire some of those parents who need the work and who also have the skills.”

    Or those students who have finished their homework could tutor younger students who need the help.

  2. Why I have a hard time with essays – lots of editing needed….

    “Homework should have” should be “Homework should NOT have”

  3. Homework should have to be done at home. Each child’s schedule should include time for any extra work.

    I was usually able to get my homework done during the short homeroom period or between classes or before band practice or…..A study hall could have been available if I dropped a class but dropping the class/es I didn’t like (English and Social Studies) wouldn’t have been wise. I never took it home for my younger brothers and sisters to mess up my books or papers. Besides, I had my hands full babysitting and fixing dinner. Essays were always late b/c I couldn’t deal with the blank sheet of paper that usually ended up with sketches of whatever I could see. It wasn’t until the advent of the word processor that I found writing to be anything but a horrible experience.

    Current situation with another family is a dad who goes to work before the kids get home from school and a mom who gets home about the time the kids should be in bed b/c she needs the overtime. The two older kids don’t have homework b/c they have extra time during the school day to get it done. The youngest needs the adult supervision that he’s not getting. Video games are more fun.

    I like the idea of no homework as an equalizer but there should be time during the school day for the students to do the extra work on their own. Those who don’t need the time are probably the students who would benefit from extra, optional assignments in areas of their interest that would further their education beyond what they are already getting.

    This extra time could include aides to help those who need it. Maybe hire some of those parents who need the work and who also have the skills. Oh, I forgot, that money is needed for more bombs for the drones. Damn.

  4. J’Accuse…!

    Helping France along to be at a comparative disadvantage with other countries. All with the goal of achieving social greatness. This French leader has some rather counterproductive ideas of the real world.

  5. The studies that show which nations have the most savvy students ought to determine which educational systems are best.

  6. Montessori schools do not assign homework and do not need to assign homework. THAT is what France should do to achieve equality: go Montessori.

  7. DeborahNewellsays: too many kids today are showing the negative results of too much to do in too little time, i.e. stress behaviors, insomnia, eating disorders, and depression.
    Since school is work for kids, to prepare them for the real world, including learning things that they will never use but helps to instill learning patterns and habits, maybe the too much to do is the gymnastics, tennis, karate, overscheduliing that has too many kids being shuttled to one activity to another without time out.
    The thing kids are not learning it seems is how to have down time, how to be alone with themselves, how to sit still and read a book or work out the math problems. Homework helps a child to learn on his own, at his own pace whether he has good parents or not (My father screamed at me to do my homework and would not let me keep the radio on which helped drown out all the other noise so I could concentrate. 2 parents in an upper middle class home does not automatically mean the kid has a better chance.
    (I, like Mike, was a lousy student. hated school, bored as a gourd as they say. Even with all A’s and B’s senior year I graduated in the lower 3/5th of my HS class. Thanks for SATS I got into all but one school to which I applied. Different theme but ending the Sat’s would be a detriment to many.)
    Seerms like we are bending over, throughout the world not just here – the post about teaching to the ethnicity, to work to the lowest common denominator. That is not who I want becoming my doctor, my kids teacher (if I had kids), my dentist, lawyer, etc,.

  8. More misguided nonsense from Hollande. The French deserve what they get if they continue to follow this fool.

  9. It’s good to see France is getting back to the France we know and love! How long before we need to pull their pompous asses out of the fire again?

  10. The French President got this one wrong. Homework can be essential to success in school and provides a template for what one needs to do to succeed not just in high school and college, but grad school and on the job.

  11. I disagree with Professor Turley. For one thing, I think I speak for a number of parents in saying that adult life is busy and stressful enough without having to plow through fifty algebra equations and ten pages of chemistry worksheets every evening–mainly because doing so requires that I re-learn algebra, something I wasn’t exactly wild about the first time around.

    For another, I think the few precious afterschool hours our kids *do* have are better spent reading for pleasure, going out into the fresh air and and kicking a ball around, helping to cook dinner (and thus learning an enjoyable and valuable skill in the process), watching a little (emphasis on LITTLE) teevee–especially if it’s something funny or historically relevant, or a beautifully-crafted work-of-art movie–and generally blowing off steam.

    There will be time enough for bringing work home from the office when they’re adults, and far too many kids today are showing the negative results of too much to do in too little time, i.e. stress behaviors, insomnia, eating disorders, and depression.

  12. Actually, President Hollande has a valid point. Professor Turley falls back on a commonly held myth of the liberal coordinator class, “Plenty of working class parents spend time with their kids on homework. Indeed, there is a well-based view of many immigrant and working-class families pushing their children harder to excel in schools.”

    And plenty do not. Every once in a while an exceptional student will rise from abject poverty and, once discovered by both coordinator class bleeding hearts and free market fundamentalist, paraded round as his/her academic success is the rule and not the exception.

    Affluent parents also have the financial wherewithal to boost the academic credential of their dunderheaded progeny by hiring private tutors, think Sylvan Learning Center, and/or SAT/ACT prep lessons. A working single-mother, even one working for, say, the Postal Service, has neither the time or the monetary resources to have her brightest child groomed in such a manner.

  13. As a student I consistently never let my homework interfere with my after school life, consequently I finished in the bottom quarter of my HS class, yet won a full tuition college scholarship based on a standardized test. In college I graduated with a low cum average because of utilizing maximum cuts and minimum homework,, but immediately found work afterwards. I also went to Graduate School on a full tuition scholarship. However, twixt College and Grad school, I attended Law School for 2.5 years at night. At Law School I discovered to my dismay that one needed to do extensive homework to succeed. My dismay was flunking out after devoting considerable time. This taught me finally the importance of doing the work assigned in order to succeed ad helped me in my future endeavors.

    While I understand the concept behind this ruling, I think it is ass backwards. Inequality of opportunity is not correctable by treating the symptoms, it is curing the cause. If your society is set up on an unequal basis, then the results will be unequal. The first step is eliminating the poverty, not its results.

  14. Are you kidding me? What a putz. Equality would be to require each kid to have two parents at home and a work study room set aside for the kids. Next he will say it is unfair for one kid to have just one parent so all kids must have one parent. You want to put it all on the teachers. Dumb down you dumb clown. Go back to Holland where you came from and they will laugh you out of Amsterdam. Students in America should be aware of this. In ten years the results will be in and France will need to import college grads to do things that they cant do anymore.

  15. J’aimerais m’installer en France, dans un battement de coeur ….!

  16. I was a stay-at-home parent; my then-wife and I believed it was best to allow our children to be responsible for their own homework, while we were available to them when they wanted help. I have seen parents push their kids to do their homework the way the parents want it – and even seen parents DO their children’s homework in order to forestall a bad grade. The homework, in my opinion, is the children’s work, not that of the parents.

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