Florida county bans homework for elementary school students

Superintendent cites research for decision

OCALA, Fla. – Homework, schmomework.

Elementary school students in Marion County won't have to worry about doing any more homework.

Marion County Superintendent Heidi Maier on Wednesday issued a "no homework" mandate to teachers at the district's 31 elementary schools, Marion County Public Schools spokesman Kevin Christian said.

Maier's decision was based on research that shows students perform better when given a break from the rigors of a typical school day.

The study, conducted by Richard Allington, a University of Tennessee professor of theory and practice in teacher education, found that reading to a child has more positive effects than homework.

"The research showed that students who are given a preponderance of homework do not perform better, or get better grades, than those who do not," Maier noted.

Parents will be asked to read with their children for 20 minutes every night, school officials said.

Christian said some assignments, like science projects or research papers, will be assigned on occasion, but daily homework will not be a part of the district's plan.

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