1The majority of eighth-grade students in the United States rely on the internet at home to get their homework done. Roughly six-in-ten students (58%) say they use the internet at their home to do homework every day or almost every day, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Just 6% of students say they never use the internet at home for this purpose.
Part of this analysis also relies on data from the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The NAEP administers the digitally based Technology and Engineering Literacy assessment to better understand what students in the U.S. know and can do in the areas of technology and engineering. For more, see the assessment methodology.
3Some lower-income teens say they lack resources to complete schoolwork at home. In a 2018 Center survey, about one-in-five teens ages 13 to 17 (17%) said they are often or sometimes unable to complete homework assignments because they do not have reliable access to a computer or internet connection. Black teens and those living in lower-income households were more likely to say they cannot complete homework assignments for this reason.
For example, one-quarter of black teens said they often or sometimes cannot do homework assignments due to lack of reliable access to a computer or internet connectivity, compared with 13% of white teens and 17% of Hispanic teens. Teens with an annual family income below $30,000 were also more likely to say this than teens with a family income of at least $75,000 a year (24% vs. 9%).
In the same survey, around one-in-ten teens (12%) said they often or sometimes use public Wi-Fi to do schoolwork because they lack a home internet connection. Again, black and lower-income teens were more likely to do this. Roughly one-in-five black teens (21%) said they use public Wi-Fi to do schoolwork due to a lack of home internet connection, compared with 11% of white teens and 9% of Hispanic teens. And around a fifth (21%) of teens with an annual family income under $30,000 reported having to use public Wi-Fi to do homework, compared with 11% of teens in families with a household income of $30,000-$74,999 and just 7% of those living in households earning at least $75,000.
While schools can provide low-income students with warmth, food, supplies, and a knowledgeable teacher, asking students to bring essential work home with them may remove those pillars of support from their educational process. Further, making in-class work dependent on progress made at home invites that stress into the classroom and diminishes the positive effect of those support structures that the school has put in place.
While education is often held up as the antidote to poverty, it is quite possible that the opposite is the case. An education that is dependent on homework, especially if it requires expensive technology, may actually reduce social mobility.
I made my students a series of high-definition videos. I teach music, and the HD quality was necessary to make the music notation legible and to provide audio that would allow students to hear all of the nuances in each example. I then shared the videos with the students via a file-sharing service. To watch my videos, each student had to download several hundred megabytes of video each week.
If not, does the task build primarily on work already performed or begun in class? In other words, have students already had sufficient opportunity to dig deep into the task and work through their difficulties in the presence of peers and/or the teacher?
Can the task reasonably be accomplished, alongside homework from other classes, by students whose home life includes part-time work, significant household responsibilities, or a heightened level of anxiety at home?
Education is often lauded as the great equalizer, the giver of opportunity to the disadvantaged. However, a homework-dependent, technology-heavy pedagogy is likely to diminish social mobility. But if we educators take proper care to consider pedagogy alongside concerns of social justice, that need not be so.
In fact, while the push to eliminate homework may come as a surprise to many adults, the debate is not new. Parents and educators have been talking about this subject for the last century, so that the educational pendulum continues to swing back and forth between the need for homework and the need to eliminate homework.
The National Education Association and the National Parent Teacher Association recommend that students spend 10 minutes per grade level per night on homework. That means that first graders should spend 10 minutes on homework, second graders 20 minutes and so on. But a study published by The American Journal of Family Therapy found that students are getting much more than that.
In the scope of world history, homework is a fairly new construct in the U.S. Students of all ages have been receiving work to complete at home for centuries, but it was educational reformer Horace Mann who first brought the concept to America from Prussia.
School work assigned and completed outside of school hours is not without its benefits. Numerous studies have shown that regular homework has a hand in improving student performance and connecting students to their learning. When reviewing these studies, take them with a grain of salt; there are strong arguments for both sides, and only you will know which solution is best for your students or school.
To help students find the right balance and succeed, teachers and educators must start the homework conversation, both internally at their school and with parents. But in order to successfully advocate on behalf of students, teachers must be well educated on the subject, fully understanding the research and the outcomes that can be achieved by eliminating or reducing the homework burden. There is a plethora of research and writing on the subject for those interested in self-study.
The purpose of this position statement is to highlight the impact poverty has on students and their ability to succeed in the classroom as well as offer policy recommendations on how to best support the academic, social, emotional, and physical success of these students.
Students living in poverty often have fewer resources at home to complete homework, study, or engage in activities that helps equip them for success during the school day. Many impoverished families lack access to computers, high-speed internet (three-fourths of households currently have access to high-speed broadband), and other materials that can aid a student outside of school. Parents of these families often work longer hours or multiple jobs, meaning they may not be available to assist their children with their schoolwork.
Pascoe, M.C., Hetrick, S.E. & Parker., A.G. (2019). The impact of stress on students in secondary school and higher education. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, DOI: 10.1080/02673843.2019.1596823.
I work to advance policies and practices that ensure children have access to 21st century education, and the programs and schools that best meet their needs. I founded and serve as CEO of the Center for Education Reform (CER) where for almost 3 decades we influenced critical changes in how US education operates. In 2021 we launched the $1 million Yass Prize for Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding and Permissionless Education - the Pulitzer of Education - in partnership with Forbes, and the \"STOP\" Award Initiative to reward education providers who perform for underserved students, no matter the challenges. More about that throughout the contributor pages on which I write. I have also several publications including An Unfinished Journey: Education & the American Dream (2020) and Education Reform: Before it Was Cool (2014), and host a podcast, called in Piazza. I hold an MS in Education Entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College.
In the United States during 2012, any family of four with an annual cash income of less than $23,492 (before taxes) was considered poor. The dollar amount was called the poverty line, an economic measuring rod devised in 1964. The line was set at threetimes the amount needed to provide the cheapest nutritionally balanced diet. The poverty line is adjusted annually for inflation.
While the poverty line in the United States was more than $23,000, the median annual household income in Haiti was $2,735, in Indonesia $2,199, in Rwanda $1,101, and in Liberia $781. Any family in those countries with an income of $23,000 would be considered wealthy. During the Great Depression in the United States, when half the population was considered poor, a family with an income at the 2012 poverty line could easily afford to buy a house, a car, clothing, and food.
The severity of poverty varies depending on the economic vitality of the country in which it occurs. In more economically developed countries, such as Japan, Australia, and the countries of Europe and North America, there are many government services provided to alleviate poverty. In addition, the homeless of many cities can often find some shelter and a mission offering free meals. Less economically developed countries, however, have fewer resources to devote to helping the poor. The needy in these places may have an even more difficult experience because they cannot rely on public assistance.
To those who are poor, poverty would seem to have no differences. But several kinds of poverty have been described. They are based on such factors as duration (how long the condition lasts) and distribution (how widespread it is). Each type of poverty is a response to different social or economic circumstances.
Collective poverty affects a large number of people for a long period of time. Because this type of poverty is persistent, it is also called permanent poverty. Collective poverty may be passed on from generation to generation, from parents to their children. People living in collective poverty typically suffer from poor health and have low life expectancies. 2b1af7f3a8