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When Homework Goes Online

Jay Mathews recites an anecdote from a former colleague about her children's teachers neglecting simple internet resources for their students over at The Washington Post's Class Struggle blog.

The two kids of his former colleague, Linda Thompson, attend school in the Washington, D.C. metro area where their district provides Web pages for each teacher to upload homework assignments. While Thompson checked the page nightly for her kids' homework assignments, she often came up empty handed.

Thompson was delighted to discover the web homework schedules when her older daughter was a sixth grader. Disappointment followed when, she said, "I found out only about half of her teachers used it. Some teachers were weeks behind in updating the info. My older daughter is off to high school next year and has matured amazingly over the past three years, so I don't have to worry that much about her stuff anymore--but now my younger daughter is in third grade, and I am in my second year of trying to get her teachers to use the web."
...I am sure some teachers see this as one more chore added to an already long day. But wouldn't it save time otherwise spent fielding parent calls or dealing with their children's incomplete work? Other school districts told me they get few complaints like this, but make sure principals take them seriously.

Do you believe that having a district-provided Web page for students' homework assignments adds another unnecessary burden to teachers? Or does it provide students and parents with an invaluable resource?

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