A Challenge for Garza: Excessive Homework

A Challenge for Garza: Excessive Homework

To the Editor:

Your article “How Does She Do It” - Karen Garza’s vision: the irresistible force moving immovable object of Fairfax County Public Schools (The Connection,December 24-10, 2014) showed FCPS Superintendent Dr. Garza as a force for change. In the Fairfax County school system, students demonstrate excellence by

collaborating and achieving good grades with the assistance of teachers.

Teachers play a massive role in the successful education of students because teachers have high expectations for their students, they consistently stress the material that students need, and the teachers provide in class discussion which allows students to relay what information they have obtained. However, the total combination of homework assigned by high school teachers for any one student is often excessive. As a result, students become overwhelmed with excess homework, even though the students might already understand the specific material. Students with excessive homework in school have less time to spend in after school activities, less time to study on their own, and less time to accomplish personal achievements.

Most experts agree, as do Fairfax County Public Schools’ own guidelines that high school students should only have two hours of homework per night, in total. Currently, many teachers expect at least one or more hours of homework for each of their classes, especially at the honors levels. Another problem is that the teachers are not coordinating large tests and assignments as efficiently as possible. The end effect is that students taking various classes have too much homework dumped on them all at once, as well as at too many tests on certain testing days.

Students will be able to obtain more sleep next year due to the later start times of high schools. Superintendent Garza plans to solve any issues that arise in the school systems; hopefully she will recognize that the failure to coordinate and limit homework among teachers is also a massive issue for high school students in FCPS.

James Adams