NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Here Is An Evaluation Of Homework The Kids Are Going To Love

December 13, 2000

Data from the U.S. Department of Education suggest there may be a point at which increasing amounts of homework assigned to students result in diminishing returns.

Researchers correlated U.S. eighth-graders' math scores with the number of hours of homework they accomplished. Then the results were compared with similar studies of homework in several other countries.

  • Scores peaked for U.S. students when they did about one hour or more of homework nightly - while at two to three hours they declined.
  • In Japan, additional hours beyond one increased math scores -- but only slightly.
  • Canadian students benefited from one to two hours of homework -- but when they worked more, their scores were about equal to when they worked for only one hour.
  • German students seemed to do slightly better when they toiled for two to three hours a night -- but scores plunged when they were subjected to three or more hours.

Source: Peter Brimelow, "Charticle: Too Much Homework?" Forbes, December 25, 2000.


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