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Can Giving More Homework Improve Test Scores For Children?

Educations intuitions and policy makers have been in constant pressure to improve educations patters and homework policies. A recent study of global homework// patterns done by a group of researchers from Penn State, suggests that the benefits of more homework assignments to boost student test scores may vary widely. It was found that this variation is according to the grade level, the quality of a nation's schools and the perceived value of homework. Hence, researchers caution that government and education policymakers need to consider the appropriate grade levels and related impact before trying to create overall homework policies for schools.

"Over the past two decades, much of the policy discussion in the U.S. has focused on increasing national test scores to the level of international standards," says Gerald LeTendre, professor of education policy studies at Penn State and lead author of the study. "More standardized testing drives educators to give more homework in order to prepare for these exams. Homework has moved to center stage in the debate over how nations can improve their economic competitiveness by boosting student scores. Yet, national policies aimed at simply increasing homework amounts are unlikely to produce increases in average student achievement scores "

Overall, the data shows that U.S. students receive an average amount of daily homework, compared with other nations. But the percentage of U.S. elementary students with four or more hours per night has risen to 8 percent, well above the 1 percent reported in Japan and 5 percent in Taiwan, two countries considered benchmarks for U.S. students. Five percent of the U.S. middle school students in the survey reported four or more hours of homework per night, compared to 3 percent in Taiwan and 1 percent in Japan.

LeTendre, professor of education policy studies, and Motoko Akiba, University of Missouri, Columbia, analyzed data from the Third International Math and Scien
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