Local teacher Anne Dur has a plan. Last year she was a finalist for national teacher of the year and missed receiving that honor by just a few points. This year she is determined to get it. This year she thinks she knows what to do. Dur has upped the homework requirement in her French classes to what some might call an excessive amount of time. “Last year I missed it because the kids didn’t score high enough on the national exams. That’s not going to happen again this year. Non monsieur,” said Dur.
Students and parents were shocked to find out that kids would be expected to study for at least six hours every night to pass the class.
One parent was quoted as saying, “We will miss our little ‘Marie’, as Madam Dur likes to call her, but I guess the teacher knows best. We want her to learn, right?”
Alfie Kohn, whose 2006 book The Homework Myth questioned the value of excessive homework, advocates that kids engage in other engaging and worthwhile activities outside of school besides lengthy homework assignments which are mainly rote memorization. Kohn could not be reached for comment, but a source close to the issue questions his motivation, claiming, “Kohn is just trying to make money off kids that won’t learn all they need to without homework and then will need to take remedial classes. I hear he owns a remedial textbook company.”
Another source claims that Kohn is heavily invested in sporting goods companies and in book publishers that sell high interest recreational reading materials, which if true, would be yet another stream of income for the homework-denying author.
Anne Dur is turning a hard ear to arguments by ‘softies’ like Kohn. She says that students just need more time to fill in worksheets and memorize vocabulary lists, rather engaging in frivolous activities like reading, sports, part time jobs or time with their families after school.
“Students need more homework and comme Dieu est mon témoin,” she said, “they’re going to get it.”
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