Here's a very simple, to the point, article on why a child might not do homework. I like what it says and would add one comment, that parents should keep in mind that they, and they alone, are the heads of their own homes.
In the end, it is the parent's decision, not the school's decision, what the evening will look like. Most parents support the school and want their children to do what they are told to do. But in the end, a parent may feel that it is in the child's best interest to have some form of homework reduction. Parents should not feel shy about making that point and sticking to it.
One of my primary recommendations is to make homework time-bound. The norm in the field is ten minutes per night per grade. Although I think that may be a bit excessive, it is still okay. So take that norm and use a real clock. When the time is over, the child is free to do other things. This approach is reasonable. Your child is likely to do more under these conditions than if forced to keep working all night long. It also helps you identify what other issues may be going on. If your child does not understand the work, you'll get a better sense that that is the problem by seeing what he or she can do in a fixed period of time than in struggling and battling all night long.
And if you feel that your are truly in a homework trap, visit my website, www.thehomeworktrap.com.