I told them that I was interested in homework, not as a teacher but as a psychologist, and that my concern was not homework per se, but how homework impacts some kids. I ended by pointing out that I consider education in the purview of educators, and should be developed by professionals, not parents or politicians. I then added my observation that homework appeared to me to be the most highly utilized and highly weighted technique that was not covered at all in schools of education and hardly covered at all in professional development forums, and that my major concern was that teachers are not trained in the theory, research, and practice of homework-giving.
The reaction was tremendous. It was an "ah-ha" moment for one of the teachers. I point this out because I could have argued my opinion on homework, yet, I believe it had more impact to point out the lack of training (and in the end professionalism) inherent in homework policy, rather than just pushing the policy I believe to be right.
This is not the first time I've had this experience. I should also mention that I know people who have come to schools, trying to protect their children, with mounds of documentation about what is wrong with homework, to find their efforts falling on deaf ears.
So this is something to consider when you enter discussions with your child's school about homework, prefacing your concerns with a recognition of the professionalism of teachers, and placing blame on schools of education, more than the individual teacher.
Dr. Kenneth Goldberg, is the author of The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Teachers, and Students, published by Wyndmoor Press.