Urge the National PTA: Support Healthy Homework Guidelines
  • Petitioned Eric Hargis

This petition was delivered to:

Executive Director
Eric Hargis
National Senior Policy Analyst
Jackie Chevalier
National PTA
Betsy Landers

Urge the National PTA: Support Healthy Homework Guidelines

    1. Sponsored by

      Race to Nowhere Community

The ongoing debate about homework—how much, for whom and to what end—has picked up momentum in parenting and educational circles, as recent research studies continue to question the relationship between time spent doing homework and academic engagement among students.

Experts who have conducted or synthesized research on the links between homework, learning and test performance agree that the relationship between homework and school achievement is limited.

In a study released by the Economics of Education Review, homework in science, English and history was shown to have "little to no impact" on eighth graders' test scores in those subjects. Harris Cooper, Duke University, surveyed 15 years' worth of homework studies conducted across the country, and found diminishing returns for middle and high school students as the hours spent doing homework increased.

Moreover, homework has also been linked to stress and academic disengagement among both young children and teens. In a study by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, 70% of Bay Area parents reported that their 9- to 13-year-olds suffered "moderate to high levels of stress," and that schoolwork or homework was the most significant contributor.

Similarly, a Scholastic study of 500 children and their parents found that reading for pleasure decreased dramatically after age 8 (the age after which only 29% of students read every day). Parents identified homework as the number one reason their children didn't read more.

Change is possible.

In order to better support learning and a spirit of engagement in our classrooms, and to remedy the academic stress and anxiety that accompanies current homework practices and policies, we are asking the National PTA to adopt recommendations on homework - guidelines that will help educators innovate and improve their approaches to designing and assigning homework in our classrooms.

Join us today in urging the National PTA today—for the first time—to adopt homework guidelines that encourage schools nationwide to reexamine and reimagine homework practices to better support student engagement, health and learning. 


For more information, background materials and a PDF version of the guidelines, visit http://www.racetonowhere.com/homework-guidelines.


If you are an organization that supports these guidelines and would like to publicly endorse them, contact us at info@racetonowhere.com.  Your endorsement could make the difference!

Created by Vicki Abeles, Sara Bennett, Alfie Kohn & Etta Kralovec on behalf of the "Race to Nowhere" community.

Recent signatures


    1. Washington Post: "3 new guidelines for ‘healthy homework’"

      Check out and share Valerie Strauss' column about the new homework guidelines in the Washington Post.

    2. Reached 17,500 signatures
    3. Update: Meeting the PTA at the National PTA Convention

      Our meeting this afternoon with the National PTA's Resolutions Committee was an amazing success. In response to your 16,000 signatures and comments in support of Healthy Homework Guidelines, the Committee has taken an unprecedented step:

      The National PTA has agreed to move forward on formally reviewing the Healthy Homework Guidelines.

      But our work is not yet done. You can help us succeed in encouraging the National PTA to make the Healthy Homework Guidelines an integral piece of the National PTA’s first official position on homework.

      1. If you’re a PTA Member, please contact the National PTA Resolutions Committee at ResolutionsCommittee@PTA.org to share why the Healthy Homework Guidelines matter to you and urge their immediate endorsement.

      2. Encourage your local PTA to show their support by signing the petition, writing to the Resolutions Committee, and using the Guidelines to reinvent homework practices and policies in your school.

    4. We have some exciting news!

      The PTA has called for a special meeting of their Resolutions Committee on June 20th – the day before their National Convention – to hear our case for healthy homework guidelines.

      We’ll be there to deliver your signatures and your moving testimonies to the committee in an effort to encourage the PTA’s endorsement.

      So keep spreading the word about the petition and help keep the momentum going!

      In the meantime, we hope you'll also consider recording a video about how current homework practices impact you and why you believe we need healthy homework guidelines.

    5. Reached 15,000 signatures
    6. Huffington Post: Why the National PTA Should Adopt National Homework...

      Check out this new article by Race to Nowhere Director Vicki Abeles about why the National PTA should endorse these guidelines. Be sure to share it on Facebook and Twitter to help us break 15,000 signatures!

    7. How Has Homework Affected You? Enter our Healthy Homework Video Contest!

      Are you a parent whose children come home from extra-curricular activities only to spend hours tackling a mountain of busywork? Are you a teacher who feels who feels pressured to assign homework because of excessive testing and accountability? Are you a student whose homework assignments cut into valuable time with family, or time for adequate sleep and play?

      Homework practices have undoubtedly affected you. That’s why we’re inviting you to enter our Healthy Homework Video Contest: an effort to collect and showcase the personal stories of students, parents and educators nationwide in compelling video messages about why our schools need healthy homework guidelines.

      Now through June 10, click on the link below and record a video to add your voice and enter our contest.

      The video with the most YouTube views in the month of June, as well as two selected by our panel of experts who drafted the healthy homework guidelines, will receive a “Race to Nowhere” Educational Tool Kit & DVD!

    8. Reached 12,500 signatures
    9. 11,500 Strong, Keep It Up!

      It’s amazing what a signature can do! In just one week, you’ve joined more than 11,500 parents, students, educators and community members standing strong in support of new healthy homework policies for our schools.

      Now we’re now at a critical moment. In response to your signatures, the National PTA has taken notice and we are awaiting their response to our call for change.

      1. Invite 10 friends to sign the petition today.

      2. Urge your local school district or school board to review the proposed guidelines
      and sign the petition.

      3. Post and share the petition on your social networks.

      4. Embed the petition widget on your website.

      5. View and share a WashingtonPost.com article from this week by “Race to Nowhere” Director Vicki Abeles about the problem with homework practices today: http://wapo.st/ISIi

      It’s time to bring an end to this “Race to Nowhere” culture and to adopt homeowork practices that encourage all of our students to become healthy, engaged learners.

    10. Reached 10,000 signatures
    11. Washington Post: Why we’re getting the homework question wrong

      Check out this article posted on the Washington Post's website from "Race to Nowhere" Director Vicki Abeles. The article points out the problem about how we think about homework today: whether there is too much or too little and gets to the true questions we need to ask on homework.

      "Do we want our children to grow up to be whole, thriving adults who have held onto their innate joy of learning and discovery? Or do we want to teach them it’s only work we value—and not health, family, balance, creativity and fun? We don’t need an academic study to reach the right conclusion on that."

      We need homework guidelines that encourage schools to assign homework only when it advances true learning, encourages a child’s self-direction and curiosity, and promotes a healthy, balanced schedule.

      By supporting this petition, you can help us get there. Share this article and help us gain support for healthy homework guidelines.

    12. Reached 1,500 signatures
    13. 1,000 Strong! Keep it up!

      Thanks to your help, we hit 1,000 signatures in less than than 24 hours! We've heard from students, teachers, parents, medical professionals and administrators who all agree we need #healthyhomework guidelines. Thank you!

      But we are nowhere near done.

      No matter who you are, every voice counts and each signature could make the difference. With the support of the National PTA we can begin reexamining and rethinking homework in communities nationwide.

      So keep spreading the word by sending this petition to your friends. Post it on your social media accounts. Or even better, if you have a website, post a petition widget using the link below to your site.

      Thank you!

    14. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Elizabeth Schiavone KEY BISCAYNE, FL
      • 10 months ago

      It is affecting generations of kids robbing them of their childhood and family time. Zaps away the essential love of learning we will need to have all our lives.

    • luke jessen MINNEAPOLIS, AR
      • 10 months ago

      Because as a student I feel as though homework doesn't help me, and that i need someone teaching it.

    • Brendan Duffy KALAMAZOO, MI
      • 10 months ago

      I feel like I'm being sucked up by homework, it takes up all of my time

    • stacy stearman ROCKVILLE, MD
      • 11 months ago

      Relieve stress for my children

      • 11 months ago

      homework is stressful and uneeded, i as a example, have actually found that when i'm worrying about homework, i'm too busy doing that to be able to pay attention in class, my grades go up when there's a rare lag


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