I'm a high school English teacher, and the subject of HW is a sore point with me. I've been teaching for over twenty-five years, and what I am finding is that the longer I teach, the more both students and parents complain. Obviously, education is important to me, otherwise I would not have stayed in the field as long as I have. I am so distressed by all the whining and complaining! I don't believe in busy work, but if I'm to teach a literature course properly, the kids need to read the books. If I am to teach them how to write a proper essay, they need to write essays. If I am to help them develop critical reading skills, they need to answer questions.
I am finding that over the years I have given less and less HW as a result of parental complaints. While I don't think kids should spend four hours a night on HW, two hours in HS is reasonable. I'm sure on some nights they don't have any. It's just how it works out.
It's sad that in the country which has the most opportunity for its children, we are slowly deteriorating in the educational world. Parents need to stop supporting condoning their children's complaining and just tell them to do the work. And keep in mind that I have to grade this work. I wouldn't be giving it if I didn't feel it necessary. I spend way more time than the students each week on my own "HW."
I'm so glad to get that off my chest!