City Desk

Study: Homework’s Too Easy for Some D.C. Students

Math and science homework is too easy for some fourth- and eighth-graders at public, private, and charter schools in the District, according to a Center for American Progress study.

Thirty-nine percent of D.C. fourth-graders said that their math homework was often or always too easy, compared to 37 percent nationally. Meanwhile, either D.C.'s eight-grade students are really smart or its math work is a piece of cake, because 34 percent of students said it was often or always too easy, compared to 29 percent of eighth-graders nationally.

Ulrich Boser and Lindsay Rosenthal, the study's authors, write that the results show the need for more rigorous standards:

Many schools are not challenging students and large percentages of students report that their school work is “too easy.” If students are going to succeed in the competitive global economy, they need to be exposed to a rigorous curriculum. But many students believe their class work is too easy. Twenty-nine percent of eighth-grade math students nationwide, for instance, report that their math work is often or always too easy. In some states like Virginia, nearly a third of middle-school students reported their work was often or always too easy.

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  • Mr.Remember

    The main reason it is too easy, is because teachers don't have time to grade the papers.

  • Sancho

    I would imagine that part of the problem is just trying to keep the students behaving properly during class. Teachers probably can't get too in-depth trying to deal with knuckle-heads all day long.

  • name

    Teachers don't have time to grade the papers? Right. All those geometry proofs the 4th graders are doing. Assign homework, collect homework, redistribute homework to other student, grade homework, collect graded homework, enter into gradebook.

    Could it be any easier?

    The homework's too easy because the teachers are all mailing it in and can't be bothered to pay attention to how their classes are developing. Oh, that and overteaching to the test.

    Zero standards, Zero Accountability.

    DCPS: Working for ourselvesTM!

  • sb

    Interesting, since it's a close match with the just-over-40% of students who tested as proficient on the DC-CAS last year, according to

    The problem is that the work is too hard for almost 60% of the students. I think there need to be more advanced classes in DCPS (where "advanced" can really just mean "does the damn homework and doesn't act crazy in class") separate from the rest.

  • Northwesterner

    I asked a teacher why homework was so damn easy- it's all 8-12 question worksheets that are graded in under a minute- and she told me it's because they have to set homework for the lowest common denominator in the GRADE and that smart kids should be able to do each worksheet in under FIVE minutes each or 20 minutes for the whole day.

    Does this jibe with what SB just wrote? Perhaps.

    The real story is that the union teachers are racist who don't want black kids to get ahead in life, live in PG County anyway, and refuse to challenge them. If you think I'm crazy, ask a union teacher about "the black parents who are really responsible for their kids not learning" and wait for a wall of racist BS.

  • Typical DC BS

    Union teachers are racist?

    Please, try ignorant students and their even worse parents who don't care if their kids do well in school or not, as long as they can watch their stories on TV in the middle of the day without their kids bothering them.