A big controversy is brewing over homework in the Irving Independent School District, where teachers are no longer allowed to give grades for homework assignments. Teachers are only supposed to grade tests, research papers, and big projects, which the superintendent says are the performance measurements that ultimately matter.
"We make assumptions that every kid is capable of doing [homework] on their own," superintendent Dana Bedden said. "We make assumptions that every parent is available and actually understands it. You know what most parents tell us now? They don't understand and can't help their children with the homework anyway."
The district-wide policy adopted for this school year allows teachers to give feedback, but not a letter or number grade. The change has many parents concerned about how their children will perform come test time.
"I really don't like that 'cause my daughter, she stays almost 'til 1 in the morning doing homework and she gets all frustrated, saying, 'Why am I doing all this? 'Cause it's not going to be worth nothing,'" said Nuria Rodriguez, mother of a junior at MacArthur High School.
"I think it's hurting him 'cause the teachers aren't even concerned about anything, basically. If they're not concerned, why should the kids be concerned?" said Charles Anthony, father of a freshman at MacArthur High School.
Parent-teacher conferences Thursday evening allowed schools to give parents a presentation to clear up any of the confusion over the new homework grading procedures.