An Entire School District Just Banned Homework, Proving Life Is Totally Unfair

It's a tired cliché to rail against "kids today" for not understanding what it was like growing up back in the day. Yet, we can't help but feel a bit jaded to find out that a whole bunch of elementary school students in Florida will never know the pain of having to spend sunny afternoons laboring away on math problems and vocab lists, because their entire district has banned homework. These may be trying times across the world, but damnit, being a fifth grader in 2017 sure seems like a pretty good gig. 

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the superintendent of public schools in Marion County, Florida has decided to place a moratorium on traditional homework assignments for its roughly 20,000 elementary school students, beginning this year. Instead, the kids will be asked to read for 20 minutes every night. 

Superintendent Heidi Maier, a former professor of teacher education and expert in reading acquisition who took charge of the district back in November 2016, cites research that suggests reading is a far more effective way to boost academic performance than traditional homework -- particularly in early years -- as the reason for the change. Students will even be allowed to choose their own reading material, with guidance from teachers and school librarians. Twenty minutes of reading Harry Potter instead of long division? Our inner fourth grader is extremely jealous.

It's important to note that middle and high schoolers in Marion County aren't getting a break here. They'll still be slogging through long afternoons and evenings of traditional homework assignments, since the ban is limited to just elementary-age students.

h/tChicago Tribune

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.