By Razia Sultana
The Vacation Homework Policy was created by former Student Advocate of the Student Government Organization (SGO), Jacob Azrilyant ’12 in an attempt to create a “radical document that curtails the homework that can be given during a vacation.” With the first term of the 2012-2013 academic year done, however, many students continue to question the efficacy of this policy.
Julia Zeng ’15 says that faculty members do not always enforce the homework policy. “Some teachers assign essays and projects and make it due the day we return from break.”
According to the Homework Policy, teachers are allowed to only assign one night’s worth of homework for every four days of vacation, with the exception of Advanced Placement classes. Teachers are also not allowed to assign homework that is due the first day back from break. While the policy is clear, many students feel that teachers do not follow it.
“The reason this policy is not heavily enforced is because there really is no set way for the school to check up on teachers,” says Wendy Chen ’15. “Honestly, I wish this policy was enforced more. [If it was] students would feel more encouraged to actually do all their homework properly.”
Most students share this opinion and believe that the policy should be enforced. As Benjamin Bornstein ’15 says, “It is an official school policy, therefore it must be upheld.”
Students argue that abiding by the terms of the policy decreases stress for both teachers and students.
Fariha Hassan ’13, said, “As a senior, I might be a little biased; my teachers don’t give much homework anymore. However, my last three years at Tech have been full of all-nighters to finish homework.” Despite these all-nighters, Hassan admits that “my homework actually aided my studying.”
Risa Parlo, a Chemistry and Anatomy teacher, argues, “For the most part, we try to follow [the policy] in terms of homework.” She also adds that in lieu of homework, her department “gives review sheets” for the benefit of the students.
Parlo, whose son attended Tech, empathizes with the student body. She believes that the homework policy should be upheld because, “it gives students a moment to take a breath and teachers to actually look at the work.”
Software Engineering major Linda Nguyen ’14 finds the homework policy to be far from beneficial.
“Although both teachers and students have more time with family and less work to do [during break], the students get out of practice and the teacher has to review the topics already discussed [when school starts again]. This wastes time when we could move forward. And, if the teacher doesn’t review, then students do poorly on tests and homework.
Despite some discontent towards the homework policy, students have been responding positively to the work assigned to them over the December winter break.
“I had a fair amount of homework,” said Bornstein.
“It wasn’t too much homework, but it wasn’t the normal amount either,” said Chen. “Overall, I had a lot of projects.”
Seniors were able to use this extra free time to work on college applications. Hassan said, “Winter break was great. I barely had any homework, so I just focused on my college apps.”
For those who did have too much work over break, however, the SGO strongly advises students to report faculty members who are not abiding by this school policy and to voice their opinions by speaking with their class officers.