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The End of Homework?

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As parents, we know homework can be a battle. After all, kids spend the majority of their days at school, and most are ready to leave textbooks in their desks once the bell rings.

Some schools are responding by banning homework altogether, saying that kids can spend meaningful time with teachers in the classroom and leave the evenings free to spend quality time with their families.

The VanDamme Academy, a private elementary and middle school in Aliso Viejo, Calif., has a policy that calls homework "largely pointless," according to TODAY.com.

Another private school, the Buffalo Academy of Scholars in Buffalo, N.Y., says its policy promotes "stress-free, homework-free evenings and more quality time together," the site reports.

But what about reinforcing the work they're doing during the school day? Homework is most often used in schools to measure what students are learning and to give the teacher a reliable indicator of where kids are falling behind or what teachers need to reinforce.

Etta Kralovec, an associate professor of teacher education at the University of Arizona South, disagrees.

"I think teachers are going to be increasingly interested in having total control over student learning during the class day and not relying on homework as any kind of activity that's going to support student learning," Kralovec tells TODAY.

And while some parents are on board for those changes, others have different ideas.

"There's a huge philosophical divide between parents who want their kids to be very scheduled, very driven and very ambitiously focused at school — those parents want their kids to do homework," Kralovec says.

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