Here's an interesting radio debate between Alfie Kohn and Janine Bempechat about homework:
Cursed by Students, Homework Finds Skepticism Among Researchers
As I've remarked before, I don't always agree with Alfie Kohn, but I can safely say that I never agree with Janine Bempechat, from her first utterance, where she claims that homework is beneficial because "it helps kids develop the ability to endure boredom", through her summing-up (which elicits a shocked "Wow!" from Alfie Kohn):
I think fundamentally we're talking about cultural models of learning, and in all the complaints about homework, what I hear is a subtext of people feeling sorry that children have academic work to do, and I think pity is the kiss of death where children's learning is concerned.
Talk about not taking kid's unhappiness seriously!
Bempechat consistently takes the teacher's point of view, while patronizing parents and children:
Teachers like to give homework because it's a primary way to involve parents, and it's critical to involve parents in their children's learning.
After she acknowledges that the research is clear that homework has no correlation with achievement in elementary school, she goes on to say:
At the elementary school level, teachers give homework in order to foster adaptive beliefs and behaviors around learning ... it's very short-sighted to argue that we should throw homework out just because kids — it doesn't make them do any better.
So, the fact that homework doesn't help kids do better academically isn't enough to support an argument that we should throw it out? What kind of support is she looking for? Would we have to show that homework causes cancer? What?