Students’ frustration multiplies as math homework becomes graded


Lilly Bristol, Reporter

Homework can be an exceedingly controversial topic among staff, students, and parents, but especially math homework. 

Some people believe it is important to practice the problems students learn in class while others think it is a waste of time.

Many people are aware, however, that for this upcoming semester, math homework will be graded and/or checked in everything through Advanced Algebra. 

Mr. Carlson, the math department head, said that he has heard mixed opinions and reactions about the situation. 

“It’s been 50/50,” he said. “Some kids have flat out said if now they know it’s worth something, they’ll start doing it.” 

He added that the parents and students he has talked to have agreed with that, which  sparked the idea of making homework worth something while still having the students get enough practice. 

“It’s worth the work, just so they’re in the habit because it’s going to show on the tests and quizzes,” he said. “Their scores are going to be better compared to the students who wait until the last minute to learn everything instead of doing it daily.” 

Only Algebra, Geometry, and Advanced Algebra will be checked. Why not the other classes?

Mr. Carlson said that the amount of students doing their homework in the upper levels of math or older grades is 70 percent while the amount of students in the lower math levels or younger students completing their homework is only 40 percent. 

“To me doing math homework depends on my level of student,” he said. “I think as you are getting into your younger classes, it’s more important that you are doing the homework, getting the homework checked, getting the homework potentially checked for a grade, so you end up doing the homework.

“As you get older, I think it becomes more on the student that they are doing their homework and practice to be prepared for their assessments.” 

Because scores, grades, and success rates have been decreasing dramatically, the math department thought these changes had to be made. 

“We’re seeing it worse,” he said, “I don’t know if covid has something to do with that or if seeing an epidemic of not doing anything. … [Making this change in math] is more of an incentive for me to those kids who are maybe not your most gifted at math, an incentive for them to get every possible point they can.”