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At-Home Projects and Homework for Young Pupils

February 21, 1993

The Feb. 4 story about homework states that teachers are "starting to assign meaning-centered, hands-on projects" which are supposed to teach "real life" skills.

I agree with Beverly Hills Board of Education Member AJ Willmer that children should not be penalized with a lower grade if their classmates (and their relatives) go "overboard and spend long hours on these projects."

I would go a few steps further to state that all these projects should be done cooperatively in the classroom. Parents could be asked to supply the materials and perhaps assist in the classroom with these projects. Otherwise, no one really knows who really did these projects.

Over the years, at my children's school, I have seen some real masterpieces arrive--but who did the work? It makes no sense for a teacher to assign a project and just wait for a finished project to miraculously appear on the due date just in time to decorate the classroom for Open House. The teachers, the parents and the students know that children can't do these projects without an incredible amount of adult assistance.

I guess the life lesson that the children are learning is that it's OK to be deceitful to get a good grade. This is not teaching reform, this is hypocrisy. I say abolish at-home projects now!

DEBORAH MEHREZ, Beverly Hills

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