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Homework overload gets a failing grade

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Mention the word 'homework' and any student will shudder dramatically.

Yet many slave for hours every night working towards better grades.

Homework, we seem to feel, is essential.

"That's an unfortunate perception because if you look at the research it hasn't always proven that," says UNC Charlotte Associate Professor for the Department of Counseling Henry Harris.

In fact Harris says more homework doesn't always equal a betters education.

"When you look at homework and academic achievement at the elementary level there's really no impact," says Harris. 

"There is some gain in the middle school and then there was even a little bit more gain in high school."

That's not the end of the homework hurdles.

Another problem? The home itself.

"When kids are at school they are doing work they are in a controlled quieter environment whereas at home they are so many other distractions," says Harris.

The result of this is that many schools are changing their homework policies.

"Some may not be assigning any homework but what they are doing is telling kids you must read 20 to 30 minutes per night," says Harris.

Other schools go with a policy supported by Duke University giving students about 10 minutes of homework each night, per grade level starting in first grade.

Educators say moderation is critical and homework should be based upon grade level

Younger students only benefit from small assignments, if they're getting help at home.

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