Thousands sign petition calling for less homework in Katy ISD

KATY, TX (KTRK) -- One high school sophomore is on a crusade for less homework and he's asking students/parents in his district to join him.

Cinco Ranch High School student, Luke Austria started an online petition calling for Katy ISD to reduce homework. More than 4,00 people signed the petition within a few hours and right now it has nearly 7,500 signatures.

In his petition Luke writes: "Studies show giving massive amounts of homework each night have more negative effects than positive effects."

And well, it turns out, he has actually done his homework on the issue.

A study on the academic effects of homework found no benefit to assigning homework in elementary school. However, at the high school level, the research supporting homework hasn't been particularly persuasive. There does seem to be a correlation between homework and standardized test scores, but it isn't strong, meaning that homework doesn't explain much of the variance in scores. That means there is no definitive research to prove that doing more homework causes test scores to go up.

Luke is not advocating for no homework, but writes: "we are asking for a regulation of some sort on the amount of homework a student may receive." Luke said a student staying up until 2am to finish homework is a real problem and his fellow students agree.

Emma Key writes: "My friend and I miss our church nights because of homework."

Zoey Barker writes: "I am a student who cries every night because of the outrageous amount of homework."

And Luke is not just getting support from students. Parents are also on his side.

Darcy Boyd has three sons in the Katy school system.

"We love our schools and appreciate the education they are receiving," said Boyd. "However, the homework situation is over the top. Each of the boys have at least 4-6 hours of homework each night. That is on top of their extra-curricular theater and sports activities. The end result is an average bed time of 11:30pm to 1am."

Another parent, SC Leland agrees.

"I am a mother of four children in this school district," said Leland. "Having homework in every class, every night is asking my children to do what most adults don't do."

Some teachers in Texas might think Luke isn't going far enough. Brandy Young is a second grade teacher at Godley Elementary School in Godley and her no-homework policy went viral earlier this year.
WATCH: Texas Teacher's Unique No Homework Policy Goes Viral

If you would like to join Luke's crusade, you can sign his petition here. Luke plans to deliver the petition to the Katy ISD superintendent.

The district issued this statement to Eyewitness News:
Katy ISD is aware of the online petition requesting that the District reduce the amount of homework assigned to students. We certainly recognize and appreciate students' and parents' desire to streamline the amount of homework assigned, and thank those who have signed the petition for sharing their concerns and generating this discussion. Oftentimes, the amount of homework assigned to students varies depending on the subject and grade level. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity to review practices and have a broader discussion about how, why and when homework is given. We look forward to receiving and learning more from the petition. In the meantime, if a parent or student is concerned about the level of homework assigned at their school, we urge them to visit with their campus.
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