“US point system in schools is fundamentally flawed”: Tutors International comment on recent homework study findings

Monday, April 14th, 2014
“US point system in schools is fundamentally flawed”: Tutors International comment on recent homework study findings

Educational consultant, Adam Caller, is highly critical of the US point system and agrees with US study that parental involvement in homework could bring down grades, but not for the same reasons.

Adam Caller, member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and founder of Tutors International, today commented on a recent study into the effect of homework on children’s grades:

“The US points system in schools is fundamentally flawed. With so much pressure on kids to achieve points, of course some parents are ‘helping’ with homework. This in turn forces the teacher to raise the difficulty level of the work and make it harder for students to get an A. Then in the classroom, without help from parents, the kids are finding the work too hard and failing to get their expected grades.”

The US study “has indicated there is no clear connection between parental involvement in homework and improved student performance; it could even bring down grades”, according to an article in The Telegraph.

Although one of the study’s authors, Robinson, theorises that this “could be down to the fact that many parents may have forgotten the material their children are now learning in school; material which they maybe didn’t understand in the first place”, Mr Caller believes it’s the vicious circle of improved homework grades leading to harder classroom work, leading to harder homework that leaves kids and parents struggling to keep up. “But who’s going to be the first to break the cycle?” he asks.

Mr Caller, who is experienced in both the US and UK educational systems, and through Tutors International, places elite private tutors with families around the world, including in the US and those studying under the US educational system in other countries, criticises the points system as “inconsistent, unregulated, and meaningless”.

“In the UK, the GCSE and A-Level curriculums are set by overarching bodies, and grades are standardised across the country. Every child is assessed according to their peers, whether they are in the next classroom or the next county,” Mr Caller continues.

“However, in the US, the awarding of points is entirely at the discretion of the teacher. They state at the start of term how many points will come from homework, how many from this project, or that pop test. But the teacher in the next school, or the next room even, teaching the same subject, will award a different number of points, and will set an entirely different curriculum. Without standardisation, moderation and a central body to monitor the points system, how can these points carry any real meaning?”

About Tutors International

Tutors International is a worldwide organization providing experienced full-time private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, in a wide variety of situations, including international relocation, after-school support, full-time home tuition, support for AD/HD and dyslexia, home schooling for frequent travellers, and college prep and coaching.

Tutors International was founded by Adam Caller who has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and AD/HD and is very sensitive to children's educational difficulties. He has now turned this expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors with HNW and UHNW families around the world. Adam is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).

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