I think lockers are necessary to house and protect textbooks and school materials as well as personal belongings during a student's long day at school. It certainly would reduce the strain of carrying heavy backpacks around all day. Sadly, many schools have gotten away from using lockers because of the threat of hiding guns, drugs, bombs, etc. I think this is a ridiculous practice, since the same items could also be placed in a backpack. Certainly, middle and high school students are trustworthy enough to use lockers in a proper manor. Sadly, the few students who misuse lockers are the ones that cause many administrations to eliminate their use.
I disagree with eliminating homework altogether. I feel that homework should be assigned on an “as necessary” basis, to serve as practice time for things previously taught and learned in class that students need to practice independently. This meaningful homework should be appropriately challenging, time-considerate, and clearly relevant to class concepts. Assigning homework for the sake of routine procedures, gradebook entries, or punishment is unfair to our kids and their families, and is a disservice on many levels to all involved in the long run.
I agree that homework should not be used to determine a student’s overall course grade. I feel that homework should be considered as a means of formative assessment. Homework should be graded and reviewed aloud with the class for the purpose of teacher and student feedback, but a student’s course grade should not be directly penalized for failure to complete homework, or incorrect answers on homework assignments. We are not using homework to evaluate a student’s mastery of what was taught, we should be using homework to evaluate student progress in learning and understanding what was taught so we can adapt our instruction accordingly.
The conspiracy theory mentioned in previous comments is intriguing, but I feel it may be a bit unwarranted. What hard evidence is there to substantiate this claim? Sometimes the belief in conspiracy theories such as this supports the already hard to break poverty cycle.