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Bay Area School Districts Consider New Homework Policies

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - School districts around the Bay Area are considering new policies to protect students from excessive amounts of homework.

Research has found that the intense pressure to achieve, coupled with hours of nightly homework, can lead to poor mental and physical health.

Stanford School of Education Senior Lecturer Denise Pope said this is a culture that's putting a lot of pressure on kids.

"And this is not a little bit of stress. What we're finding is there's a pronounced difference to the type of stress, particularly academic pressures on kids these days."

KCBS' Rebecca Coral:

Pope said some parents push their kids hard so that they'll get into the best colleges, a focus that can start as early as elementary school.

"More and more kids are feeling pressured to take more advanced placement and honor classes so that they can be more competitive on their college applications," said Pope.

"And that is different from ten, twenty years ago when people were competing. It's a whole different level."

Pope added that many overworked and over stressed children are sleep deprived and experience higher levels of eating disorders and depression.

She said these students feel alienated, thinking all their parents care about are their grades.

"Parents kind of say there's nothing they can do. The school is giving out all this homework. But there are really a lot of things parents can do to really look at how to make sure they're supporting their child and letting them know they're loved unconditionally," she said.

Many Bay Area school districts are beginning to address the amount of homework they give to their students.

Some are beginning to implement no-homework weekends.

Others are considering policies that no more than 10% of a student's grade can be based on homework.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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