State College School Bans Homework in April - Grace Prep Sponsors Free Showing of "Race to Nowhere: The Pressure Cooker Culture in Our Education System" on April 24th

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Bob Gresh thinks high schools give out too much homework. Actually, he knows they do. So Bob Gresh, a former businessman, did the obvious and started his own award-winning school.

Bob Gresh thinks high schools give out too much homework. Actually, he knows they do. So Bob Gresh did the obvious and started his own school. Launched in 2004, Grace Prep High School is an award-winning, innovative place that believes school should be efficient enough to teach kids in the 30-40 hours per week of class time. That’s just one of the founding principles outlined in their 40 Points of Grace. (Find all 40 at http://www.graceprep.com.)

But Bob Gresh wants to do more. There are over 2500 high-school-aged kids in State College, and Bob Gresh believes most of them are overworked and overwhelmed. That’s why he’s hosting a free public showing of the education documentary, Race to Nowhere: The Pressure Cooker Culture in Our Education System at the State Theatre on April 24 at 7pm. http://www.racetonowhere.com.

An audience Q&A and a panel discussion featuring representatives from Grace Prep High School, Penn State University's College of Education, and public and private schools will follow the showing.

With over 3,000 community screenings, the film has become a movement embraced by parents, teachers and students alike, pointing to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

A national survey revealed a staggering 50% increase in assigned homework since 1981 and the consequences are big. Nearly 80% of teens don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, 25% report frequent sadness or depression, and 15% have seriously considered suicide.

This movie responds by rallying schools nationwide to eliminate homework on weekends and school breaks, exposing longstanding but little known research proving that most homework doesn’t increase learning, raise test scores, or prepare students for academic success. Dozens of public schools and districts where “Race to Nowhere” has been screened have already taken action:
Ridgewood High School in New Jersey, which banned homework during both its winter and February breaks

Walter Payton High School in Chicago, IL eliminated homework for Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks with no tests or projects due immediately upon return

Wellesley Middle School in Wellesley, Mass. Committed to a no-homework policy on religious holidays and school vacations.

Grace Prep is following suit, starting with their “8-5 April” campaign, a crusade to eliminate homework on weekends and holiday breaks.

Grace Prep Founder Bob Gresh agrees that students are bombarded with busywork in the name of academic rigor. It was one of the reasons he started the school. He contends, “Homework is a beast. We tried to tame the beast and that didn't work. So we decided it was time to kill the beast. During Grace Prep’s 8-to-5 April, students get their weekends and holidays back. And moms and dads get their kids back."

Bob Gresh wants kids to get their weekends back, and parents to get their kids back. And if Bob Gresh wants it, chances are he’ll make it happen.

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Jacqueline Gardner

Bob Gresh
Grace Prep
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