Fox News host Tucker Carlson asserted over the weekend that American teachers were assigning less homework because they were lazy union members and wanted to hide the curriculum from parents.
During the Sunday edition of Fox & Friends, Carlson noted that many schools had argued that students should spend time in the evenings with their families.
"But is this really about the kids or could it be a move by teachers unions to get teachers to do less work for, of course, the same pay?" he asked Whitney Neal, a former teacher with the Koch brothers-funded Bill of Rights Institute.
"That's a great suspicion," Neal agreed. "As much as we don't want to look at teachers that way as wanting to eliminate the amount of work they have to do, I almost think this is more of a ploy to keep parents out of the classroom, to limit the involvement parents have on what's going on with teachers. Because if kids aren't bringing home homework, the parents don't really know what's going on."
"That is exactly right!" Carlson exclaimed. "It's a window for me, I think for all parents into what our kids are learning in the classroom. You can see it... So this is a way -- another way to disenfranchise parents, you think?"
"With Common Core are standardized testing and all of these things, parents are waking up and saying, 'You know what, I want to be more involved,'" Neal said.
"Also, do you think the problem with American schools is kids are just working too hard, they're just doing too much work, they're just learning too much?" Carlson asked. "Is that a major problem?"
Neal pointed to standardized testing as the reason children were forced to learn so much at school.
Experts like author Alfie Kohn have suggested that homework should not be banned, but it should only assigned when there is a legitimate need for lessons to extend outside the classroom.