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The Transatlantic War Against Homework

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France's socialist premiere Francois Hollande has a plan to ensure that young Frenchmen don't inadvertently develop a work ethic: ban homework.

Hollande argues that homework just isn't "fair." Why not? As David Azerrad reports at Heritage's Foundry, it is because homework "gives kids who get help from their parents a leg up on those who come from families where the parents are either absent or can't help." As David concludes, this perfectly illustrates how "equality of opportunity" can be twisted into "sameness of opportunity."

Before you say "it can't happen here," consider Larson v. Burmaster, a 2006 case in which a Wisconsin student and his father alleged that summer homework assignments violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiffs cited a series of "substantive due process" cases holding that the Constitution protects parents' right to direct their children's education and upbringing. (I discuss this case in the opening chapter of my book, The Naked Constitution). And yes, it was tossed out by the trial court and the appellate court, but then, they laughed at the tobacco lawsuits at first.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.