But with homework counting for no more than 10% of their grades, students can easily skip half their homework and see very little difference on their report cards.
If the district finds homework to be unimportant to its students' academic achievement, it should move to reduce or eliminate the assignments, not make them count for almost nothing.
But if the district is essentially giving a pass to students who do not do their homework because of complicated family lives, it is going riskily close to the implication that standards need to be lowered for poor children.
The Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO), a trade group, assured members that this was just a "preliminary step" in a longer battle.
A federal appeals court overturned the prior decision, ruling that Myriad Genetics could indeed hold patents to two genes that help forecast a woman's risk of breast cancer.
But as companies continue their attempts at personalized medicine, the courts will remain rather busy.
I had not realised how profoundly marketing trends dictated our perception of what is natural to kids, including our core beliefs about their psychological development.
It was not until the mid-1980s, when amplifying age and sex differences became a dominant children's marketing strategy, that pink fully came into its own, when it began to seem inherently attractive to girls, part of what defined them as female, at least for the first few critical years.
Trade publications counselled department stores that, in order to increase sales, they should create a "third stepping stone" between infant wear and older kids' clothes.
It was only after "toddler" became a common shoppers' term that it evolved into a broadly accepted developmental stage.
Children were not colour-coded at all until the early 20th century: in the era before domestic washing machines all babies wore white as a practical matter, since the only way of getting clothes clean was to boil them.
Then it presents that connection, even among two-year-olds, between girls as not only innocent but as evidence of innocence.
When nursery colours were introduced, pink was actually considered the more masculine colour, a pastel version of red, which was associated with strength.
Her critique of the lameness of many public-health campaigns is spot-on: they fail to mobilize peer pressure for healthy habits, and they demonstrate a seriously flawed understanding of psychology.
Join the Club is filled with too much irrelevant detail and not enough exploration of the social and biological factors that make peer pressure so powerful.
"Dare to be different, please don't smoke!" pleads one billboard campaign aimed at reducing smoking among teenagers — teenagers, who desire nothing more than fitting in.
Rosenberg, the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, offers a host of examples of the social cure in action: In South Carolina, a state-sponsored antismoking program called Rage Against the Haze sets out to make cigarettes uncool.
But in her new book Join the Club, Tina Rosenberg contends that peer pressure can also be a positive force through what she calls the social cure, in which organizations and officials use the power of group dynamics to help individuals improve their lives and possibly the world.
The most glaring flaw of the social cure as it's presented here is that it doesn't work very well for very long.
The company, a major energy supplier in New England, provoked justified outrage in Vermont last week when it announced it was reneging on a longstanding commitment to abide by the strict nuclear regulations.
Certainly, there are valid concerns about the patchwork regulations that could result if every state sets its own rules.
The company seems to have concluded that its reputation in Vermont is already so damaged that it has nothing left to lose by going to war with the state.
But as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviews the company's application, it should keep it in mind what promises from Entergy are worth.
A string of accidents, including the partial collapse of a cooling tower in 2007 and the discovery of an underground pipe system leakage, raised serious questions about both Vermont Yankee's safety and Entergy's management — especially after the company made misleading statements about the pipe.
Instead, the company has done precisely what it had long promised it would not: challenge the constitutionality of Vermont's rules in the federal court, as part of a desperate effort to keep its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant running.
In 2006, the state went a step further, requiring that any extension of the plant's license be subject to Vermont legislature's approval.
The legal issues in the case are obscure: whereas the Supreme Court has ruled that states do have some regulatory authority over nuclear power, legal scholars say the Vermont case will offer a precedent-setting test of how far those powers extend.
Now the company is suddenly claiming that the 2002 agreement is invalid because of the 2006 legislation, and that only the federal government has regulatory power over nuclear issues.
Within the complex social structure of the scientific community, researchers make discoveries; editors and reviewers act as gatekeepers by controlling the publication process; other scientists use the new finding to suit their own purposes; and finally, the public (including other scientists) receives the new discovery and possibly accompanying technology.
As a discovery claim works it through the community, the interaction and confrontation between shared and competing beliefs about the science and the technology involved transforms an individual's discovery claim into the community's credible discovery.