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Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Minorities
NCES 2010-015
July 2010

Indicator 19. After-School Time Use

What adolescents do with their time after school can influence their success. Some research has shown that how students spend their time outside of school is linked to their academic achievement (Tierney, Baldwin Grossman, and Resch 1995; Zaff et al. 2003).

19.1 Homework

The completion of homework has been found to have a positive effect on academic achievement, particularly for high school students (Cooper, Robinson and Patall 2006). In 2007, parents reported that their high school students spent 7 hours, on average, on homework per week. About 42 percent of parents reported that their students did homework 5 or more days per week, while 5 percent reported that their students did homework less than once per week. Overall, 65 percent of parents reported that they checked to make sure that their high school students' homework was done.

Asian high school students spent more hours per week on homework (10 hours on average) than students of all other races/ethnicities shown (who spent an average of 6 to 7 hours per week on homework). Additionally, 68 percent of Asian parents reported that their students did homework 5 or more days per week, compared with 44 percent of White parents, 30 percent of Black parents, and 40 percent of Hispanic parents. There was no measurable difference between the percentage of parents of Asian students and the percentage of parents of students of two or more races who reported that their children did homework 5 or more days per week.

A higher percentage of parents of Black students (83 percent) reported that they checked to make sure that their students' homework was done than did the parents of White students (57 percent), Asian students (59 percent), or students of two or more races (66 percent).  In addition, a higher percentage of Hispanic parents (76 percent) than of White or Asian parents reported checking their students' homework.

View Table View Table 19.1
View Table View Figure 19.1

19.2 Part-Time Work

Research suggests that working more than 15 hours per week while in high school can have a negative effect on academic achievement (Singh, Change and Dike 2007). Overall, 24 percent of high school students who were 16 years or older were employed in 2008. The percentage of White students (29 percent) who worked was higher than the percentages of Black (14 percent), Hispanic (18 percent), Asian (14 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (14 percent) students who worked. However, of the students who did work, White students worked fewer hours, on average, than Black and Hispanic students. For example, 35 percent of White students who were employed worked more than 20 hours per week, compared with 50 percent of Black students and 54 percent of Hispanic students.

View Table View Table 19.2
View Table View Figure 19.2a
View Table View Figure 19.2b


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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education