[quotemsg=21340453,0,75395]CERIANK, homework is busywork...[/quotemsg]
I agree for some classes. However, here, my oldest kid got booted out of an AP Lit class when school started because he hadn't done the required Summer reading. As far as AP Calculus goes, you're right, I took it too long ago to be of much help. However, I recall enough about Calculus to know that you cannot possibly master the material without doing homework (though for AP, you don't have to turn it in... just pass the tests). Long-story-short, lacking good mastery of time-management, he will not likely get into MIT, which was a target-school, but now only a reach-school.
To get back on track, having spent some time in China, I have a fair understanding of the intense pressure kids are under there to compete... and their government tries to maintain that pressure. Here in my state, I used to work with advising educational policy in regard to video telecourses and online learning... long before anyone had an idea that Internet/screen addiction would become a 'thing'. I see the effect of this unintended consequence in my current job, where I am one of the few that has sufficient discipline and attention span to perform certain tasks that I would consider to be basic entry-level. I'm hoping the downward-trend doesn't continue, but unlike China, still believe that the 'cream rises to the top' and government trying to force it to the top is a fool's errand which will (and already does) have other unintended consequences.