OH MY GOD! SOunds like your teacher has vacationitis, or short-timers disease.
He absolutely SHOULD have homework, EVERY night. How else is he and the rest of his classmates going to develop good study habits for life?
You are right to give him assignments. He needs to be challenged every day. Find a Parent/Teacher store. They are a great resource for staying in touch with educational learning tools.
His teacher is taking the easy way out because she is lazy. SO sad.
What about the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND act? Aren't there requirements they are supposed to reach, including nightly homework?
Definitely go to the Prinicple and talk about this. If there is any indication that he is lax about schoolwork too, get your son out of there and into a better school, FAST.
School is a training ground for adulthood, it is preparing their minds for the real world through knowledge and discipline.
Part of the discipline is having responsibility thrust upon you with the expectation that they will actively take part in their education and get their work done. Not doing so comes with consequences but if the teacher offers no homework, they have no challenges and no consequences for loafing around.
In the face of adversity, people find what they're made of. These kids want to be challenged and the teacher is passing up a wonderful opportunity to broaden and enrich their minds. She is failing herself, she failing your son and his class.... miserably.
She has very low expectations of them, therefore they will only work as hard as they need to, to just meet those expectations.
She needs to find another job, away from kids. I'm sure Walmart needs a few more greeters, wait...that would require too much energy.
Quick story: I tried to slum through my Sophmore year of Biology. I purposely picked a teacher that was known to be drunk most the day and give easy 'A's". I was a bright kid but in the midst of teenage angst and full throttle hormones, I dumbed down for a few years...very pathetic!
Fate interevened. During summer break, that teacher died. The new Biology teacher was super strict. He made us keep journals, and study and gave us regular tests and he threw a ton of information at us. My experience was COMPLETELY opposite of what I envisioned for that year but you know what?
That single class changed my life. That teacher got me organized, he challenged us and he made us work hard and I learned a very valuable lesson that year. I learned that I liked school, and learning and knowledge and that if I work hard, I CAN accomplish many things.
I learned a lot about myself that year. I also learned that there was nothing cool about being a slough. That was a 'loser' mentality, trying to avoid responsibility was a road to nowhere.
Thank GOD that teacher came into my life.
Regarding your son's teacher, kick her butt in gear or get him out of there. It will be one of the best things you could do for him.
The public school system, ideally, would do everything to prepare your child for their future but you can't leave it entirely to them.
Stay involved at every turn. The kid will fight you but too bad. 20-30 years from now, they will be thanking you. Parenthood is definitely delayed gratification...but most certainly worth the investment.