I read an article on slashdot.org about how assigning more homework doesn't necessarily improve grades (sorry link is down). I got to thinking about all the homework I had to do growing up. I'm one of those people who always did all the homework and reading. Do I think I got a better education than those that skated by? I hope so.
One thing that bothered me about math homework is that the teacher would assign some problems that were very hard. Now making me think isn't a bad thing, but I want it done fairly, so there is some hope of me being able to figure it out on my own. Many times, none of the examples showed anything similar or if they did, they didn't go far enough so I could extrapolate how to proceed.
In college it got worse. I had one computer science teacher (great guy by the way) who assigned problems he thought looked "interesting" before trying to do them himself. These problems tended to be ones that originally were people's master thesis or even their PhD work. How I'm supposed to recreate overnight (literally) a proof that someone else probably spent months on is beyond me.