Statistics and conclusion below.
We have been struggling for a long time with the homework close reason. There are shortcomings to all approaches we have tried so far to change it. I believe one of the problems with this is that actually enacting a different strategy comes with the worry that it'll drastically change the dynamics of the site.
However, continuing like before seems hardly an option anymore. On several occasions the use of this reason has been questioned. We even ran an experiment being more lenient about closure in general. I personally think homework has become a boiler template for closing questions that we do not want to deal with on the site. In a way it has gotten too easy to close questions, but the problem with that strategy is that it does not utilise closing as a tool. This is not the most efficient way of creating a repository with great content.
Closing a question (putting it on hold) should have the focus of improving it, reopening it, and answering it. It should (in the majority of the cases) not be used as a standard way to get rid of content; that's what voting is for.
To encourage more communication towards the question authors and the community, we decided to run another experiment. In June we will be disabling the homework close reason. The current homework policy stays in place, however, to use it, you need fill out the custom close reason.
We hope that this will encourage users to actually name the problems of the post, ask follow up questions for clarification, offer guidance on improving them. It will hopefully give us new data on what kind of questions get closed and why, as well as the most common shortcomings of such questions.
During that time we hopefully can have another discussion about the policy, or are even able to create a new one from scratch. There are quite a few approaches already in play, but we have to find a general compromise that works for everyone.
If we cannot figure out anything during that time, we will re-enable the close reason, and nothing ever happened.
If you have any concerns that need to be addressed before the start of the experiment, please share it as an answer below.
Because it is likely to come up again: Homework questions are still allowed as long as they follow our current homework policy. This experiment is not changing this. If you would like to talk about the scope (including homework) in general, please open another meta discussion.