Behind the Headline: Why Closing Schools During Snow Can Be Good for Kids

By 01/21/2014

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On Top of the News
Why Closing Schools During Snow Can Be Good for Kids
1/21/14 | Slate

Behind the Headline
Time for School?
Winter 2010 | Education Next

Matthew Yglesias argues in Slate that if there’s snow, schools should close, since most snow days are made up later.

A school faced with a gray area level of snow has two choices. One is that it can cancel school for everyone, then stage a makeup day for everyone, and then everyone will be fine. The other is that it can keep school open, knowing that a certain number of kids won’t show up and that those absences will be quite bad for their learning. Under the circumstances, closing the school can make sense.

A study published in Ed Next found that instructional time lost due to snow days does have an impact on student learning. If the snow days are made up later, some of that learning could be recaptured. However, that learning will most likely take place after state testing has taken place, so it will not show up on standardized tests, the study notes.

Although cancellations are eventually made up, tests are administered in the spring in both states. This is months before the makeup days held prior to summer break.

Will significant learning really take place on days added on at the end of the school year?

-Education Next

HT: @chadaldeman

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