What We’re Watching: Some Communities Reluctant to Start School Later



By Education Next 06/21/2012

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This TV news story from Sacramento draws on the recent Education Next study by Finley Edwards on the effects of later school start times on student achievement.

Featuring the network’s teen reporter, the story investigates why high school start times are so early, when evidence from studies like the one by Edwards suggests that later start times would boost student achievement.

The Sacramento principal interviewed for the piece said that parents like the earlier start times so that they can drop their kids off at school on the way to work, and noted that later start times would not leave as much time in the afternoon for high school athletics.

The Edwards’ study, “Do Schools Begin Too Early,” which appears in the Summer 2012 issue of Ed Next, found that students with similar backgrounds in similar school districts who started school earlier in the morning than their counterparts had lower academic achievement.

A doctor interviewed in the piece notes:

Kids who get better sleep and more sleep are actually healthier from a fitness standpoint and are less likely to be obese… There are also ADD correlations [in which sleep] improves their attention span.




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