Behind the Headline: Students Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep—School Starts Too Early

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Students Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep—School Starts Too Early
8/25/14 | The Atlantic

Behind the Headline
Do Schools Begin Too Early?
Summer 2012|Education Next

On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement saying that insufficient sleep in adolescents is an important public health issue that significantly affects the health, safety, and academic success of our nation’s students.” The Academy supports later school start times as a solution to this problem.  Jessica Lahey reviews the research on adolescent sleep and explains why delaying school start times is the best option in the Atlantic.

In “Do Schools Begin Too Early?” economist Finley Edwards of Baylor University analyzes data from North Carolina to examine the impact of school start times on student performance in school.  He finds that delaying school start times by one hour, from roughly 7:30 to 8:30, increases standardized test scores by at least 2 percentile points in math and 1 percentile point in reading. He notes that the effect is largest for students with below-average test scores, suggesting that later start times would narrow gaps in student achievement.

-Education Next

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