Behind the Headline: CDC: Too Many Schools Start Class Too Early, A Problem For Student Health

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Too Many Schools Start Class Too Early, A Problem For Student Health
The Washington Post | 8/7/15

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

A report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that five out of every six middle schools and high schools nationwide start classes earlier than 8:30 a.m.

Emma Brown of the Washington Post notes that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start later than 8:30 a.m. “to help teens avoid becoming chronically sleep-deprived and exhausted.” The CDC says that insufficient sleep among teens is a “substantial public health concern.”

A study by Finley Edwards, Do Schools Begin Too Early?, looks at the impact of early school start times on academic performance. The study 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. 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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