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The data used in this study come from two sources. First, administrative data for every student in North Carolina between 2000 and 2006 were provided by the North Carolina Education Research Data Center. The data contain detailed demographic variables for each student as well as end-of-grade test scores in reading and math. I standardize the raw test scores by assigning each student a percentile score, which indicates performance relative to all North Carolina students who took the test in the same grade and year. The second source of data is the start times for each Wake County public school, which are recorded annually and were provided by the WCPSS transportation department.
Thesis Statement on School Should Start Later
What time should the school day begin? School start times vary considerably, both across the nation and within individual communities, with some schools beginning earlier than 7:30 a.m. and others after 9:00 a.m. Districts often stagger the start times of different schools in order to reduce transportation costs by using fewer buses. But if beginning the school day early in the morning has a negative impact on academic performance, staggering start times may not be worth the cost savings.
In this study, I use data from Wake County, North Carolina, to examine how start times affect the performance of middle school students on standardized tests. I find 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.
Why School Should Start Later in the Morning - The Atlantic
Of course, increased sleep is not the only possible reason later-starting middle-school students have higher test scores. Students in early-starting schools could be more likely to skip breakfast. Because they also get out of school earlier, they could spend more (or less) time playing sports, watching television, or doing homework. They could be more likely to be absent, tardy, or have behavioral problems in school. Other explanations are possible as well. While my data do not allow me to explore all possible mechanisms, I am able to test several of them.
Starting school later could help students ..
I find that students who start school one hour later watch 12 fewer minutes of television per day and spend 9 minutes more on homework per week, perhaps because students who start school later spend less time at home alone. Students who start school earlier come home from school earlier and may, as a result, spend more time at home alone and less time at home with their parents. If students watch television when they are home alone and do their homework when their parents are home, this behavior could explain why students who start school later have higher test scores. In other words, it may be that it is not so much early start times that matter but rather early end times.
Results of starting school later essay
To further investigate how the effect of later start times varies with age, I estimate the effect of start times on upper elementary students (grades 3–5). If adolescent hormones are the mechanism through which start times affect academic performance, preadolescent elementary students should not be affected by early start times. I find that start times in fact had no effect on elementary students. However, elementary schools start much later than middle schools (more than half of elementary schools begin at 9:15, and almost all of the rest begin at 8:15). As a result, it is not clear if there is no effect because start times are not a factor in the academic performance of prepubescent students, or because the schools start much later and only very early start times affect performance.
Should high school start later? Research says grades go …
Later school start times have been touted as a way to increase student performance. There has not, however, been much empirical evidence supporting this claim or calculating how large an effect later start times might have. My results indicate that delaying the start times of middle schools that currently open at 7:30 by one hour would increase math and reading scores by 2 to 3 percentile points, an impact that persists into at least the 10th grade.