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Four Day School Weeks Might Boost Student Achievement

Four Day School Weeks Might Boost Student Achievement

Early findings from a study conducted by education experts Mary Beth Walker and Mark Anderson indicate that a four-day-week school schedule helps improve student achievement.

The researchers looked at schools in Colorado-where one-third of school districts have adopted the four-day-week schedule-and compared schools that had implemented the shorter week versus similar schools that had not.

“Our results, based on fifth grade mathematics scores, generally show that achievement rises after the introduction of a four-day week. We found that, even after we take into account the variations due to different socioeconomic levels, the four-day school week is associated with an increased achievement,” said Walker in a post on

In general, schools that implemented short school weeks saw a seven percent increase of students scoring proficient or above in math.

As for reading, the researchers did not find that shorter school weeks had a negative effect on students’ reading achievement, but they also did not find any sort of meaningful positive effect, either.

“The relationship between the schedule change and achievement in reading is also positive, although the increase was smaller. We found scoring proficient or advanced changed from about 66% to about 69%. But in the results for reading, we could not reject the possibility that they occurred by chance.

The researchers hope that their work will inspire others to invest in and perform further research into how shorter school weeks might increase student achievement; they hope more research will be done to help narrow down the reasons why students might perform better.

“We did not have enough information in our data to really examine the different possible ways in which the schedule change could improve academic outcomes. Incomplete data on attendance suggested that attendance improved when the schedule was shortened to four days.”

”Overall, we believe that the evidence that we found is an important one and should be part of the conversation on education policy.”

Read the full story here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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