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Further Research Supports Later School Start Times; Time for a Federal Mandate?

Further Research Finds Later Start Times Could Improve Student Performance

More research into later school start times has found potential benefits of the practice on student learning outcomes.

"Researchers from the University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School and the University of Nevada, Reno reported that students could improve their learning and have fewer health problems if schools accommodated the unique circadian rhythms of young people," according to THEJournal.com.

The study, titled "Synchronizing education to adolescent biology: 'let teens sleep, start school later," detailed a need for adolescents to receive nine hours of sleep each night, and slammed the notion that students would be less tired in school should they go to bed earlier.

The researchers urged schools to consider adolescents' biological sleep needs and wake times when determining the time classes should begin.

"At the age of 10, the 'biological wake time' is about 6:30; so school should start between 8:30 and 9, the researchers wrote. At 16, the wake time is 8, so the school start time should be between 10 and 10:30. And at 18, the wake time is about 9, so the start time for classes should be between 11 and 11:30," the researchers said, according to the article.

Earlier this year, The Center for Disease Control and the Department of Education also described the importance of considering later school start times, prompting Education World to ask if school start times should be federally mandated.

Indeed, the CDC reminded the public that insufficient amounts of sleep for adolescents- common with early school start times- could lead to health risks such as obesity, smoking, drug use and overall poor academic performance.

According to our survey, 65% of those who took the survey agreed that school start times should be a federally mandated issue. We'd like to ask the question again given this new research: share your voice by taking our poll below. 

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/11/2015

Should school start times be mandated by the government?

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