Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 6
Later Starts: Do They Help?
By Arianna Prothero
Support for Black Boys
Boosts Graduation Rates
"My Brother's Keeper? The Impact of Targeted
A new evaluation of an Oakland, Calif., school district
program designed to wrap black male students in a
culturally rich and supportive environment is paying off.
The four-year, on-time graduation rate for black males
who had access to the African-American Male Achievement
Program in their freshman and sophomore years increased
by about 3 percentage points since 2010. The centerpiece,
the Manhood Development Program, was rolled out to high
schools over time. Thus, researchers at Stanford University
were able to compare its impact on students who were in
the program with similar black male students enrolled in
schools that weren't yet participating.
The study also notes that Oakland saw overall graduation
rates among black male students increase from 46 percent
to 69 percent between 2010 and 2018, which was a faster
rate of improvement than the districtwide graduation rate
among all students.
-Christina A. Samuels
Networks Help Expand
'Deeper Learning' in Schools
"Deeper Learning Networks: Taking Student-Centered
Learning and Equity to Scale"
Creating a network can help schools build and maintain
the systems and structures needed to teach students to
apply their knowledge to new situations and complex
problems, according to an analysis by the think tank
Learning Policy Institute.
LPI researchers studied three large school networks-
Big Picture Learning, the Internationals Network for
Public Schools, and the New Tech Network-which have
had success implementing so-called "deeper learning"
practices. The researchers found that to scale up
practices such as project-based learning, work-study, and
performance assessments, the networks had to explicitly
redesign structures around how teachers work, students
demonstrate progress, and staff use time in the school day.
They also developed specific professional development and
community outreach strategies to ensure people understood
the reasoning behind the new practices and how they work.
The networks also created supports for leaders and engaged
in continuous improvement cycles to study and improve on
-Sarah D. Sparks
Racial Earnings Gaps Persist
After Educational Attainment
At every level of educational attainment, white workers
earn more and are more likely to have a good job than their
black and Hispanic peers, according to a new analysis by
Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy
Center on Education and the Workforce.
In fact, black and Hispanic workers had to earn at least a
bachelor's degree in order to top the annual earnings (in 2016
dollars) of a white worker with a high school diploma or less.
degree or higher
diploma or less
SOURCE: "The Unequal Race for Good Jobs"
6 | EDUCATION WEEK | October 30, 2019 | www.edweek.org
California's bold move to mandate later start times for
middle and high schools could produce ripple effects far
beyond the state, even as it's yet to be seen whether pushing back start times on such a large scale will deliver major
benefits for teenagers and for schools.
While health experts generally agree that getting adequate amounts of sleep is crucial to teens' still-developing
brains, the research on whether starting school later actually translates into more sleep-and better academic
performance-is not settled.
But there may be farther-reaching benefits beyond
higher test scores. While school administrators have generally balked at the costs associated with starting school
later, one recent study estimates that doing so across the
country could add billions of dollars to the economy.
Under California's new law, middle schools can't start
classes until 8 a.m. and high school until 8:30. Some rural
schools are exempted.
Schools have three years to make the changes.
Downsides of Not Enough Sleep
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American
Medical Association, the American Academy of Sleep
Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend that school not start before 8:30
for middle and high school students-which is more in
sync with the natural sleep patterns of those age groups.
Inadequate sleep can lead not just to academic problems
in teens and pre-teens, it also contributes to obesity, depression, and an increased risk of car accidents, according
to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Some experts have proposed even more dramatic scheduling shifts. Researchers from Oxford University, Harvard
University, and the University of Nebraska said 16-yearolds should not start school before 10 a.m., and 18-yearolds before 11 a.m.
One study from 2016 even found that adjusting start
times (and sleep schedules) could help close academic
performance gaps between boys and girls.
But while there is broad consensus among health experts that teens need more sleep and that their circadian
rhythms naturally shift around puberty, the tangible academic benefits for districts that have taken this step are
less clear, said Deborah Temkin, the senior director of
education research at Child Trends.
California's new policy will give researchers a rich opportunity to study the effects of later start times on a much
"Very few studies have actually followed schools a year
or so after a start time has changed," Temkin said. "I think
that's really important to note that we don't know what the
sustainability of the gains is."
That's important, said Temkin, when weighing the benefits of later start times that may only give students 15 to
30 minutes extra sleep with the costs of say, purchasing
additional buses to accommodate shifting schedules.
While students who start school later do tend to get
more sleep-at least at first-how much, exactly, varies
depending on the study, she said.
Much of the research on delayed school start times so far,
she said, shows little to no academic benefit for students.
That may be in part because students don't necessarily
continue going to bed at the same time just because school
start times are pushed back.
It may also take a while for the benefits of extra sleep-
such as improved health and academic achievement-to
In general, Temkin said, there is a 50 percent return in
pushing back a start time. For example, if a school starts 30
minutes later, students get an additional 15 minutes of sleep.
But even if teens aren't getting tons more sleep, simply
aligning school start times with their body clocks brings
some benefits: The quality of the sleep they are getting
in the morning is better than what they get later at night.
"Many sleep scientists really do see a benefit in that, it's
important to note," she said. "There is the issue of sleep
quality, but it doesn't always make up for lack of sleep duration, the two go hand in hand."
One unexpected benefit Temkin found in her own research is that parents were more likely to be home when
their children got home from school under a shifted
schedule, which meant less unsupervised time for students to engage in risky behavior such as drug use.
While early start times are disruptive to teens' sleep,
starting later can be hugely disruptive to districts and
That's why adopting these policies can be so controversial-as they have been in California.
Delaying start times requires overhauling bus schedules and even, potentially, adding new buses to a district's
fleet. It can impact after-school activities and sports practices, costing districts extra money to keep the lights on.
It can affect traffic as parents drop their students off at
And simply because school starts later doesn't mean that
all families can shift their schedules accordingly if parents
or younger siblings have to start work and school earlier.
Higher Graduation Rates?
But some research shows there are also potentially significant benefits to reap in the long run and that focusing
on immediate costs misses the big-picture gains.
One study from the RAND Corporation estimated the
economic impact of pushing back start times to 8:30 a.m.
on a state by state basis, and found that most states would
recoup the money spent on adopting new start times in
about two years.
The economic boosts would come from increased graduation rates which lead to higher lifetime earnings and
fewer car crashes, according to the RAND research.
Research has found that well-rested teens have higher
graduation rates, said Wendy Troxel, senior behavioral
and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, in part because they have better attendance.
Drowsy driving is also major contributor to automobile
accidents involving teens.
"In California specifically we found that two years after
such a change in start times, California's economy would
grow by about $1.1 billion," said Troxel.
While the costs associated with changing school start
times is often a non-starter for many districts, she said,
that's only looking at one side of the equation.
"There are significant costs for maintaining the status
quo," she said.
Coverage of whole-child approaches to learning is supported in
part by a grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this
Education Week - October 30, 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - October 30, 2019
Education Week - October 30, 2019
Deep in the Woods, a Test Of Leadership and Resolve
Minimum Wage Hikes Stress Districts
State Bans on Bilingual Ed. Nearly Extinct
Q&A: 5 Big Ed-Tech Problems And How to Solve Them
Later Starts: Do They Help?
What the Research Says
Elizabeth Warren’s K-12 Plan Spotlights Funding, Charters
Higher-Ed. Legislation Bubbling in Congress
Raising the Bar for Evidence In Education
An Educator’s Wisdom Is Evidence
Letters to the Editor
EdWeek Top School Jobs
Science Fact vs. Science Fiction
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - State Bans on Bilingual Ed. Nearly Extinct
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 2
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - Briefly Stated
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 4
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - Q&A: 5 Big Ed-Tech Problems And How to Solve Them
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - What the Research Says
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 7
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - Elizabeth Warren’s K-12 Plan Spotlights Funding, Charters
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - Higher-Ed. Legislation Bubbling in Congress
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 10
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 11
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 12
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 13
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 14
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 15
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - An Educator’s Wisdom Is Evidence
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - 17
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - Letters to the Editor
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - EdWeek Top School Jobs
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - Science Fact vs. Science Fiction
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - CW1
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - CW2
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - CW3
Education Week - October 30, 2019 - CW4