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Study determines school start time affects grades

middle schoolMiddle school start time affects school performance, according to a recent study by Finley Edwards of Colby College titled “Early to Rise? The Effect of Daily Start Times on Academic Performance.”

Edwards determined that an increase in school start time by one hour would lead to a 3 percentile point gain in both math and reading test scores for the average student. Using only variation within schools the effect is 2 percentile points for math and 1.5 percentile point for reading, his study concluded.

Edwards studied data on all middle school students in Wake County, NC from 1999-2006 to identify the effect of daily start times on academic performance. Wake County was suited for the study because it has considerable variation in start times across schools within a single large school district, as well as variation in start times within schools over time, the study stated.


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