- In a broadcast interview Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan suggested that teenagers might perform better in the classroom if there was a later start to the school day.
- Duncan cited research showing that more rest leads to better performance, but he added that he wouldn't dictate a time that classes should start in the morning—that decision is up to districts.
- Whether or not the Duncan's suggestion brings about any change is up in the air, as current dawn-to-mid-afternoon high school schedules are based largely on the ease of transportation, as well as teenagers' after-school jobs, extracurricular activities and sports schedules.
From the article:
... "Children who sleep poorly are doing more poorly on academic performance," said Joseph Buckhalt, a distinguished professor at Auburn University's College of Education.
He has been tracking sleeping patterns of 250 children as well as their IQ tests, performance on standardized tests, their grades and behavior. His findings suggest sleep is just as important to student achievement as diet and exercise.
"All the data that we've seen on sleep shows that children, especially teenagers, are sleeping less," he said. "If you don't sleep well, you don't think very well." ...