Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2013/6 Tishrei, 5774
Public schools need lessons in effective education
By Dan K. Thomasson
The public school system faces daunting challenges: from the federally directed emphasis on standardized tests, from alternative learning choices' drain on resources, from the need to provide services outside the scope of academics. The weight of these and other problems threatens to crumble the once-vaunted system. While that may be a bit unfair, it is nevertheless a large portion of the considerations when it comes to making the system run. Take, for instance, the University of Minnesota's research, dating to 1996, showing that high school students do better academically if classes don't start until after 8 a.m. Their attentiveness when they reach the classroom improves dramatically. Have many schools adopted this common-sense approach? No. Why? Because scheduling throughout much of the land is designed for the benefit of working parents, teachers, bus drivers, etc.
While that may be a bit unfair, it is nevertheless a large portion of the considerations when it comes to making the system run. Take, for instance, the University of Minnesota's research, dating to 1996, showing that high school students do better academically if classes don't start until after 8 a.m. Their attentiveness when they reach the classroom improves dramatically. Have many schools adopted this common-sense approach? No. Why? Because scheduling throughout much of the land is designed for the benefit of working parents, teachers, bus drivers, etc.
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