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Why Does High School Start So Early in the Day?

Should High Schools Have Later Start Times?

Getting kids out of bed and ready for school can sometimes feel like pulling teeth. But US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan surprised everyone when he suggested that schools should have later start times so parents could let kids sleep in a little, Today reports. Duncan, the former chief of Chicago Public Schools, said studies have shown that students do better if they start their school day rested. A 2012 study found that a later start time — from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. — increased middle school kids' standardized test scores in math and reading by two to three percentile points. While Duncan acknowledged that later start times could be problematic for bus and work schedules, he encouraged local schools and superintendents to evaluate the idea. As Duncan told The Diane Rehm Show, "So often, we design school systems that work for adults and not for kids."

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