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Teens More Alert When School Starts Later

Study Shows Later Start Time for High School Can Improve Students' Mood and Motivation

Debate Over School Start Times continued...

"The role of data and factual information in discussing and advocating for changing school start times is key. ... When the first findings emerged in 1997, the question remaining at that time concerned the effect of the later start time on academic outcomes," Wahlstrom writes. "Longitudinal research has since found several significant academic effects, such as decreasing the dropout rate, but a direct correlation between later start time and academic achievement on normed tests has not been substantiated."

"In the end, having comprehensive information and impartial presentation of what is known, and not assumed, is needed to really begin the local dialogue," Wahlstrom concludes. "The community at large is, after all, the final arbiter, as all must truly live with the consequences. Our teenagers need and deserve our best informed thinking about all of this; having the facts in hand is the best place to start."

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