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Time for healthier start times for our schools: Anthony Portantino

At a time when education reform has become a buzzword and everyone seems to be looking for ways to improve student academic performance, there is an evidence-based solution that is simple to implement but which has been overlooked for several decades: Starting school later in the morning.

Policy makers are often criticized for not implementing policy based on data or research. So here’s a good chance for action: There is overwhelming unanimity among researchers about results derived from research to justify starting the school day later for teenage students.

Despite this evidence, the vast majority of public middle and high schools in California begin at times that are counter to the sleep-health needs and developmental norms of adolescents. In essence, we know the right thing to do, but do the direct opposite.


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