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When the Bell Tolls: The Effects of School Starting Times on Academic Achievement

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  • Peter Hinrichs

    () (Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University)

Abstract

A number of high schools across the United States have moved to later bell times on the belief that their previous bell times were too early for the “biological clocks” of adolescents. In this article I study whether doing so improves academic performance. I first focus on the Twin Cities metropolitan area, where Minneapolis and several suburban districts have made large policy changes but St. Paul and other suburban districts have maintained early schedules. I use individual-level ACT data on all individuals from public high schools in this region who took the ACT between 1993 and 2002 to estimate the effects of school starting times on ACT scores. I then employ school-level data on schedules and test scores on statewide standardized tests from Kansas and Virginia to estimate the effects of bell times on achievement for a broader sample. The results do not suggest an effect of school starting times on achievement. © 2011 Association for Education Finance and Policy

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Hinrichs, 2011. "When the Bell Tolls: The Effects of School Starting Times on Academic Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 6(4), pages 486-507, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:6:y:2011:i:4:p:486-507
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Groen, Jeffrey A. & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2017. "Snooze or Lose: High School Start Times and Academic Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 11166, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    3. Frisvold, David E., 2015. "Nutrition and cognitive achievement: An evaluation of the School Breakfast Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 91-104.
    4. Wang, Kurt & Sabia, Joseph J. & Cesur, Resul, 2016. "Sleepwalking through School: New Evidence on Sleep and Academic Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 9829, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Cortes Kalena E. & Bricker Jesse & Rohlfs Chris, 2012. "The Role of Specific Subjects in Education Production Functions: Evidence from Morning Classes in Chicago Public High Schools," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-36, June.
    6. Luong, Phuc & Lusher, Lester & Yasenov, Vasil, 2017. "Sleep and Student Success: The Role of Regularity vs. Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 11079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Scott E. Carrell & Teny Maghakian & James E. West, 2011. "A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 62-81, August.
    8. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:2:p:331-344 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:62:y:2018:i:c:p:12-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Herber, Stefanie P. & Quis, Johanna Sophie & Heineck, Guido, 2017. "Does the transition into daylight saving time affect students’ performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 130-139.
    11. Ellegood, William A. & Campbell, James F. & North, Jeremy, 2015. "Continuous approximation models for mixed load school bus routing," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 182-198.
    12. Teny Maghakian Shapiro, 2015. "The educational effects of school start times," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 181-181, August.
    13. Lusher, Lester & Yasenov, Vasil, 2016. "Double-shift schooling and student success: Quasi-experimental evidence from Europe," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 36-39.
    14. Edwards, Finley, 2012. "Early to rise? The effect of daily start times on academic performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 970-983.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school starting times; school schedules; ACT data; academic achievement; standardized test scores;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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