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Ap English Language

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Jesse Schiffman

An ongoing argument in the world of education is the start time of class, and whether or not it should be later. When the bell rings at 7:30 AM, students are barely awake, let alone ready to learn. They have just dragged themselves out of bed, most likely having gotten around 6 hours of sleep the night before (in their teenage years, when getting enough sleep is vital to the body). Now they are forced to sit in class and pay attention. However, just because their bodies are present doesn’t mean their minds aren’t absent. A later start time would change everything for students, meaning more sleep and more time to really wake up in the morning.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that schools start at 8:30 or later, yet studies show that more than 3 out of every 5 middle and high schools start before 8:00. Students are not the only people who vouch for this argument. Anne Wheaton, an employee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, probes the causes behind health problems. She has been focused on the lack of sleep teens get leading to sickness. She believes that this lack of sleep is stemming from the early school start times. The early school start times are also contradicted by biology. In puberty, a child’s biological rhythm is thrown off so that adolescents grow tired later at night and need to sleep later in the morning. A lack of sleep also has been linked with an increased risk of obesity, depression, drug use and other problems. The decreased sleep most definitely takes a toll on the child and clearly a later school start time would give students a chance to sleep later and in turn be healthier.

Not only do school start times have negatively affect the health of an adolescent but they can also have an effect on the student's performance in school. A study conducted by Finely Edwards finds that delaying school start times by one hour, from about 7:30 to 8:30, increases standardized test scores by at least 2 percent in



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