The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

September 7, 2013

EDITORIALS: Later class times; Anti-Assad bandwagon is empty

Would later class times improve student performance?

(New Castle News / New Castle, Pa.)

A student who falls asleep in class may have problems with his or her grades. That’s hardly an earth-shattering concept.

For years now, many in the education community have said students are having trouble staying alert in class because they are not getting enough sleep. As a result, their grades suffer.

The solution? One that has been bandied about in the past and is now being advocated by the United States secretary of education involves starting classes later in the day.

In a broadcast interview this week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke in favor of later class times — while declining to call for a federal standard. He cited studies that discovered that students who lack sufficient sleep see their grades suffer. The problem is especially evident for students in their teen years.

We have no doubt that all of this is true. But we wonder if starting school later in the day will solve the problem, or merely delay the inevitable.

Presumably, teens today aren’t getting enough sleep because they are staying up too late. The reasons may vary, but this is not a particularly difficult concept.

Holding classes later in the day might help, but only if teens go to bed at the same times as now and get up later in the morning. Would that happen, or would they simply stay up later, knowing they don’t have to get up as early?

Some researchers claim schools that started later hours saw improved student performance almost immediately. But is that trend maintained over time, as students opt to adjust their sleep schedules?

Altering school hours comes with consequences. For instance, it might impact after-school extracurricular activities or jobs many students have. And if teens are up later at night, that might be an enticement to engage in activities that could get them into trouble.

Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    NEW YORK - Economists love hamburgers. Specifically fast-food burgers. This is partly because all right-thinking human beings love ground meat on a bun, but it's also because the sandwich makes a handy yardstick for international financial comparisons. The ingredients and labor involved in preparing a Big Mac are pretty much the same no matter where you are in the world, so by looking at how many hours of toiling it takes a worker to earn enough to purchase one, you can get a sense of how wages really stack up across countries. The Economist famously created the Big Mac index in 1986 to see which currencies were overvalued. It started as a joke. Now, as the magazine proudly notes, it's a subject of academic study.

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    WASHINGTON - What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 22, 2014

  • Doug Creamer All in the Family

    We had a family get-together at my brother’s house on Easter Sunday. It’s hard to get our family together because we are spread out, especially when you consider nieces and nephews. My parents and siblings all made the gathering this year. Some of my nieces and nephews are far away, but they all remember gathering at my brother’s house for the holidays. Easter is known for the Jell-O eggs and the famous Easter egg hunt.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 19, 2014

  • The case for separate beds

    WASHINGTON - The other night I slept on a twin bed in the guest room of the house I share with my husband and our two kids.
    It was the best night's sleep I've had in years.

    April 19, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Obama's equal pay exaggeration leads us all into danger

    The president's claims of national shame over gender-based pay inequity spring from distorted calculations, as well as some convenient political math.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Teens trading naked selfies for mugshots

    Will teenagers ever learn? You think yours will. Maybe so. But it's likely that was also the hope of the parents of children who were so shamed by nude photos of themselves that went south - how else can they go - that they killed themselves.

    April 12, 2014

  • Brent Laurenz If you want to vote in primary, you need to register to vote now

    RALEIGH – North Carolina voters will head to the polls on May 6 this year to cast ballots in important primary elections across the state.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scott Mooneyham Heeding the voter fraud call in N.C.

    RALEIGH – Legislators found the findings outrageous.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Creamer Roots

    I took a few minutes over the weekend to enjoy our yard and the arrival of spring. There seems to be so much work that needs to be done, it is hard to decide what to do first. I am excited that I got to run my tiller through the garden. I didn’t go very deep, but I did at least break up the soil. I have a couple of raised beds and the soil in them was in very good shape. I didn’t plant my peas and now after the big rain we got on Monday I realize that I missed a window of opportunity.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content