Several proposals around improving performance the academic performance of students involve very costly interventions. Even though many of these surely come true on the cost-benefit tests, they surely can be immensely challenging, both politically and financially, to ensure a successful implementation.
A possible way involves altering the ways in which schools are conducted. For instance, in a recent policy proposal, Jacob and Rockoff suggest three low-cost ways to conduct schools that can ensure maximised student performance: one, clubbing elementary and middle schools into single buildings; two, optimize teacher assignment; and three, starting the school in the later half of the day for middle and high school students. But more so than other, their third idea seems particularly actionable because it does not require new buildings to be built, and the nature of teachers’ jobs would not significantly change. Schools that start elementary schools later and high schools earlier could easily swap these schedules without any major transportation disruptions. This would allow adolescents to sleep later and therefore arrive at school more focused and better prepared to learn. Read more…
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