Ever fantasized about a four day work week, knowing that if you really put your mind to it you can get all of your work done and probably be better focused because you get that extra day to unwind? Well, there may be very real benefits to a four day week when it comes to kids in school. A new study suggests that kids who attend school for four days a week rather than five tend to do better on tests.
New York Magazine reports about a new study published in the journal Education, Finance and Policy that provides data from schools that switched to a four day week and saw improvements in the math scores among their 4th and 5th graders.
Many schools have made the switch to a 4 day school week in an attempt to save money on transportation and utility costs (especially in Colorado where 30% of their school districts are now on this schedule). Though the kids have that extra day off, they have longer hours during their 4 day weeks to make up for the 5th day lost. But until now there was no evidence that the shortened scheduled was benefiting or harming the kids.
Researchers involved in the study were able to look at schools who were planning to make the switch the 4 days and see how their students improved over a period of 2 years. Co-author of the study Mary Beth Walker of Georgia State University was convinced that the study would find that the 4 day school week proved to be detrimental to students’ grades and was surprised to find the opposite to be true. She says, “We thought that especially for the younger, elementary school kids, longer days on a shorter school week would hurt their academic performance, because their attention spans are shorter.”
What do you think of the study that suggests a 4 day school week can improve students’ academic performance?
Would you like to see your child’s school switch to a 4 day week?