Does Shortening the School Week Impact Student Performance? Evidence from the Four-Day School Week
Issue/Topic: Scheduling/School Calendar--Week
Author(s): Anderson, D. Mark; Walker, Mary Beth
Organization(s): Montana State University; Georgia State University
Published On: 2/1/2012
Past research on block scheduling and year-round schooling shows mixed and inconclusive results on student performance. Research into increasing instructional time suggests a positive impact on achievement but with diminishing returns.
To determine the relationship between the four-day school week and academic performance among elementary school students
The four-day school week is associated with:
- An increase in the percentage of 5th grade students scoring proficient or advanced on Colorado's math achievement test.
- A smaller but still significant increase in the percentage of 4th grade students scoring proficient or advanced on Colorado's reading test.
- Policymakers faced with financial pressures may consider the four-day school week without worrying that academic outcomes of students will be sacrificed.
- Future research should consider which mechanisms of the four-day week are most important for improving student performance and whether the positive impact on student performance can be generalized to larger and less rural districts.
Differences-in-differences empirical strategy
4th and 5th grade students
Year data is from:
Data Collection and Analysis:
Test score data from the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP); specifically, 4th grade reading and 5th grade mathematics scores. School schedules information from the Colorado Department of Education and districts.
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