Will Saletan picks up on a favorite obsession of mine:
Brain scientists want high schools to start later so teens can sleep. Research shows that body clocks run later in teens than in adults and younger kids: In teens, a sleep-inducing hormone doesn't start rising till 10 or 11 p.m. and doesn't let up till 8 a.m. Some high schools are starting later; others are considering it. Skeptical parents say adjusting the school day would 1) interfere with after-school jobs and 2) give in to teens who stay up late playing video games or chatting on the phone. But some scientists say 1) we should respect kids' sleep needs the way we respect their nutritional needs, and 2) sending them to school at 7 a.m. just teaches them to dope themselves with coffee.
Word! There's no reason schools should start at 7:30, rather than 8:45 or 9. More to the family values point, the actual impact of such an early beginning is an early end, meaning teens have plenty of time to hang out afterschool while their parents are still at work. The average schoolday, in my experience, is 7:30 to 2:30. But given the rise in dual-worker families, having kids leave campus closer to five would be good for everyone, so why not make it 9:30 to 4:30? Nobody, after all, has the energy to get into trouble before 8am, and after five, as I well remember, it gets much harder.
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(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)