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  • This episode of DNews is brought to you by Audible.

  • All you kids out there who hate waking up early for school? Worry not, 'cause science has your back.

  • Hey guys, Tara here for DNews - and like many of you out there, I am NOT a morning person.

  • Having to wake up at 6 am every single day was probably the thing I hated most about school growing up

  • and now, there's research to prove that it can actually affect our academic performance.

  • A new study conducted throughout 718 public elementary schools in Kentucky, finds that

  • earlier school start times are associated with lower performance, but ONLY in students from middle or upper class backgrounds.

  • Researchers assessed academic performance using standardized test scores, as well as

  • attendance rates, teacher-student ratios, and retention rates,

  • which is the number of students required to repeat a certain grade.

  • They theorized that earlier start times would be associated with lower performance in almost all of those areas,

  • particularly in disadvantaged schools. But to their surprise,

  • the results showed that wasn't true. Kids who attended schools in disadvantaged districts saw no difference in performance,

  • regardless of what time school started.

  • However, children attending affluent schools, saw a significant decrease in academic performance, the earlier school started.

  • Researchers say sleep deprivation could be what's at hand here.

  • Not getting enough sleep could cause students to lose the ability to remain alert and focused in class and it may also lead to an increase in illness.

  • As for why this only seems to affect children in affluent schools, the answers are still mostly unknown.

  • Although they believe it may be because disadvantaged children have so many other risk factors at play.

  • Now before we start rallying to have schools start at 9 am, there were some other unexpected findings.

  • The study also found that the later school starts, the higher the chance there is of students having to repeat grades.

  • For every additional minute later school starts,

  • retention rates increase by 0.2 %. So starting the school day off even 5 minutes later than normal,

  • could lead to a 1 % increase in the amount of students being held back.

  • Now, that's pretty antithetical to the rest of the study, which links later start times with improved performance,

  • but one possible explanation for that, researchers say, is that starting school later may cause average students to improve,

  • while those with learning disabilities have an even harder time keeping up.

  • They also warn that because this is the first study to ever examine the relationship between school start times and student retention in pre-adolescents,

  • more research is needed before solid conclusions can be drawn.

  • Still, think of all the things you could get done if school didn't start til 10 am!

  • You could read a book - or better yet, you could listen to a book on!

  • Audible is the leading provider of downloadable digital audiobooks and spoken word entertainment.

  • And they've got over 100,000 titles to choose from, including books for kids!

  • Just download them to your iPod or MP3 player, and listen to them anywhere you want - on the bus,

  • at home, or at recess, if you're one of the indoor kids. No shame in that, it's the reason I'm so pale!

  • Best of all, you can get a free audiobook download of your choice by signing up at

  • Every sign-up helps support the show, and encourages reading - the best education of all.

  • In the meantime, let us know what you think of this study! Would you hate it, or love it, if school started a half hour later?

  • Parents, I'm sure you feel differently than your kids,

  • but let us know anyway! Just leave your answers in the comments below

  • and as always, thank you guys for watching!

This episode of DNews is brought to you by Audible.

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