This would require too much common sense to be led by the DOE. #netDE


Despite the strong medical evidence of the need for adolescents to obtain at least 8, and  preferably 9, hours of sleep every night to maximize their neural development, a strong resistance to a delayed high school start time exists in many localities across the U.S. School districts are very complex organisms that link bureaucratic structures with community norms and family life patterns, and where homeostasis or maintenance of the status quo is probably the strongest force against adopting a later start time for high schools. However, given the analyses summarized here, there are clear benefits for students whose high schools start at 8:30 AM or later. This would include, for teens who reported they got at least 8 hours of sleep per night, that they were more likely to say they have good overall health and were less likely to report being depressed or using caffeine and other substances (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, other drugs). Other positive findings include a significant reduction in local car crashes, less absenteeism, less tardiness, as well as higher test scores on national achievement tests. Most of the research completed prior to the study being reported here has been conducted in single districts, with none examining multiple school districts in multiple locations across the U.S.,using identical metrics to assess changes. Replications of this study would go a long way in confirming what appear to be substantive findings

Who will run with it?


27 thoughts on “This would require too much common sense to be led by the DOE. #netDE

  1. One of the factors involved in Delaware is that we use buses 3 times… High Schools students get picked up and dropped off; buses then go off to middle schools, repeat, and then to elementary schools, and in the afternoon that process is repeated…

    In rural areas where buses don’t run full. It was possible to put all students on the same bus, drive to a consolidated three level school, and start all ages at the same time.

      1. Therefore the opportunity would be: how can we work around it? What new implementations might we do that change the external factors preventing this from occurring.

        Instead of having buses go into neighborhoods, we could have parents bring the children out to central points, and like city buses with separate destinations, each child is assigned one.

        Or… build aerial trams that make a rotation around all schools and the child could just get off at his proper stop… Make choice transportation much easier.

        Or… build a school subway system, where students get on, and in minutes get off at their school…

        🙂 all cost money.

      2. John Young

        or, you could just flip the Elementary and Secondary schools’ start times and have no increase in cost

  2. bee bop

    Appoquinimink looked seriously at this a few years back. Conclusion, how in the world do you play after school athletics when it gets dark early in the late fall and early spring.? If I’m not mistaken that was the biggest obsticle. That and the ‘my high schooler gets my first grader off the bus’ thing.

  3. bee bop

    Thats actually bowing to parents… don’t you know that without h.s sports parents would be in an uproar!!! priorities john…priorities!

    1. John Young

      This proposal would not require the elimination of sports in anyway. they would all just start one hour later. all schools participate and the parents would still get sports later into the evening

      1. bee bop

        there would be too many contests called for darkness or student early dismissal for travel would be so early that they’d miss a quarter day of school.

  4. MHS

    Exactly John, local board members run their districts, set their calendar, develop their bell schedule, set their athletic schedules, contract their bus schedules, contract their teachers…the DOE has nothing to do with that so why would they undertake such an issue? I’m sure if they did you would start screaming that they were stepping on local control areas, so instead of making a swipe at DOE not taking this effort on how about you instead look in the mirror and challenge yourself to use the policy power you have as a board member and advocate for a change that you thoroughly believe is going improve student achievement.
    You are correct that much research has been done about delaying start times, especially for high schools, perhaps if you flipped HS and elementary start times that could be an interesting pilot at one of your high schools.

    1. John Young


      Just thinking that if DOE could spruce up a smart idea with some fake stakeholders and ram it through the GA (you know, the usual BS they pull) that maybe it could benefit everyone.

      Silly me.

      1. MHS

        You are suggesting that the GA should pass a bill that would dictate school start times now?? Come on John, you don’t the GA stepping into your policy responsibilities any more than you want DOE doing that. This is a very researched issue and has years of studies and data to support the initiative. A school board member should propose this idea to their district and try it as a pilot at a few schools in 15-16, based on your comments perhaps that won’t be you since apparently you want it taken out of your responsibility and handled by GA or DOE, but maybe another board member will bring it to their Board and Superintendent.

      2. John Young

        MHS, sadly in DE the over-controlling DOE and GA set local regs (e.g. DPAS, SBA which guides curricula selection and purchases). What I am saying is that, because DE is so dysfunctional, with hyper special interest groups railroading real stakeholders, the DIAA would need to be sidelined and the DOE and GA may be the best best for ensuring the success of this evidence based intervention by ensuring ALL districts do it. (no sports issues due to conferences removing schools and systems that have different available times to set and play games, etc.)

        The local boards would have to carry the water for the sell, but getting the whole state on the standard would actually help kids. Therefore, the title of my post. Sorry you don’t get it.

      1. Because how in the world would you ever know they were good teachers without the state and federal departments of education telling you what to do???

      2. MHS

        Silly John is right, you can that ability is and has been in the law you just have to make sure it meets the requirements established by the state.
        Perhaps you should start attending PD offered throughout the state on that issue or doing some research on high quality rubrics that your district could propose for approval from the state.
        However since I still haven’t heard about or found on your board website where your board followed up your vote to accept charter applications with a published process, application, or evaluation rubric all of which are required before you can actually authorize charters. Since your board/district has not done any of those next steps that vote that you made actually means nothing. If that’s how your board follows up on that action perhaps you shouldn’t try to devolop your own evaluation rubric if that’s how your board
        follows through with major policy initiatives.

      3. John Young

        ah, and are you suggesting the state would approve our alternative assessment if it intentionally does not include the unproven tactics of VAM?


      4. John Young

        (c) Charter school applications shall be submitted to a local school board or the Department for approval as an approving authority. Whenever a charter school seeks a charter from the Department as approving authority, such approval shall require the assent of both the Secretary and the State Board, as shall any action pursuant to §§ 515 and 516 of this title. The approving authority shall be responsible for approval of the charter school pursuant to this section and for continuing oversight of each charter school it approves.

      5. MHS

        Well, John you’ve managed to read how approvals are made by districts but seem to miss the constant reference to the “application” and “procedure” as well as apparently missed the beginning language in the subsequent section….
        Ҥ 512 Approval criteria.
        Subject to the process prescribed in § 511 of this title, charter school applications shall be in the form established by the approving authority and shall be approved if, after the exercise of due diligence and good faith, the approving authority finds that the proposed charter demonstrates that:”

        So again I ask, after CSD voted to accept applications why has there been no follow up or questions from CSD board members about how they could have voted to accept applications without an actual application developed or even ask in subsequent months what efforts the district had undertaken to meet the requirements and establish an authorizer protocol under which the charters would operate. Did you develop a contract they would operate under? Develop a method of evaluating their performance financially, organizationally, as well as academically?
        I see nowhere on the CSD website or minutes where any of this occurs thus you are no more prepared or able to accept charter applications this fall than you were last fall, guess those charters will have to keep applying to the state since CSD has not provided a viable option as an authorizer. And that vote that you made was really meaningless since the board didn’t actually do what was needed to operationalizing becoming an authorizer. Perhaps you should attend an authorizer conference and see some best practices that you could bring back to CSD and put in place…
        Ahh but that’s professional development and I forgot you laughed at suggestions of that earlier.

      6. John Young

        Exactly, there is no specification for local education agencies, are you suggesting the state could override our independent approval authority granted by this code?

      7. John Young

        Would they be the same”best practices” conferences that have led the DOE to become as sub par as they are?

  5. John Young

    Perhaps you should start attending PD offered throughout the state on that issue or doing some research on high quality rubrics that your district could propose for approval from the state.

    This cracks me up.

    1. If every district propose and implements their own evaluation system, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a standardized evaluation system? I repeat my snarky question: How on earth would anyone know who is a good teacher without making all kids take the same test and then using it to tell how well teachers are performing their jobs?

      1. MHS

        The alternate evaluation system means the rubric of how teachers and principals are evaluated not the state assessment. Those are completely separate issues, Jax.
        Having districts develop their own teacher evaluation system does not change the state assessment at all. Students would still take the same test but districts might decide to use different formulas for how that student performance measure along with others were used in the teacher evaluation.

  6. According to Mark Murphy, a district can allow alternate methods of standardized assessment. For instance, a student might demonstrate aptitude for a subject such as horticulture by: a) taking a standardized test on horticulture, b) creating a school garden and documenting the process in a portfolio, or c) establishing a business in the horticultural field, again documenting the process. And yes, I directly asked this exact question with pretty much those exact scenarios of Secretary Murphy, and he said those would be things the district could potentially use.

    Unless by standardized evaluation you mean DCAS, in which case I’d like to remind you (and any other readers) that only about 1/4 of educators are evaluated using the DCAS system. The rest of us use a combination of discipline-specific standardized tests and growth goals.

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