A new study of reading and math scores indicates that a four day week for school kids may improve test scores and attendance.
The reading and math tests from the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) for fourth and fifth grade students participating in both four and five day school weeks were compared by the researchers. The study was published in Education Finance and Policy.
The researchers discovered that a four day school week had a statistically significant effect on the fifth grade math scores. There was no impact on reading scores.
The team was comprised of researchers from Georgia State University and Montana State University. They were surprised by the results.
“What interested me about our results is they were completely opposite to what we anticipated,” said dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State, Mary Beth Walker. “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. Also, a longer weekend would give them more opportunity to forget what they had learned.”