Schools that switched to a four-day week saw learning reductions

By: | May 5, 2021

K-12 schools that cut instructional time by switching to a four-day week see meaningful reductions in student learning, according to recently published research. The effects are similar to those resulting from other common approaches to cost reduction, such as increasing class sizes, and the negative academic effects may intensify with the passage of time, the author finds.

The trend toward closing schools for one day each week — or at least replacing academic programming during a fifth day with enrichment, field trips, or professional development for teachers — was spreading quickly before the arrival of COVID-19. But the pandemic’s effects, including significant drops in test scores, also point to the damage wrought by lost hours in the classroom.

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