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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: When Should School Start?


Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency Superintendent Dave Campbell says a lot of school policies are not set in the best interest of children learning. The issue of school start times is one. 

Campbell was one of the educators interviewed for an article in Bridge on the issue of when school should start. Campbell says research shows high school students do better when school starts later. But he says there are other factors.

If high school start is going to start later, other schools have to start earlier. Elementary students would have to start earlier in order to allow multiple bus runs. Campbell says young children would be standing on the side of the road early in the morning. Plus there are extracurricular activities like sports.

Asked about the optimum school start time, Campbell says there is some research that 9:00 would be a good time for high schoolers to start class. However he says there is a reality that sometimes people have to adjust to larger society. But Campbell says sleep deprivation is a very real issue, not just for education, but for health in general.

Campbell has also been appointed to Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Education Commission. Campbell says the Governor wants the commission to examine governance, funding and accountability of schools. He says Michigan should look at other nations. Campbell says Canada is a good place for Michigan to look for lessons on education, and he says other states like Massachusetts. Campbell says there’s always a place for innovation, but best practices that are currently working in other states and countries.

Interview with Dave Campbell - web version

The interview was recorded June 7th. In the extended version, Campbell also discusses the issue of weapons in school, and one parent who caused a stir by legally openly carrying a gun during a program at one KRESA facility. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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