It starts too early for teens’ sleep patterns, and ends too early for working parents. Does the country have to be stuck with it?
The world does not revolve around you, teens are often told. Indeed it doesn’t, as they are reminded every school-day morning when disabling their alarms. The average start time for public high schools, 7:59, requires teens to get up earlier than is ideal for their biological clocks, meaning many teens disrupt their natural sleep patterns every school day.
The world, apparently, does not revolve around parents either. Their lives also tend to be mismatched with school-day schedules, which usually end a good two hours before the typical American workday does. As Kara Voght recently wrote in The Atlantic, that leaves a daily gap of unsupervised time for many children, forcing their parents to find affordable care for their kid or to adjust their own working schedule.