Research and Reports
While some critics have charged that changing to a four-day school week may have negative effects on student achievement, researchers at Colorado State University have completed a study indicating that the switch to a four-day schedule has "no effect" on achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
The study examined test scores of 104 students from five rural Colorado districts over four consecutive years--two years prior to and two years following a change to a four-day school week.
Joseph L. Daly and Robert W. Richburg of csu's department of education analyzed test scores of 62 students in grades 3 through 6 and of 45 students in grades 4 through 7.
The researchers found that the only significant changes in achievement could be attributed to the fact that students had been promoted to a different grade.
They cited the following benefits of a four-day week: savings on energy costs and transportation, low absentee rates for teachers and students, and more time for inservice opportunities and planning for teachers.
As of 1982, about 100 school districts nationwide operated on a four-day week, according to Joseph L. Newlin, executive director of the Rural Education Association, which is located at csu
Copies of the report, which was funded in part by the U.S. Education Department and the Colorado Department of Education, are available upon request from Joseph L. Newlin, Office of Rural Education, Department of Education, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. 80523; (303) 491-7022.