Snow Days Are Okay, Says Harvard Study

Schools have already endured a wave of weather-related
cancellations this winter. Now, to make up for lost instructional
time, a few states are considering tagging on makeup days to the
end of the semester. Some districts want to cancel spring break

They may not need to bother. As Emily Richmond
 in The Atlantic, new research from
Harvard Public Policy Professor Joshua Goodman finds that makeup
days may be unnecessary; based on statewide tests, closing schools
barely affects achievement rates.

Schools shouldn’t worry too much about weather-related closures,
the study suggests, because the negative consequences of staying
open often outweigh the benefits of staying open. Even when schools
don’t close, many concerned parents keep their kids at home. (One
The Atlantic, “I don’t want to worry about them
on the bus sliding around the road.”) These kids end up falling

Then of course there are the whimsical benefits that lay beyond
the scope of the study. The Atlantic

A father who grew up in Connecticut said the snow day had been a
rite of passage in his own childhood and he was enjoying sharing
the experience with his own kids–at least on a very limited

The bottom line is that snow days are okay. The negative
consequences of keeping schools open often outweigh the benefits of
a day of class. Oh and, forget “makeup days.” 

from Hit & Run

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