Debating the Issue

Hello everyone! We have been talking mainly about OUR point of view on the subject of education, so let’s listen to a conversation debating both points of view.

*Conversation between Jessie(our side) and Julie(against us)*

Jessie: Homework is too much. It is the main factor of my stress, and I spend almost every moment I have at home trying to complete it. I would rather just go to bed to get a goodnight’s sleep, not completing my assignments. Even better, I don’t even believe homework should be assigned at all.

Julie: I strongly disagree. Homework challenges you and refreshes you with practice on what you learned that day in school. Saying to yourself “No to homework” late at night, will not get the homework completed, and it will affect your grades. Loosing a few hours of sleep each night is worth good grades.

Jessie: Whatever you say… But wait! I am not going to take five AP courses if it will only stress me out and cause me loose a good amount of sleep.

Julie: That is very true, it will stress you out. However, at the end of the year, it will all be over! You need to differentiate yourself for college admission. Many students are taking multiple AP courses. To be accepted into high level colleges, you need to go above and beyond. The standards are rising and rising, and if you are looking to be accepted to high level colleges, you need to challenge yourself and keep up with them.

Jessie: How is challenging myself beneficial to my mental health if all it does is add on to my stress?

Julie: Challenging yourself with hard courses and stress is beneficial because it will help prepare you for your future. How will the future of our county continue to grow if our students aren’t prepared for the real world? The students today are the future leaders of our country. You can not slack off in the real world, and you will often be faced with stress.

Jessie: You are saying I need to differentiate myself my taking higher level classes, but the standards and expectations are rising each year.Since many who are applying to college are achieving beyond the requirements, you can have straight A’s, have taken over 2 AP’s each year, have over 200 hours of community service, and look the exact same as 50 other student applicants. To the college you just look, “normal”, even though you put countless years of work and effort into your high school years.

Julie: You are correct, but does this mean you just want to give up the chance of going to college just because you look the same? You can also differentiate yourself by extracurricular activities, it does not only have to be academically.

Jessie: Okay fine. Now let’s talk about Block Schedule. I don’t believe it is necessary for high school because students have a hard time focusing for longer periods of time. It is also challenging for students to keep up with the fast pace of their classes, which only last a semester of the regular schedule.

Julie: Block Schedule prepares high school students for college. Block Schedule classes are the same length of college classes, which prepares the high school students, so they will be used to the rigger in college.

Jessie: You have very good points, but I am sticking with my side. Good-bye!


Which side do you agree with? Comment below!


A Study Done on Sleep

Dr. Mary A. Carskadon and her colleagues conducted an experiment testing what would happen to sleep and circadian rhythms in a group of young people for whom the transition from junior high to high school required a change in school starting time from 8:25 am in junior high to 7:20 am in high school. For some background, the definition for circadian is, “being, having, characterized by, or occurring in approximately 24-hour periods or cycles (as of biological activity or function)”, according to Merriam-Webster’s medical dictionary. The experiment had 25 kids participate in the study at two time points, in the spring of 9th grade(still Junior High), and in the fall of 10th. The student maintained their usual schedules, wore small activity monitors, and kept account of their sleep schedules for two consecutive weeks. At the end, the participants were tested on 3 things. They were tested in melatonin secretion, then an overnight sleep study, and lastly, daytime testing.


The results that Dr. Carskadon and her colleagues found were the following:

On the average school morning, the students woke up earlier for high school in comparison, but only 25 minutes earlier, despite the 65 minute difference between starting times for both schools. They also found that all the kids, at both times, showed 10:40pm being their average time that their bodies would transition from full wakefulness to sleep, usually to the lightest of the non-REM sleep stages (REM stands for rapid eye movement) . The participants went from an average of 7 hours and 9 minutes of sleep, to 6 hours and 50 minutes, which may seem insignificant because it is only a 20 minute difference, but they were already suffering a lack of sleep. Keep in mind, the average teen needs 9.25 hours of sleep each night and 7 hours is the average amount of sleep teens are getting, not just in this particular study. None of the students tested even got 8.25 hours of sleep. Another result they got was that they tested all kids in the morning with a Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT). The test can distinguish physical tiredness and true excessive daytime sleepiness and it mainly discovers how readily a person will fall asleep in a conductive setting. Nearly half of them showed a sleep pattern that is similar to the sleep disorder narcolepsy, which is moving immediately into REM sleep before non-REM sleep, a reverse order. None of the 12 students had narcolepsy, but they did have an off pattern between their circadian rhythms and their school day wake up times which makes sense because at 8:30 in the morning, they fell asleep within 3 minutes.


Therefore, if we start school at 8:00, and wake up at about 6:45, in order to get the 9.25 hours of sleep that every teen needs on average,  every kid would need to go to bed at 9:30. With school ending at 3, commuting home. having about an average of 2-4 hours of homework, afterschool sports or activities, family expectations,  and chores, it is very difficult to do all that, and still have enough time to eat, shower, and breathe, AND still get in bed by 9:15 to be asleep by 9:30.


Any questions or comments? Comment below!