Everything Important In Life Depends On Your Ability To Answer This Kindergarten Question


Photo: How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project STAR

Harvard Professor Raj Chetty and a group of other researchers have performed a much-discussed study (via Gene Expression) that looks at what factors really affect things like income, your likelihood to own a home, and odds of getting married.The most startling thing they found?

Your score on a very basic kindergarten test is a HUGE predictor. Other educational factors like class size and the quality of your teachers aren’t nearly as important.

Given the renewed interest in educational policy in America right now, it’s fascinating.

We’ve drawn some key slides from their presentation.

This is the most important question in your life.

What was your answer?

Note: Half of our office got this wrong the first time around.

The study looked at how these simple questions predicted life success

Your success on the test is a HUGE predictor of wages

And your likelihood of attending college

And the quality of the college you get into is predicted by your kindergarten test

(And by the way, the better college you get into, the much more you're going to earn)

Not surprisingly, college graduation rates show the exact same pattern.

Home ownership? Yep, it makes a big difference.

Want to retire? Hope you did well on that kindergarten test

Want to get married before you're old? Let's hope you did well on that test

Again, if you want to live a mobile life and see the world

Bottom line: your kindergarten test score makes a HUGE difference.

Now... what doesn't matter? Turns out class sizes are overrated.

Class sizes don't affect your earnings much

Teacher experience. Yeah, it makes something of a difference.

But it's not that important to future earnings.

More evidence that teacher experience really isn't that important.

Now, did you score well on that kindergarten test and graduate from a great school?

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