CRF Blog

All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

by Bill Hayes

Studies have shown the importance of preschool and kindergarten, but they have also shown that the effects of a great teacher at these levels evaporate over time. These studies have based their conclusions on test scores. For example, a Tennessee experiment in the 1980s looked at the kindergarten experience of 12,000 students. Students with great teachers were able to learn much more. But by middle school, their gains had evaporated according to test scores. A new study, however, looks beyond test scores and comes to a dramatically different conclusion. Harvard researchers looked into what happened to the 12,000 students. As reported in the New York Times:

Students who had learned much more in kindergarten were more likely to go to college than students with otherwise similar backgrounds. Students who learned more were also less likely to become single parents. As adults, they were more likely to be saving for retirement. Perhaps most striking, they were earning more.

Read the whole article: The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers.