The NY Times has a guest piece on "No Rich Child Left Behind". The gist - income is now a better predictor of success in school than race.
No kidding - David Brooks was fretting about "The Hereditary Meriticracy" years ago. Also unsurprising - Brooks referred to cultural inheritances with no mention of a possible genetic component to health, good lucks, high energy, intelligence, and other traits that might have led to the high incomes of the parents and been passed to the kids. The current author maintains that discipline.
I like this, from the intro:
Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, on average, than poorer students; they also have higher rates of participation in extracurricular activities and school leadership positions, higher graduation rates and higher rates of college enrollment and completion.
Whether you think it deeply unjust, lamentable but inevitable, or obvious and unproblematic, this is hardly news.
Paul Krugman is surely in the "deeply unjust" camp, yet I have no doubt he and his wife read regularly to their child.
If not the usual suspects, what’s going on? It boils down to this: The academic gap is widening because rich students are increasingly entering kindergarten much better prepared to succeed in school than middle-class students. This difference in preparation persists through elementary and high school.
High-income families are increasingly focusing their resources — their money, time and knowledge of what it takes to be successful in school — on their children’s cognitive development and educational success. They are doing this because educational success is much more important than it used to be, even for the rich.
With a college degree insufficient to ensure a high-income job, or even a job as a barista, parents are now investing more time and money in their children’s cognitive development from the earliest ages. It may seem self-evident that parents with more resources are able to invest more — more of both money and of what Mr. Putnam calls “‘Goodnight Moon’ time” — in their children’s development. But even though middle-class and poor families are also increasing the time and money they invest in their children, they are not doing so as quickly or as deeply as the rich.
Why can't these evil one percenters just sail yachts and swill martinis?