Genes explain as much variation in educational attainment as income

Over the past five years, Benjamin has been part of an international team of researchers identifying variations in the human genome that are associated with how many years of education people get. In 2013, after analyzing the DNA of 101,000 people, the team found just three of these genetic variants. In 2016, they identified 71…

More states opting to ‘robo-grade’ student essays by computer

“I’ve been working on this now for about 25 years, and I feel that … the time is right and it’s really starting to be used now,” says Peter Foltz, a research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s also vice president for research for Pearson, the company whose automated scoring program graded some…

If monopolies are bad, what about traditional public ed?

Many of my friends who defend public education are also the political type who are very worried about monopolies. They often point to the damage that companies with large market shares—think Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Google—can do. These friends point out how these companies’ large market presence allows them to squeeze out competitors, exploit employees, and…

Elon Musk also runs his own K-12 school

Ad Astra encompasses students, not employees. For the past four years, this experimental non-profit school has been quietly educating Musk’s sons, the children of select SpaceX employees, and a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles. It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his five young sons out of one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious…

British students can no longer read a clock

Schools are removing analogue clocks from examination halls because teenagers are unable to tell the time, a head teachers’ union has said. Teachers are now installing digital devices after pupils sitting their GCSE and A-level exams complained that they were struggling to read the correct time on an analogue clock. Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary…

Making students volunteer makes them volunteer less

Does ‘compulsory volunteering’ affect subsequent behavior? Evidence from a natural experiment in Canada This paper estimates the impact of ‘compulsory volunteerism’ for adolescents on subsequent volunteer behavior exploiting the introduction of a mandatory community service program for high school (HS) students in Ontario, Canada. We use difference-in-differences approach with a large longitudinal dataset. Our estimates…

The price we pay for keeping disruptive students in the classroom

I wonder how many teachers would find these results surprising: The Long-Run Effects of Disruptive Peers A large and growing literature has documented the importance of peer effects in education. However, there is relatively little evidence on the long-run educational and labor market consequences of childhood peers. We examine this question by linking administrative data…

Don’t tell voters how much we spend on education

This study examines the role of information in shaping public opinion in the context of support for education spending. While there is broad public support for increasing government funding for public schools, Americans tend to underestimate what is currently spent. We embed a series of experiments in a nationally representative survey administered in 2012 (n=…