kitchen table math, the sequel: 5/30/10 - 6/6/10

Friday, June 4, 2010

children's savings accounts & math scores

more from the National Affairs blog:
Math Achievement and Children's Savings: Implications for Child Development Accounts

William Elliott, Hyunzee Jung & Terri Friedline
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, June 2010, Pages 171-184

In this study, we propose that children who have a savings account may be more likely to have higher math scores than children without a savings account. We find that children's savings accounts are positively associated with math scores. Children with savings accounts on average score almost nine percent higher in math than children without a savings account. Further, results suggest that children's savings accounts fully mediate the relationship between household wealth and children's math scores. However, household wealth moderates the mediating relationship. We find math scores of low-wealth children increase by 2.13, middle-wealth children's increase by 4.36, while high-wealth children's increase by 6.59 points. Policy implications are discussed.

IQ & family background

This is interesting....

For the purpose of understanding the underlying mechanisms behind intergenerational associations in income and education, recent studies have explored the intergenerational transmission of abilities. We use a large representative sample of Swedish men to examine both intergenerational and sibling correlations in IQ. Since siblings share both parental factors and neighbourhood influences, the sibling correlation is a broader measure of the importance of family background than the intergenerational correlation. We use IQ data from the Swedish military enlistment tests. The correlation in IQ between fathers (born 1951-1956) and sons (born 1966-1980) is estimated to 0.347. The corresponding estimate for brothers (born 1951-1968) is 0.473, suggesting that family background explains approximately 50% of a person's IQ. Estimating sibling correlations in IQ, we thus find that family background has a substantially larger impact on IQ than has been indicated by previous studies examining only intergenerational correlations in IQ.

Anders Björklund, Karin Hederos Eriksson & Markus Jäntti
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2010

IQ and Family Background: Are Associations Strong or Weak?
National Affairs
Friday, June 4, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Karen Pryor on 'changemakers'

So you've become a clicker trainer! Naturally you are very excited. You want other people around you to stop using punishment-based methods and start clicking. So you introduce the clicker at your dog club or high school or wherever you are using it. And guess what: people not only don't change, they get mad at you.

Build a better mousetrap and, in chronological order, the world will:
  1. Ignore you
  2. Pretend to agree, but actually do nothing
  3. Resist, delay, obstruct
  4. Openly attack you (the dangerous phase, but also a sign that change is starting)
  5. Absorb
  6. Utilize
  7. Take credit
  8. Proselytize
On Being a Changemaker
In my school district, we've reached number 4.

Harvard Writing Program

Responding to Student Writing (pdf file)

Have just come across this paper from the Harvard Writing Program - no idea whether it's useful.

We'll see.

Brief Guides

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Chesterfield County middle schools this year are assessing all eighth-graders' knowledge of 21st-century skills, which include communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, innovation and use of technology.

"We obviously want our kids to have those 21st-century skills," said director of technology Lynda Gillespie. "The only way to make sure that you have those skills is through assessment."

Area schools assess students’ 21st-century skills
Published: May 24, 2010

Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, life goes on:

Statistically speaking, however, having an expertise in statistics may help in getting a job: according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduates with math skills are more likely than their peers in other majors to find themselves promptly and gainfully employed.

The safest of all degrees to be acquiring this year is in accounting: forty-six per cent of graduates in that discipline have already been offered jobs. Business majors are similarly placed: forty-four per cent will have barely a moment to breathe before undergoing the transformation from student to suit. Engineers of all stripes—chemical, computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial, environmental—have also fared relatively well since the onset of the recession: they dominate a ranking, issued by, of the disciplines that produce the best-earning graduates. Particular congratulations are due to aerospace engineers, who top the list, with a starting salary of just under sixty thousand dollars—a figure that, if it is not exactly stratospheric, is twenty-five thousand dollars higher than the average starting salary of a graduate in that other science of the heavens, theology.

Economics majors aren’t doing badly, either: their starting salary averages about fifty thousand a year, rising to a mid-career median of a hundred and one thousand.

Learning by Degrees
by Rebecca Mead
The New Yorker
June 7, 2010

New York state PTA opposes charter schools

At a time when state aid funds are not only in short supply but aid payments are being delayed due to insufficient funds in the state till, arbitrarily raising the charter school cap and diverting even more funds from compromised public schools adds insult to injury. Additionally, NYS has created a parallel public school system, largely without public accountability for financial or academic performance.


CALL TO ACTION: Charter School Cap

and see: Taking the Parent out of the national PTA: an interview with Charlene K. Harr