Saturday, February 18, 2006

Want to help your kid do well on standardized tests? :: ABC News: 'Freakonomics Friday'

Do you? Sorry, it's all about who you are, not what you do. Time for a personal makeover of sorts - if that's even possible.
Levitt and Dubner used the ECLS to see what helps young children do well on tests. "Not only does it measure their scores," said Dubner. "It also conducts extensive interviews with the families of the kids, so we know a lot about each family and what they do in the family."

What were some of the results? Take a look, and try to guess which factors correlate to higher test scores.

* The mother was 30 or older when she gave birth to her first child.
* The mother left work to be with her child between birth and kindergarten.

Ready? Being a mother over 30 strongly correlated to stronger test scores in her child, but taking time off to raise her child did not.
. . .
Reading a book to your kids every day did not seem to correlate to higher test scores. But owning books did.
. . .
"You think, well, are these books just magic somehow?" said Stephen Dubner. "Do these books just cause intelligence?

"Well, no," he continued. "Much more likely is that any family that has 100 children's books in the home is likely to be pretty highly educated to begin with, is starting out with a pretty high IQ, and values or treasures or rewards education to begin with."


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