February 7, 2005

This Still Doesn't Explain Paris Hilton. Or DOES It?

Or Bennington College. According to recent research in the UK, the wealthier the parents, the smarter the children.

OK, that might be a tad inaccurate or simplistic. The study found that:

A five-year-old whose parents earn more than 67,500* has reading skills six months more advanced than one whose parents are jobless...The children of those earning between 30,000 and 66,000 have an advantage of almost four months, and of those with a joint wage of between 15,000 and 30,000, less than two months. Children whose parents' earned income is between 2,500 and 15,000 are three weeks more advanced.
Ah-hah, so this only happens if the income is earned, not inherited? Alors, je comprends tout, Paris.

On the bright side, now you can stop calling it "working late," and start calling it, "making the kid smarter."

Children of rich parents are better at reading [Observer UK]

* To calculate the equivalent in $US, just add a zero.


Education geeks like me call this the "preparation gap". Basically middle class and up parents have more time/energy/inclination to read to their kids, take them to "cultural activities" etc etc.

The stat that I pull up out of my memory (or my butt) is some thing like 5000 hours of preparation for school before they hit kindergarden.

Who's going to explain why the girl is such a ho? Can I get a grant to study that?

Wow. If I were loaded, my son would be reading Tolstoy by now.

It's usually because the parents see to it that the kids learn to read. Just watching Sesame Street can put a child that age light years ahead of the ones that don't get any exposure to education.

JJ Daddy, there is probably lots of grant money to study that, you just have to come up with a really good title.

I suppose something like "An Ethnographic Study of Short-life cycle Serial Monogamy Among Hotel Heiress" might get you some cash.

Charone, how about SaveUms?

Seriously though, Sesame Street is interesting. I guess part of my problem with TV is that the American Pediatrics people seem to suggest that too much TV (they say any) before two years old can lead to an increased incidence of ADD.

From what I've read and heard from educators, the main thing differentiating achievement, SAT scores for instance, has more to do than the mother's level of education than anything other factor. A bright mom, or one who demands or desires brightness, is key.

The thing that surprised me--and raises my eyebrow, frankly--is the study's claim to have isolated the effect of income from other parental factors, including education level and reading to your kid.

As for grant money, dude, think of development money. This is a reality TV show, not a study. Forget MLA, think MTV. Or at least MTV2.

Yeah, that is odd, because the studies I have been exposed to (secondary sources, not primary) have suggested that there are clearly examples of people who don't make tons of money but have "middle-class" values and exposure to the benefits that come with membership in that class.

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