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View Diary: Morning Feature: What Are the Odds? (Meta-Monday) (105 comments)

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  •  A fascinating fact from Outliers.... (14+ / 0-)

    A common assumption is that children of wealthy families succeed academically (when they do) in part because they go to better schools.  Malcolm Gladwell cites some data suggesting that's not true.  In fact, during the school year, children from poor families make more academic progress than children from wealthy families.  That progress gets wiped out during summer vacation, when children from poor families are more likely to be idle (or worse), while children from wealthy families benefit from family-sponsored education (summer camps, tutoring, travel, etc.).

    By the time the wealthy children leave high school, they've had an extra two years of education ... during their summer vacations.

    •  Interesting. (10+ / 0-)

      Here's a real life narrative.  When my son was in second grade I took him to the Detroit Symphony's children's concerts.  One night a local news station happened to be filming the event, and we happened to show up as part of the audience.  His second grade teacher happened to be watching the news and saw us on television.  From that day on, my son was on her A list, and my daughter benefitted from that brief shot on television when she had the same teacher.  It wasn't even the exposure to the orchestra that helped him, it was just that she knew he had gone to the concert.

      That impressed me so much that I am making a particular effort to expose my grandson to lots of different experiences.

      •  It's more important than we realize. (7+ / 0-)

        One of Gladwell's most touching stories, which we'll explore this week, has to do with a school in NYC that only accepts kids from poor neighborhoods - and does so by random lottery - and produces students who excel.  What the kids have to sacrifice in order to do that is astonishing; school runs from 7am until 5pm and most of the kids spend the entire evening (until 11pm) doing homework.  And the school runs year 'round, with only a two-week summer break.  But that's what it takes to shift the opportunity window for a child from a poor neighborhood.

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