Early childhood education is an economic development issue, not just because we’ve been quoting Ed Morrison about it for years, but also because the research is here to support it.
The latest piece is a potential blockbuster. Excellent early childhood education makes a lasting difference through the elementary years, based on standardized testing results. But it fades as students are tested in junior high and high school. However, the positive effects appear to re-emerge later in “real life.” The story is in the New York Times, Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers:
Glenna Mae and the Class of 1963
How much difference did Mrs. Brown make?
A student who went from average to the 60th percentile — a typical jump for a 5-year-old with a good teacher — could expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than a student who remained at the average. Over time, the effect seems to grow, too.
Just how much does it grow? And what are great kindergarten teachers worth to your community?
[They] estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year. That’s the present value of the additional money that a full class of students can expect to earn over their careers. This estimate doesn’t take into account social gains, like better health and less crime.
Go read the entire article: Study Rethinks Importance of Kindergarten Teachers. Then get to work on early childhood education in your community.
Now, a little side note about this pic of the Class of 1963 including my mom. When they started school in the early 1950’s, not everyone attended kindergarten. In fact, there was no public school affiliated kindergarten in Alva. My grandparents paid for Glenna Mae to attend kindergarten with Mrs. Brown.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.