Early Childhood

How Much Is Kindergarten Worth?

By Elizabeth Rich — July 29, 2010 1 min read

The quality of your kindergarten experience could determine your future financial well-being, among much else, according to a New York Times report.

The Times story looks at a Tennessee study that has followed 12,000 students since 1980s and found that having a good kindergarten experience could translate into a college education, a better retirement fund, longer lasting marriage, better social skills, and a higher earning potential.

And when it comes to money— for every percentile that a kindergarten student moved up in test scores during the course of the year, he or she could expect to make an additional $100 at age 27. This, the article points out, could amount to as much as an extra $1,000 or more a year for a 27-year-old who made the typical test score leap from “average to 60th percentile” because of a good teacher.

Education Week‘s resident research expert Debbie Viadero is a bit skeptical that the results are as “explosive” as the Times reporter seems to think they are—mostly, though, because the results haven’t been published yet.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.