$10 Million Experiment on Chicago Kids

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February 23, 2011 ‐ By Demetria Irwin

There’s a lot a person could do with $10 million. You could buy a ridic Beverly Hills home, you could save a few public libraries, you  could make your mama a millionaire, you could pay half of your student loan debt (You know Sallie Mae owns you!) or you could finally give up your boring 9 to 5 and follow your true passions.

Well, hedge-fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin, had $10 million to spare and an interest in improving the education system, so he put $10 million into an educational experiment in Chicago headed up by economist John List.

The experiment, which follows a total of 600 children for the rest of their lives, seeks to determine whether investing in parents or teachers generates the best results for the kids. All of the pre-k kids, ages three to five, are seperated into three groups. One group attends a free all day pre-school, another group does not attend the school but their parents enroll in a special “parenting academy” where they are eligible to receive up to $7,000 in cash incentives and the third group is a control group of kids who do not attend Griffin’s school and whose parents are not enrolled in the academy.

The hope is that data from this experiment will help school districts around the country spend money on projects that will produce real results.

What do you think about this experiment? Given how cash-strapped school districts around the country are right now, could this $10 million have been better spent on something more tangible? Do you think this experiment is a great idea and will possibly prove to be well worth the time and money?

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-23/chicago-economist-s-crazy-idea-for-education-wins-ken-griffin-s-backing.html

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