Which colleges in America contribute the most to helping children climb the income ladder? How can we increase access to such colleges for children from low income families? We take a step toward answering these questions by constructing publicly available mobility report cards – statistics on students’ earnings in their early thirties and their parents’ incomes – for each college.
What is the best way to measure and improve teacher quality? One method is to evaluate teachers based on their impacts on students’ test scores, the “value-added” (VA) approach. First, we evaluate the accuracy of standard VA measures using several methods, including natural experiments that arise from changes in teaching staff. We find that students assigned to higher VA teachers are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in better neighborhoods, and save more for retirement.
This paper evaluates the long-term impacts of Project STAR, a program that randomly assigned 11,571 Tennessee students and their teachers to classsrooms within their schools from kindergarten through third grade. We show that kindergarten test scores are highly correlated with outcomes such as earnings at age 27, college attendance, home ownership, and retirement savings. Students with more experienced teachers and higher quality classrooms have higher earnings, college attendance rates, and other outcomes.