Math Matters: Why Learning It Can Increase Your Earning Power Later in Life

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Math Matters: Why Learning It Can Increase Your Earning Power Later in Life

Feb, 2nd 2017

Parents and math teachers regularly asked by their school-aged charges whether math matters in real life may now have an answer.

In a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research this week, Harvard Kennedy School Policy Professor Joshua Goodman took a look at what happened to students whose high schools were required in the 1980s to increase the minimum level of coursework required to graduate. What he found is that black students were more likely to increase the number of math courses they took as a result of the change in standards and that translated into higher earnings down the line.

Put simply: About 15 years after they graduated, African-American high school graduates who went to...

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