By Jonathan Latham, PhD (Originally posted July 31st and lost after a DDOS (electronic) attack).
Variations in individual “educational attainment” (essentially, whether students complete high school or college) cannot be attributed to inherited genetic differences. That is the finding of a new study reported in Science magazine (Rietveld et al. 2013). According to this research, fully 98% of all variation in educational attainment is accounted for by factors other than a person’s simple genetic makeup.
This implies that most of student success is a consequence of potentially alterable social or environmental factors. This is an important and perhaps surprising observation, of high interest to parents, teachers, and policymakers alike; but it did not make the headlines.
The likely reason is that the authors of the study failed to mention the 98% figure in the title, or in the summary. Nor was it mentioned in the accompanying press release. … Continue Reading