February 25th, 2013

Dore: Ogre


James Heckman: Let me give you a startling finding about achievement gaps. Suppose you pay children in the 5th and 6th grades, right when you think of the achievement gap opening up between blacks and whites, to take an IQ test.

Say you have unmotivated black kids living in the middle of the ghetto and white kids from Scarsdale or some other upper-class neighborhood. You give each kid who gets a successful answer one M&M -- just give them an M&M -- and you say for each point extra on the IQ test, each correct answer, I'll give you one more M&M. It turns out that the gap between the black and white student in the IQ test scores vanishes -- vanishes completely.