According to a new study, global warming is oppressing minority high school students.
Yes, that's right. And I plan to organize a march on Capitol Hill next week demanding for Congress to "DO SOMETHING" about it. (Not really.)
All jokes aside, a study from the the National Bureau of Economic Research actually raises some serious concerns.
"When outside temperatures exceed 70 degrees, students’ learning appears to suffer. The hotter it gets beyond that point, the more student learning suffers,” writes Joshua Goodman, a professor of public policy at Harvard University.
Exactly how serious are these concerns? The study finds that for every 1 degree Fahrenheit increase outside, test scores decrease 1 percent. Students tend to struggle more on unusually hot days - particularly African-American and Hispanic children.
While the precise reasoning for this is still unknown, that didn't stop Goodman from speculating it has to do with wealthier (and therefore white) children having more access to educational tools that can help counter the negative effects of warmer weather.
He also suggested a magical tool that may offset the problem of heat in schools. Behold:
“It appears that well-functioning school air conditioning can almost entirely offset the impact of heat,” Goodman stated.
“Heat interferes with students’ accumulation of knowledge, and we know that the modern macroeconomy is increasingly dependent on having highly skilled workers,” Mr. Goodman said. “Certainly in the long run, if heat is preventing people from learning, that should be a drag on the macroeconomy and on economic growth.”
Alright, so in order to produce more skilled workers, all we have to do is provide schools with more funding, right? But not so fast. As Jason Riley points out in the Wall Street Journal, throwing more money at schools has proven to be ineffective, especially with teachers unions' agendas rarely lining up with what students actually need.
Here's a radical solution: When advocating for education policy, let's pay less attention to worthless teacher unions and more attention to air conditioning.