Over the past year, you’ve probably heard Johns Hopkins researchers Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson on the radio, or read about their work in the newspaper. Their decades-long research into the life trajectories of several hundred Baltimore children revealed a ton of fascinating–and depressing–information.
After following the children for nearly three decades, Alexander and his colleagues penned a book about their findings, which can be summed up as: Most kids don’t climb up the class ladder, and the economic status of the family you’re born into has a huge impact on the rest of your life. “A family’s resources and the doors they open cast a long shadow over children’s life trajectories,” Alexander says in the book. “This view is at odds with the popular ethos that we are makers of our own fortune.”
Now, that book has won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Education, one of the nation’s top book prizes, which comes with a $100,000 award. Alexander said he was “thrilled and humbled” to receive the honor.
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