It’s certainly true that “[T]he most important factor that correlates with success in college is what is done in high school math.” But is the headline true? How about, “More years of team basketball makes kids grow taller”? That’s a strong correlation, too.

John M. Flanigan Kaneohe, Hawaii

While some self-selection certainly happens—the kids who take more math tend to be those who are more proficient at it—long-term trends show that as higher percentages of kids have taken more math, those same kids have been more likely to graduate from college.
—D. Castelvecchi

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