18 Aug 2014

Fighting income inequality with early education reform


Anne Dias Griffin (MBA 1997) believes the early years are a critical time to correct income disparity.

“There is a much higher return on investment in early childhood. It’s more expensive to intervene later,” says Dias Griffin, founder and managing partner at Aragon Global Management (AGM).

The mother of three has been using her business acumen in a partnership with the University of Chicago through the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center (CHECC), an experimental school program Dias Griffin founded in 2010 that has now helped nearly 900 preschool children.

“Using the discipline of economics to solve the problems of education resonated with me,” says Dias Griffin, who gave CHECC $13 million through the family foundation named for her and her husband, Ken.

At the core of the program is a carefully curated curriculum that balances cognitive and non-cognitive skills, and the results have been extraordinary. In the school’s first year of operation, 35 percent of the students began the school year as average. By June, that number had jumped to 53 percent.

“We have four years of research and a demonstrated track record of success,” she said. “It should be a no-brainer for adoption in every community.”

(Published August 2014)

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1997, Section G

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