Numbers Don’t Lie Except Statistics

Jun 13, 2019 by

Is it any wonder that no posthumous relapses of  fatal illness have been reported among patients since their interment in the cemetery?

It’s hardly less surprising that the Department of Education celebrates decline in the number of its student suspensions, because they imitated Nature by making suspensions simply impossible. It’s the closest thing to a man-made law of nature.
Their absurdly lax discipline code and derelict enforcement have made student suspensions almost as out of the realm of possibility as cadavers contracting tonsillitis.

Same thing for their trumpeted graduation rates. which have gone up, because it’s  practically impossible not to quality for graduation.  It’s almost analogous to giving a drivers license to newborns as a “welcome to this world” entry-level gift.

Some, though not all, of their touted claims are shams.

“The devil is in the details”.
To enable us to give the devil  his due,( which is always a good idea,) we must know who his trusted servant is: statistics.  Foolish people confer infallibility upon those digits.

But although the DOE is often the aggressor in its use of statistics to create the perception of reality, they are just as often the victims of statistical manipulation and disguise. Their reputation is often being sullied by groups that take advantage and aggravate the DOE’s vulnerabilities.

The US Census Bureau, for instance, reports that New York City public school system spends double the per-pupil national average. The Empire Center, citing this report, blames teachers salaries and benefits and tries to establish a causal relationship between teachers relatively robust standard of living and their students’ comparatively anemic level of achievement.

Education expenditure rankings of all states have been recently received and it would seem that we have so much to learn from Utah. Do we really?

Anyone of good-faith should be able to differentiate the complexity of the  differing challenges faced and realize the dimensions of the tasks that do not correlate.
Without equivalence there can be no common metric. Numbers are the ideal material for conjuring tricks.
But our strong New York City public schools have many serially failing enemies that have their own axe to grind. And there’s no axe like a weaponized statistic.
Ron Isaac

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