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A concerned member of the human race

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oops! Children and their Teachers Have Now Become Statistics!

What if every premise of the so-called, self-dubbed "reformers" is erroneous?  What if the people who have bought into the system have been duped?  What if irrevocable damage is being done to a generation of kids that I call my own?  Oops!

It seems the "reformers" gather a lot of steam from the supposition that students are not college and career ready.  I undertook the briefest investigation of the issue only to find out that college readiness has actually been on the upswing, at least according to one study (see here and here).  We would all do well, of course, to take stats with some grains of salt.  Perhaps colleges have lowered standards.  It's hard to imagine NYC college readiness hasn't been sacrificed in the last decade to credit recovery proffered in the name of improving statistics to prevent school closure.

When I was in graduate school, I took statistics as a language.  Parlez-vous  y_i = \beta_1 x_{i1} + \beta_2 x_{i2} + \cdots + \beta_p x_{ip} + \varepsilon_i, \, ?  I could see that some of my professors were enamored of this "science."  I was not.  Statistics has its place, but anyone who thinks it is not subjective doesn't understand enough about this "science."  I escaped statistics, only to find that it followed me in a threatening manner half way across the country.  It has trickled down from NCLB upon my career like the Chinese water torture.  We must deliver over the data or suffer the consequences.  If you don't, you'll be VAMmed in the head, left for dead and your school pulled out from underneath you.  Children and their teachers have become statistics.  

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