Category Archives: Statistics

Technobrats, Beware Campbell’s Law

David Leonhardt is all excited about the growing movement to measure the effectiveness of gummint programs! And yet there is some good news in this area, too. The explosion of available data has made evaluating success – in the government … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Education, Fucking Morons, Statistics, Things That Make Ya Go Boom | 2 Comments

Republican Pollsters Might Perform Better If They Knew Statistics

This week, House Republican Majority Whip lost to David Brat, who is quite the wingnut. While the real story is that there’s a new political infrastructure undergirding the Republican Party–and Brat was hooked into that–much of the shock resulted from … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, Fucking Morons, Statistics | 4 Comments

Statistical Abuse and Teacher Tenure

Last week, a California judge ruled that California’s teacher tenure laws were unconstitutional. In his decision, he cited testimony that one to three percent of teachers are “grossly ineffective.” It turns out that number is bullshit (boldface mine): It’s made … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Statistics | 1 Comment

I Thought We Were All Supposed to Learn Statistics?

Apparently, if the internets are to be believed, we now need to ensure that every child knows how to code. In a shocking turn of events, these initiatives are supported by people who have made tons of money by having … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Statistics | 3 Comments

P-Values and Power of Test: Why So Many Results Can’t Be Replicated

It’s all the rage to argue that science is facing a crisis because so many results can’t be repeated. David Colquhoun has a really nice explanation why replication experiments fail so often. Before we get to his explanation, we’ll have … Continue reading

Posted in Funding, Statistics | 7 Comments

Understanding the CBO Minimum Wage Report: Why a Knowledge of Basic Statistics Matters

Image by Bettmann/CORBIS The Congressional Budget Office released a report (pdf) arguing there would be minor job losses if a $10.10 per hour minimum wage were passed. I’m not taking it too seriously: CBO estimates are usually pretty shoddy*. Kenneth … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Statistics | 5 Comments

What’s Wrong With This Pie Chart?

In this Boston Magazine graphic about the change in Boston’s ethnic composition, can you find what’s wrong? Let’s see:

Posted in Fucking Morons, Statistics | 5 Comments

More Big Data Abuse

I recently wrote about a disgusting abuse of ‘big data': the formation and selling of a “Rape Sufferers” list. No, really. According to Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, this seems to be part of a larger and equally nauseating trend (boldface … Continue reading

Posted in Bidness, Statistics | 1 Comment

More Teacher Evaluation Insanity

Education reformers style themselves as problem solvers who get things done. The reality, however, is that they’re grade A fuckups (boldface mine): A single missing suffix among thousands of lines of programming code led a public school teacher in Washington, … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Statistics | 3 Comments

One Tweed Insider’s View of Educational Evaluation

I highly recommend this devastating indictment of New York City’s education ‘reform’ policies by an anonymous NYC Department of Education insider. Wonkiness is rarely so brutal. What I want to focus on is the section about evaluation, since reformers love … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Statistics | 2 Comments