Skip to main content.

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Lies, damn lies and statistics

Picture of Nicole Brambila

So, I'm already running into some challenging snags.

A California transplant, I'm still learning about all the ramifications of Prop 13. Coming from Texas, where school district's still raise money the old fashion way, I mistakenly thought the poorest neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley would have the largest class sizes and the smallest per pupil spending.

Boy was I wrong.

You might wonder what this has to do with the health story I pitched for the California Health Journalism Fellowship, but you'll just have to keep reading

The poorest areas here, thanks largely to Title I funding, actually have the smallest classrooms and the greatest per pupil spending.

The online comments are already ringing in my ears: "See, throwing money at the problem doesn't work."

But I know just enough about the historic disparities that plague the poor and minorities to know that sometimes the numbers are just what my J-school professors said when they warned about the three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies and statistics.

As one education advocate suggests, the even playing field that morphs into a distinct disadvantage for minority children may require more be done with more, not less.

Comments

Picture of Anabell Romero

This is so sad and extremely interesting. I love what your J-school professors said about the 3 kinds of lies. I defintiely won't forget that one, because I agree. Statistics like science, of course in my opinion, doesn't prove everything.

We all look forward to your final project! Keep up the great work Nicole.

Leave A Comment

Announcements

This year saw a scorcher of a summer, the hottest on record. Worse, it could be the coldest summer we’ll see in our lifetimes. In this webinar, we’ll glean lessons and insights from a yearlong Los Angeles Times investigation into extreme heat. We’ll also identify gaps in state and federal tracking efforts, and outline policy changes that could help. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism's Impact Funds provide reporting support — funding and mentoring — to journalists who think big and want to make a difference. 

Apply today for our National Impact Fund for reporting on health equity and health systems across the country. 

Apply today for our California Impact Fund for reporting that brings untold stories to light in the Golden State. 

CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY

Follow Us

Facebook


Twitter

CHJ Icon
ReportingHealth