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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.

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