Sunday, May 2, 2010

Correlation is not Causation

At The Gradebook, a Florida education blog, the authors publish some talking points about why teaching kids Algebra 2 is worthwhile.

One of them is "[students who take Algebra 2] are more likely to score well on standardized tests because students who score well on the math portion of these tests do score well overall."

I don't think the error here is obvious to the editors at the St. Pete Times, but it should be. The fact that it isn't suggests that, as I've long argued, we need to teach everyone statistics. It's too easy to lie with statistics, even to the relatively educated.

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