Philly Area School Statistics

Philly Area MapTorture numbers, and they’ll confess to anything. –Gregg Easterbrook
98% of all statistics are made up.  –Unknown
Statistics are like bikinis.  What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. –Aaron Levenstein
Statistics can be made to prove anything – even the truth.– Unknown

In case those quotes were too subtle, let me state it plainly.  I don’t trust statistics in general, especially in the absence of other evaluation criteria.  Now that that is out of the way, I wanted to share a resource that I found.  The Philadelphia Inquirer has a very interesting interactive map of regional school districts and some statistics like starting teacher salaries, total enrollment, percentage of students in “gifted and talented” programs, and more.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Philly Area School Statistics”

  1. Are Elementary School Test Scores Important? « Philly School Search Says:

    […] I have already expressed my skepticism about statistics on this blog, so I won’t entirely rehash my stance on that here.  However, I would like to address the issue of the misuse of statistics in the testing arena.  Education week recently published a story, “Achievement Gap: It’s all in How You Measure Them” in which they discuss how improvements in standardized test scores need to be considered with some background data–they cite how equivalent improvements in two states differ in that at one state, all of the improvements were in one racial group while in another state the improvements were equal along racial lines.  Though this article refers to examining test scores on a more macro level, I think that the issue and resolution apply on a regional and school-to-school micro level as well.  One school administrator I spoke with recently expressed an (unsubstantiated) belief that many schools fudge the numbers and even correct students’ answers on tests to boost their numbers.  I tend to think that this sort of sentiment is simply sour grapes and reflects more on the accuser than the accused.  Still, having peripherally been involved with several colleges in their race for a high standing in the US News and World Report annual college rankings, I know that there are tremendous political/economic pressures on educational institutions to present themselves in the best possible light, and that some people react more ethically under pressure than others. […]

  2. Philadelphia School Search: Are Elementary School Test Scores Important? | Philly School Search Says:

    […] I have already expressed my skepticism about statistics on this blog, so I won’t entirely rehash my stance on that here.  However, I would like to address the issue of the misuse of statistics in the testing arena.  Education week recently published a story, “Achievement Gap: It’s all in How You Measure Them” in which they discuss how improvements in standardized test scores need to be considered with some background data–they cite how equivalent improvements in two states differ in that at one state, all of the improvements were in one racial group while in another state the improvements were equal along racial lines.  Though this article refers to examining test scores on a more macro level, I think that the issue and resolution apply on a regional and school-to-school micro level as well.  One school administrator I spoke with recently expressed an (unsubstantiated) belief that many schools fudge the numbers and even correct students’ answers on tests to boost their numbers.  I tend to think that this sort of sentiment is simply sour grapes and reflects more on the accuser than the accused.  Still, having peripherally been involved with several colleges in their race for a high standing in the US News and World Report annual college rankings, I know that there are tremendous political/economic pressures on educational institutions to present themselves in the best possible light, and that some people react more ethically under pressure than others. […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: