The Problem With Quoting Negative Statistics

Don’t look now, but another negative education statistic is coming your way. A recent study of college freshmen yielded the result, that 80 percent of high school graduates need remediation of some sort. If one reads the original story, you will see that the issue of basic skills is an issue. Of course, as with all negative statistics, it gets embellished as more and more people hear about it.

Gone is the context of remediation, and it has already morphed into “80 percent of high school graduates cant read” in the retelling of the study. This is exactly how disinformation spreads, through the selective emphasis on the worse elements of statistics. It is the same line of reasoning that brought us the “more Black men in jail than college” stat. This one had a “good” solid 13 year run. With people fond of telling of the troubles of our educational system, there is no telling how much mileage this one will get. Saying what is, serves a more authentic purpose than just trying to embellish a problem. But never mind that, the experts are soon to appear to suggest solutions to these dire statistics. It appears that the narrative has already begun.

Marc W. Polite




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