Posts Tagged ‘ Education ’

Sorting out what’s meaningful and what’s not

April 24, 2017
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Sorting out what’s meaningful and what’s not

A few weeks ago, the New York Times Upshot team published a set of charts exploring the relationship between school quality, home prices and commute times in different regions of the country. The following is the chart for the New...

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Dispute over analysis of school quality and home prices shows social science is hard

April 24, 2017
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Dispute over analysis of school quality and home prices shows social science is hard

Most of my friends with families fret over school quality when deciding where to buy their homes. It's well known that good school districts are also associated with expensive houses. A feedback cycle is at work here: home prices surge where there are good schools; only richer people can afford to buy such homes; wealth brings other advantages, and so the schools tend to have better students, which leads to…

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The get-rich-quick scheme of the English

March 31, 2017
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The get-rich-quick scheme of the English

The World Economic Forum published this chart: The "EF EPI Score" is a measure of English proficiency. So the evidence is clear as day: "Better English and Income Go Hand in Hand," as their headline blares. Last time I was in the New York subway, the panhandler spoke good English. What's a blogger to do? I pulled out the EPI scores from the EPI report, and downloaded the Gross National…

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Visualizing citation impact

March 23, 2017
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Visualizing citation impact

Michael Bales and his associates at Cornell are working on a new visual tool for citations data. This is an area that is ripe for some innovation. There is a lot of data available but it seems difficult to gain...

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In the name of diversity

March 9, 2017
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I've said it in Numbersense (the chapter on school rankings), and here it happens again. According to the New York Times (link), Harvard Law School decided to allow applicants to submit GRE test scores instead of LSAT test scores. The announced purpose is to "encourage more students in the United States and internationally from a greater degree of disciplines to apply". The school has a fixed cohort size, 560 per…

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Race to the top, Erasmus edition

January 11, 2017
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Race to the top, Erasmus edition

(This is a submission from reader Lawrence Mayes. Thank you Lawrence!) I came across this unusual graphical representation of the destinations of scholarship students: [Kaiser here: The charts are hidden inside an annoying Flash app and it seems that the...

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Sorting out the data, and creating the head-shake manual

December 1, 2016
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Sorting out the data, and creating the head-shake manual

Yesterday's post attracted a few good comments. Several readers don't like the data used in the NAEP score chart. The authors labeled the metric "gain in NAEP scale scores" which I interpreted to be "gain scores," a popular way of...

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Involuntary head-shaking is probably not an intended consequence of data visualization

November 30, 2016
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Involuntary head-shaking is probably not an intended consequence of data visualization

This chart is in the Sept/Oct edition of Harvard Magazine: Pretty standard fare. It even is Tufte-sque in the sparing use of axes, labels, and other non-data-ink. Does it bug you how much work you need to do to understand...

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The idol worship of objective data is damaging our discipline

October 28, 2016
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In class last week, I discussed this New York Times article with the students. One of the claims in the article is that the U.S. News ranking of colleges is under threat by newcomers whose rankings are more relevant because they more directly measure outcomes such as earnings of graduates. This specific claim in the article makes me head hurt: "If nothing else, earnings are objective and, as the database…

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Why are GMAT scores going up?

October 11, 2016
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In Chapter 1 of Numbersense (link), I went through an extensive list of shenanigans that can be used to trick the rankings of colleges and graduate schools. One of them is to allow students to submit the maximum of repeated sittings of GREs, LSATs, GMATs, etc. This tactic is unabashedly headlined in a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Test Redos Give GMAT Scores a Lift." (link) In the print edition,…

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