professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Sensationalizing Statistics

A colleague of mine pointed me to the following article from the Atlantic entitled DOES STUDENT MOTIVATION EVEN MATTER?

The study suggests that motivation and engagement is not necessary according to findings from analyzing the PISA test scores. There is a link to the actual Brookings Institute Report. I clicked on that link. Turns out the PISA data being discussed to demonstrate that engagement is not necessary in education comes from the math portion of the PISA. The process for determining this is to compare who kids answer a question about their own motivation to their test score. I do not even know where to begin with a criticism of this report nor of the article itself. I will note that the piece bounces back and forth between NAEP and PISA. I will also note that the Brookings Institute notes that PISA countries that outperform us do so because their female students scored off the charts. Yet the article in the Atlantic seems to contradict that.

Honestly, it seems as though we can subvert stats to mean anything, to say anything, to prove anything. It is why we all need to remain vigilant when it comes to sensationalized headlines that shout something NOT proven at all.

BTW, soon there will be a new post about AR that now claims it makes kids college and career ready AND motivates and engages. How much of that claim do you think is accurate?
Tags: stats
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