Data Fails: Do We Care?

“The first time I was presented with a research based, brilliant new/old scheme, I asked a number of impertinent questions, like ‘do you have the data sets and methodology of the study?’ I was told that people like me didn’t need to know that kind of advanced information and wouldn’t be able to understand it anyway, so ‘shut up,’ they explained. That pretty much said it all about the brilliance and validity of the “study” and the scheme, which was as useless–and as damaging to children–as one might imagine.”


Einstein once said, if you can’t explain the science to a fifth-grader, you don’t know it yourself.

Stately McDaniel Manor


Among the more recent educational fads is the idea that anything “researched-based” is brilliant, unassailable, and therefore, worth tens, even hundreds of thousands to implement in any school district, thereby magically improving student achievement by previously unimaginable margins.  The term is commonly used to pass off previously failed bad ideas, by changing a few terms, adding a few new acronyms, and claiming to have conducted a study proving beyond any possible doubt the efficacy of the retreaded, failed idea.

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